How Many Calories in Glass of Wine
Many wines have a good deal of healthy characteristics such as high anti-oxidant content, anti-aging, anti-stress, increases bone density, lowers cholesterol, decreases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and more.
In fact, the popularity of wine is at an all time high. If you enjoy a glass or two of wine, as I do, my favorite is Pinot Noir, you may have wondered how many calories are in a glass of wine.
There is actually quite a wide variance in the number of calories from one type of wine to another.
There are several distinct factors that determine how many calories are in a given glass of wine. I will tell you what a calorie is, and why it is important we know how many we take in.
I will also describe the factors that determine the calorie content in wine. I will show you an easy way to find out exactly how many calories are in any wine based on the brand and type.
In addition, I will let you know the lowest calorie, healthiest wines that are available today.
What is a Calorie?
What is a calorie, and why is it important to know how many calories a given food or drink contains?
The accepted definition of a calorie is: how much energy it would require to increase the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree celcius.
The amount of energy a given item contains in it’s chemical bonds. Food energy. This food energy is released during digestion. and stored in other molecules that can be broken down to provide energy as the body requires it.
These calories are used in various ways. Approximately 10% is utilized for digestion. 20% can drive physical activity, and the largest percentage, around 70% is needed for the foundational functions of our tissues and organs.
This corresponds to our BMR, or basal metabolic rate, how many calories would be needed for survival if we aren’t moving around or eating.
Throw in some digestion and physical activity and the result is the official guidelines as to the amount of calories per person needed every day.
The average needed daily caloric intake is: 2500 for men, and 2000 for women. Of course this can vary widely if you tend to be sedentary you would need fewer calories, or if you are engaged in heavy physical activity you would of course require more calories.
Factors that Determine Calorie Content in Wine
Many factors determine the amount of calories we can expect in a glass of wine.
These are: grape varieties, the style of the wine (sweet of dry), the length of the fermentation process, the grape vintage, the alcohol content, and the amount and types of additives in the wine.
Due to these many factors it is difficult to pinpoint the exact amount of calories that may be in the glass of wine you are drinking.
The biggest factors in calorie content are sugar content, whether a wine is dry or sweet, and the alcohol content.
Depending on the style of wines, they can vary from 0 to 220 grams per liter of sugar. Dryer wines generally speaking contain less than 20 calories from sugar per glass.
The sweeter wines have anywhere from 21 to about 140 calories from sugar per glass. The dry wines tend to have less calories than the sweeter wines.
Lighter wines also normally contain fewer calories than the heavier, more concentrated wine types. You will also consume fewer calories with the lower alcohol content wines as opposed to those that have higher alcohol contents.
White wines in general tend to have fewer calories than red wines. However, if your white wine is sweet such as the White Port, or the Muscatel Dessert wine, it will have more calories.
The dry reds, such as the French Malbec, and the Tannat are at the very dry end of the sweetness scale.
But, even if a wine is dry, or sweet, it can still be a bit deceiving as to it’s caloric content. For instance, the dry red wine Pinot Noir, ranks quite high on the calorie scale despite it’s lack of sugary sweetness.
Many bottles of wine will have the calorie content right on the back label. Some, however, do not have this information.
In this case, there is a very helpful website/app that you can use to search for the calorie content of certain wines by brand, or by grape variety. The name of this website/app is My Fitness Pal
Organic wines are often lower in calories than comparable non organic wines primarily due to the fact that they have fewer additives. Non organic wines can contain as many as 76 different additives per bottle.
The United States FDA, Food and Drug Administration has approved these 76 additives. Only 38 of these additives however, are on the GRAS, generarly regarded as safe list.
Additives are often utilized to add or change flavors, effect colors, add sweetness, and much more.
Typical wine additives include: pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers, granular cork, colorings like Ultra Red and Mega Purple, ammonium phosphate, soy flour, tantaric acid, sulfites, sugars, and many others.
Best Low Calorie Wines
In my quest to find the best low calorie wines, I was hopeful that I could find some good organic wines that would also include some low calorie varieties.
I stumbled across an organic wine company that sources some of the best wines from around the world.
Not only are their wines organic, but they also claim that their wines are sugar/carbohydrate free, low alcohol, and low calorie.
If that weren’t enough, they also make the outrageous claims that their wines are also hangover, and headache free!
I have been dreaming of a no hangover wine for at least the last 30 years. Never in my wildest imagination did I think that I would ever be able to actually experience one.
At first I didn’t believe it. I didn’t think that it was possible for a wine to be hangover free unless of course it didn’t contain alcohol. Needless to say, I had to find out if these fantastic claims were true.
Well, it turns out that there are wine growers from different countries around the world that practice wine growing methods called dry farming.
This means that no irrigation is ever used. Only wild, native yeast is used in the fermentation process. Commercial yeast for flavor alteration is never used.
These growers also utilize only traditional and natural, sustainable farming methods. No or minimal addition of sulfites.
No or minimal filtering. No sugar is ever added. No chemicals for flavor enhancement, color, or texture are ever added.
Hand harvested fruit from low yields. Mold and mycotoxin free. Nothing is added or taken away. These wines are fully fermented so that no sugar remains.
Typical wines either contain added sugar, or the fermentation process is cut short which allows some sugar to remain in the wine.
They search the globe for the finest biodynamic, natural, and sustainable wines. The artisans and family farms that handcraft their wines are deeply committed to these winemaking and farming traditions, and practices.
All of their wines are lab tested and scrutinized to be sure they meet their exacting standards of purity.
You can discover these fabulous organic, no hangover wines for yourself by clicking here.
A Toast to Low Calorie Wines
Most wines contain a myriad of healthful ingredients and benefits. Wine is consumed by people from around the world, and at a rate unprecedented in the history of mankind.
The amount of calories can vary from one type of wine to another. Calories are defined as the amount of energy an item contains in it’s chemical bonds. Or simply, a calorie can be defined as food energy.
On average the needed daily caloric intake is: 2000 for women, and 2500 for men. The factors that determine the amount of calories we can expect in a glass of wine are: grape varieties, the style of the wine (sweet of dry), the length of the fermentation process, the grape vintage, the alcohol content, and the amount and types of additives in the wine.
If your bottle of wine doesn’t have the amount of calories on the back label, you can easily find out the calorie content by going to My Fitness Pal, either online, or by using their app.
The best low calorie wines are organic, dry farmed wines. These wine growers use only natural, traditional, and sustainable methods.
The single best low calorie wine company of this sort that I discovered also claims that their wines are hangover, and headache free. You can discover them for yourself by clicking here.