If you’re trying to shed a few pounds, you might think you have to give up red wine to be successful. However, this isn’t the case. Anything can be enjoyed in moderation while on a weight loss journey, including red wine. Red wine even offers some health benefits that may be helpful to you and your body. However, it’s important to be mindful of how many calories you’re consuming in your nightly glass of red wine.
Can red wine help you lose weight?
There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about red wine. Some claim it’s empty sugar and calories, while others tout its health benefits. The truth is actually somewhere in between. Red wine offers some really great health benefits when consumed in moderation, but it contains both calories and sugar. Overindulging in either can lead to weight gain.
There seem to be both pros and cons to drinking red wine when it comes to weight management. Red wine is rich in resveratrol, as well as other antioxidants. These may benefit blood sugar control, heart health, and inflammation. Other studies have shown that moderate wine consumption may help protect against excess weight gain. However, the effects of red wine consumption on weight loss have not been studied extensively, so it’s difficult to say whether or not you’ll be able to notice these effects.
Consuming too much alcohol, including red wine, can cause weight gain. Alcohol has calories, more calories per gram than carbs or protein. It can be easy to overindulge, especially since once you’ve had a few glasses, you might make poor choices when it comes to your food choices. Weight loss benefits from red wine are best seen when you stick to one glass, occasionally two.
How many calories are in red wine?
The calorie count in a glass of red wine differs between brands and types of wine. A typical five-ounce glass of red wine contains about 125 calories, which breaks down into 0 grams of protein and fat, 4 grams of carbs, 1 gram of sugar, and 16 grams of alcohol. Most of the calories in your red wine are coming from the alcohol itself, which accounts for seven calories per gram. The remainder of the calories come from carbs. This is why red wine typically has more calories than pure liquor like vodka, which has no sugar or carbs.
Different types of red wine will have different calorie counts. Some red wines have more residual sugar, which is a choice made by the winemaker, so their wine will have a sweeter flavor. There is also variation between brands of red wine. Two glasses of Merlot may have slightly different calorie counts, even though they are the same style of wine.
Calories in wine come from two sources: alcohol and sugar. The higher the alcohol content in your wine, the higher the calories. The same goes for sugar. Sweeter, more alcoholic wines will always be higher in calories. Hence, a sweet, fortified dessert wine will be much caloric than a dry, low ABV wine.
The average glass of red wine is around 12.5% to 14% ABV and will range from about 106 calories to 132 calories. Some red wines may have fewer calories; some may have more. Unfortunately, many red wine labels don’t list the calories in their wine, so it can be a little bit of a guessing game. You can either calculate the calories using a little bit of math or arrive at a rough caloric estimation based on the style of red wine.
About how many calories are in different styles of red wine?
Different types of red wine have different alcohol content and residual sugar levels, and thus, have slightly different amounts of calories. Here are a few common types of red wine and the average amount of calories they contain.
Cabernet Franc is a dry, medium-bodied red wine with medium-high tannins, medium-high acidity, and an average ABV of around 11.5% to 13.5%. It’s on the lighter end of the caloric spectrum, with about 105 calories in a five-ounce serving.
Pinot Noir is the world’s most popular light-bodied red wine. It’s dry, with low tannins, and offers cherry, raspberry, mushroom, clove, and hibiscus flavors. Your average Pinot Noir is about 11.5–13.5% ABV, and a five-ounce serving contains around 115 calories.
Malbec is a dry, full-bodied red wine with medium tannins, medium-low acidity, red plum, blackberry, vanilla, sweet tobacco, and cocoa. The ABV ranges from about 13.5–15%, and a five-ounce glass has around 118 calories.
Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is a dry, full-bodied wine that offers blueberry, black plum, milk chocolate, tobacco, and green peppercorn flavors. It has medium-high tannins, medium acidity and contains around 13.5–15% ABV. Your average five-ounce serving of Syrah contains around 123 calories.
Bordeaux is a bone-dry, full-bodied wine that comes in both red and white varieties and hails from the Bordeaux region of France. Red Bordeaux usually has notes of black currant, cherry, graphite, chocolate, and dried herbs and an ABV of 13.5–15%. A five-ounce glass contains around 125 calories.
Made from the world’s most popular wine grape, a natural cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux, France, Cabernet Sauvignon is dry and full-bodied. It offers flavors of black cherry, black currant, cedar, baking spices, and graphite. The ABV ranges from about 13.5% to 15%, and a five-ounce glass contains 125 calories.
Merlot is a bone-dry, medium to full-bodied red wine with cherry, plum, chocolate, bay leaf, and vanilla. It offers supple tannins and a chocolatey finish and is often mistaken for Cabernet Sauvignon in blind taste tests. It has an ABV range of 13.5% to 15%, and a five-ounce glass contains around 125 calories.
Zinfandel is a bold, fruit-forward red wine that is medium-full bodied and dry. The primary flavors include blackberry, strawberry, peach preserves, cinnamon, and sweet tobacco. It is usually fairly high in alcohol, over 15% ABV. Standard five-ounce glass contains around 131 calories.
How to calculate the exact calories in a glass of red wine
Since red wine labels don’t usually list the number of calories in a serving, most people usually get a rough estimate based on the style. However, if you want to know the exact amount of calories in your favorite bottle, you can easily calculate this. All it takes is a bit of simple math.
The easiest way to gauge how many calories are in a certain type of red wine is to look at the ABV%. There are about 158 calories in one ounce of pure ethanol or alcohol. So, if a wine is 14% ABV, and a standard glass is five ounces, you want to multiply 158 by .14 and then multiply that number by five. One ounce of 14% wine has a little more than 22 calories, so a five-ounce glass has around 110.
Keep in mind that wine also contains some amount of residual sugar leftover from the fermentation process. Dry wines usually have about 10g/L of residual sugar, while noticeably sweet wines will have upwards of 35 g/L. There are 39 calories in 10 grams of sugar, so if a wine has around 10 grams of sugar in the entire bottle, this will only add a calorie or two per glass.
Going on a diet doesn’t mean you have to completely cut out red wine. In fact, research shows that red wine may even provide some health benefits that can help keep weight under control. Wine should always be enjoyed in moderation, especially when trying to lose weight. By doing your research and limiting yourself to a glass or two, you should be able to easily enjoy a glass of red wine every now and then and still see weight loss results.
For all your red wine delivery needs, you can count on Saucey. We offer speedy delivery and no order minimums on a huge variety of wine, beer, and spirits. Treat yourself to a bottle today, and let us handle the rest.