How Many Calories in a Glass of Wine?

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Question from Sheila: How many calories in a glass of wine?

Reply: Hi, Sheila. Thanks for writing! Oh, we don’t really want to think about this, do we 😉

The short answer is about 100 calories per 5-oz glass. That’s not too bad, is it? You can easily eliminate that number of calories somewhere else during the day if you want to.

But, I’ve got to tell you that the short answer doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s the same old refrain we always hear with questions about wine – it depends.

The wild cards here in terms of variability are alcohol and sugar. The more of either the higher the calorie count. 

I ran across a nifty formula a few years ago, at least for dry wine. Check the alcohol on the label and multiply it by 1.6. Then, multiply that by the number of ounces. 

Results?

If you’re drinking a 5-oz glass of dry German Riesling that clocks in at 9% you’re looking at 72 calories. If it’s a glass of full-bodied Zinfandel that’s 15%, your calorie count has gone up to 120. Yeeks! Something to think about, yes?

And then there are dessert wines. Port wine, for instance, is high in both sugar and alcohol. In that case you’re looking at over 200 calories for that five-oz glass. Of course, we usually drink only a small amount of Port, right?

Another complication? In the U.S. the alcohol listed on the label can be higher or lower by as much as 1 & 1/2 %! So, maybe the rough estimate is the way to go. 100 calories per glass is easy to remember and is, at least, in the ballpark. 

The good news? Wine is fat free! And if you love your glass of wine with dinner like I do and want to exercise off those extra 100 calories, all you have to do is take a brisk 20-minute walk. Not a bad option! 

Happy New Year! 

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