Average wine drinker puts on half a stone of fat a year, says campaign group

A man drinking five pints of lager a week would consume 44,200 calories in alcohol a year, the equivalent to 221 doughnuts, and put on 12 pounds of fat unless he cut his diet elsewhere.

A YouGov poll found that the average wine drinker admits to consuming around a bottle of wine per week, a spokesman for the Department of Health said.

A survey conducted by the Know Your Limits campaign found that one in three drinkers say they order crisps, nuts or pork scratching with their alcohol, piling on more calories and a fifth would grab a burger or takeaway when drinking more than two pints of beer or two glasses of wine.

A person needs to consume 500 more calories a day than they burn off for a week, or 3,500 calories in total, to put on between one and two pounds of fat, a spokesman for the Medical Research Council’s Human Nutrition Research centre in Cambridge said.

Government guidelines say women should drink no more than two to three units a day and men no more than three to four. There is eight grams of alcohol and seven calories in a UK unit of alcohol.

Heather Caswell, spokesperson for the British Nutrition Foundation added: “Many women don’t know that two large glasses of white wine not only puts them over the recommended daily limit for alcohol consumption, but also provides them with nearly 20 per cent of their daily calorie allowance, at approximately 370kcals in total.

“Most people would baulk at consuming a full glass of single cream, but wouldn’t think twice about a couple of pints. But the calorie content is similar and, over time, excess alcohol intake is likely to lead to weight gain.

“Sticking to sensible drinking habits and keeping to the recommended units will not only help keep off those extra pounds but will also help decrease your risk of serious health problems, such as some types of cancer and liver disease.”

Don Shenker, Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern, said: “The challenge faced by this country of rising obesity and alcohol health problems go hand in hand.

“Weight gain is only one of the harms caused by excessive drinking and there’s little understanding of the calorie content of alcohol.

“It’s remarkable that there’s more dietary information on a can of cola than on a bottle of wine. The government needs to urgently press ahead with mandatory labelling to ensure people know exactly what they’re drinking.”

Health Minister, Phil Hope said: “Regularly drinking more than our recommended daily limits can have a knock on effect on our health – including an expanding waistline.

“It’s not only the calories in the drinks themselves that can help to pile on the pounds, we’re also more likely to eat fatty foods when we’ve had one too many. To avoid piling on the pounds we should try to drink within the recommended limits, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.”

Large glass (250ml) of average strength red wine = 214 calories = one bag of Cheesy Wotsits.

A bottle of average strength red wine = 644 calories = 14 jaffa cakes or McDonald’s Cheeseburger and medium fries.

Large glass of medium dry white wine = 190 calories = two and a half digestive biscuits.

Bottle of medium dry white wine = 570 calories = chicken with cashew nuts and egg fried rice.

One pint of premium lager = 330 calories = one four ounce fillet steak

One pint of cider = 200 calories = one KFC chicken drumstick

Large Bailey’s (100ml) = 320 calories = one Snickers bar

One shot (25ml) of vodka or gin = 55 calories = one 25ml serving of single cream

source: Human Nutrition Research and

Wine 101: How Many Calories in a Bottle of Wine?

Wine can easily be part of a healthy, balanced diet, but it’s useful to understand how many calories are in a bottle of wine. That way, you can be sure that your glass (or two) of wine doesn’t push your calorie intake over a healthy limit!

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how many calories are in a glass of wine, as well as in a bottle.

We’ll look at everything from red wine and white wine to Champagne and dessert wines, making sure you know exactly what you’re consuming when you pop the cork and serve yourself a glass of wine.

Wine Calories 101

Before we look at how many calories in a bottle of wine, let’s clarify one simple fact: everything you eat has calories! Except for water, there is nothing that naturally has ZERO calories.

Everything is designed to give you energy, and every fruit, vegetable, berry, grain, seed, and nut on the planet contains a different amount of calories.

The calories in wine come from a number of things:

The Grapes

Some grapes are higher in sugar than others. Sugar is one of the primary sources of calories. Each gram of sugar (carbohydrates) contains 4 calories. The more sugar there is in the grapes, the higher the calorie content of the wine.

Thinking about whether the wine comes from a hot area (e.g. Argentina) or a cooler area (e.g. England) can be a guide to calorie content.


During the wine fermentation process, yeast eats at the sugar in the grapes. The higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories.

While sugar contains 4 calories per gram, alcohol contains nearly twice that much at 7 calories per gram.

High-alcohol wines (like dark red wines and dessert wines) tend to have a higher calorie content. As most wines are ‘dry’ (in terms of the sugar level, rather than how fruity they taste), the alcohol content is a good guide to the working out how many calories are in a wine.​

These key factors can determine how many calories are in a bottle of wine – and, eventually, how many calories are in a glass of wine you serve yourself from that bottle!​

Calories in Wine: What You Need to Know…

Below, you will find everything you need to know about the average number of calories in your favourite bottles of wine.

Look over the list carefully to make sure you know how many calories you’re adding to your diet by drinking that glass of wine.​

How many calories in a bottle of red wine?

To answer the question “how many calories in a bottle of red wine”, you need to know the different types of red wines:

  • Lower alcohol red wine

11.5 to 13.5% ABV – these wines tend to be lower in calories. Your average glass (175ml in a serving) of lower alcohol red wine contains roughly 135 to 165 calories. Many Pinot Noirs and Gamays fall into this category

  • Higher alcohol red wine

3.5% upwards – This type of wine may not have any more sugar, but the higher alcohol content makes it a higher-calorie wine. A 175ml glass of this wine can contain from 165 to 195+ calories.​

How many calories in a bottle of white wine?

Not sure how many calories in a bottle of white wine? Once again, the type of white wine determines the number of calories:

  • Lower alcohol sweet white

A lower alcohol white wine has a low alcohol content, but a fairly high sugar content. A 175ml serving will contain from 111 to 147 calories, but the serving size of sweet wines is often 75-125ml. Moscato d’Asti from Italy is in this category.

  • Lower alcohol dry white

A glass of dry white below 13.5% ABV contains 107 to 143 calories. Pinot Grigio and wines from the Loire valley are in this category.

  • Higher alcohol sweet white

Higher alcohol dessert wines such as Gewurztraminer and Sauternes can contain between 177 and 213 calories per 175ml, but again, serving sizes are usually smaller than this.

  • Higher alcohol dry white

Fuller-bodied whites such as New World Chardonnays and Sauvignons may have 153 to 173 calories per glass.

How many calories in a bottle of rosé wine?

Rosé wine is usually a lower-calorie wine than the high-alcohol, high-sugar red wines and white wines. It is often lighter, meaning a lower alcohol and sugar content.

In a 175ml glass of rosé wine, there are around 138 calories (though the calorie content will change depending on the sweetness and ABV of the wine).

How many calories in a bottle of champagne?

Sparkling wines such as Champagne have sugar added to create the secondary fermentation, as that’s what is needed to create the bubbles in Champagne. However, they have a fairly low alcohol content (usually in the 11 to 12.5% ABV range).


Champagne Faust Carte d’Or (75cl)


Stylish organic Champagne with a soft mousse. Competitively-priced

Alcohol: 12% £29.00

In stock

Your average bottle of Champagne, Prosecco, and sparkling wine will have roughly 158 calories. Brut Champagne, Brut Cava, and most sparkling wines with the ‘Brut’ (meaning dry) label are in this category.


Albet i Noya Petit Albet Brut (75cl)


Generously fruity with a soft mousse

Alcohol: 12% £12.99

In stock

How many calories in a bottle of dessert wine?

Dessert wines are higher in both sugar and alcohol – some going as high as 21% ABV. These wines are sweet and thick, meaning they have a very high calorie content.

You can expect as much as 189 to 275 calories per 175ml glass, although serving sizes for such wines are usually between 75 and 125ml. Port, Tawny Port, Sauternes, and Sherry are all included on this list.​

Nutritious Wine…

Wine isn’t just a delicious drink, but it’s also rich in a wide range of nutrients. Organic and biodynamic farming methods lead to higher nutrient content due to increased soil health and microbial activity.

You’ll find it’s one of the healthiest alcohols around, thanks to the fact that it can naturally contain: iron, fluoride, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and b vitamins, all of which are needed daily in a healthy, balanced diet.


We’ve throw a lot of numbers at you, but what do they mean? What’s the comparison between a glass of wine and the food you eat? Take a look at these approximate figures:

  • 1 glass of lower alcohol dry white wine = 107 to 143 calories = 1 Cappuccino
  • 1 glass of lighter red wine = 135 to 165 calories = 2 chocolate chip cookies
  • 1 glass of higher alcohol red wine = 165 to 195 calories = 100 grams of steak
  • 1 glass of rosé wine = 138 calories = ½ slice of pizza

Wine List:

Wondering how many calories are in your favourite types of wine? Here is a list of some popular wines, accompanied with the number of calories per 175ml glass:​

Novas Pinot Noir Gran Reserva: 175 calories per glass

Toscar Tempranillo: 159 calories per glass


Toscar Tempranillo (75cl)


Terrific value organic red wine from Spain

Alcohol: 13% £7.99

In stock

DOCG Moscato D’Asti: 133 calories per glass


Torelli Moscato d’Asti 5% (75cl)


Lower alcohol fizz, but no way low on uplifting flavour! 90 Points – Tom Cannavan

Alcohol: 5% £11.50

In stock

Giol Pinot Grigio: 131 calories per glass


Giol Pinot Grigio (75cl)


A vinous best-friend, this versatile wine is a treat pretty much everywhere and anytime.

Alcohol: 12.5% £9.50

In stock

Adobe Gewurztraminer Reserva: 168 calories per glass


Adobe Gewurztraminer Reserva (75cl)


A tease for the taste buds with its lightly-spiced tropical flavours

Alcohol: 14% £9.15

In stock

Adobe Chardonnay Reserva: 168 calories per glass


Adobe Chardonnay Reserva (75cl)


Pineapple fruit flavours and fresh to the finish.

Alcohol: 13.5% £8.99

In stock

Domaine de Brau Rosé: 138 calories per glass


Domaine de Brau Rosé (75cl)


Lovely, dry structured rosé that shines with food

Alcohol: 13% £9.25

In stock

AOC Champagne Carte d’Or: 125 calories per glass



Stylish organic Champagne with a soft mousse. Competitively-priced

Alcohol: 12% £29.00

In stock

Casal Jordoes Tawny Port: 273 calories per glass


Casal Jordoes Tawny Port (75cl)


The nuttiest of the ports; sounds mad but tastes utterly delicious.

Alcohol: 20% £17.90

In stock

So, your average glass of wine contains anywhere from 100 to 200 calories. Does that sound like a lot? It can be! That’s roughly the same number of calories as you get from:

    • 1-2 apples
    • 2 slices of wholewheat toast
    • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
    • 1 handful of raw, unsalted cashews/almonds
    • 1 small slice of pizza
    • 75 grams of chicken​

Not too many calories, but not something to be careless with either! Due to the high sugar content of wine, those trying to watch their diet (and sugar intake) will do well to have smaller amounts of wine and look for lower alcohol options.​ Check out our full range of lower alcohol wines to find your perfect alternative.

Why Wine Can Be a Healthy Drink (2:05)

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From Mediterranean vineyards to the bottle rack in your kitchen, red wine has been enjoyed for centuries. Almost synonymous with a cultured palate, it’s hard not to appreciate the taste and texture of a glass of red wine. You might be surprised to find that this sophisticated drink is loaded with anti-aging benefits for your body – inside and out.

From This Episode:

Suzanne Somers’ Health Crisis and New Mission

The magic comes from red wine’s antioxidants. The dark skin and seeds of the grapes are rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that includes resveratrol. They protect cell membranes and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Red wine is full of them because the grapes’ skin and seeds are part of the fermenting process, as opposed to how grape juice is made, where skin and seeds are removed. The darker the wine, the better it is for you and your skin. The antioxidants in red wine soak up damaging free radicals that play a role in aging and age-related diseases.

Your Heart

Consuming just 1 glass of red wine a day for women and 2 glasses a day for men has been proven to provide a variety of benefits for your heart. If you have high cholesterol, you may have plaque buildup in your arteries, which can cause them to harden. Too much plaque will eventually stop blood flow and can cause a heart attack. Wine reduces cholesterol and inflammation to minimize this risk. It stabilizes the plaque by keeping those pathways open. Because it’s good for your arteries, it also helps to bring oxygen and blood to your skin.

Your Skin

Polyphenols protect the skin from UV light and keep it elastic. It also strengthens the cross-linking of collagen, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Studies also show that people who drink red wine have fewer cancerous skin lesions.

If you cannot consume alcohol, you can get these same benefits from a grapeseed oil scrub made from the seeds/skins of red wine grapes. You can also try eating dark chocolate, blueberries, or pomegranates – all of which have a high concentration of polyphenols and provide the same benefits.

The Best Wines for Your Heart and Your Waistline (1:45)

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We’ve all heard that red wine in moderation can be good for your health. Why? Due to the compound found in the skin of grapes, and therefore red wine, known as resveratrol that has been shown to possibly help fight against brain aging and cancer. Researchers have assumed that this was linked to a protein, p53, that is found in more than half of cancerous tumors and resveratrol.

But recent research out of two universities in Brazil has been able to replicate and prove this link in a laboratory. For the first time, this study has shown that “resveratrol actively stops mutant versions of this protein from aggregating, or that it stops cancer cells from multiplying and migrating to other parts of the body.” The hope moving forward is to use this research to create a drug that can produce the same effects as a potential antidote to cancer, specifically breast cancer.


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Mom and Son Try Dr. Oz Red Wine Face Mask: Get Accidentally Tipsy

As a writer, son, boyfriend, and human, there are times that I find myself drawn to enjoy a glass of wine or two every now and again to rid myself of the day’s dilemmas or simply drown my sorrows. Half jokes. But the truth is, red wine is actually quite healthy for you on the inside and shockingly, on the outside as well! So when my mom approached me with this red wine facial from Dr. Oz I was a little skeptical, but when she mentioned that we could also drink the ingredients, I was on board.

Why is the Red Wine Face Mask Good For You?

To answer that I first need to know why red wine is good for you in the first place. We all know red wine is chalk full of antioxidants which are basically help us stay alive. Essentially, oxidization is what happens on a molecular level that slowly damages the DNA and proteins in our bodies. Wine is an antioxidant which inhibits this process so it keep them from deteriorating. Wine saves us!

Red wine boosts your immune system, reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease and can potentially lower cholesterol! If you’re still not going to have a glass of red with me then read on… furthermore the Dionysus juice increases bone density and cognitive functions, decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer AND makes us live longer! Now how do you like them apples grapes!

But why Put Red Wine on your Face?

Aside from the occasional spill, red wine is a fantastic antiseptic with anti-bacterial properties that can combat bacteria from running amok on our faces and stopping potential acne breakouts. Cleaning pores and preventing acne is only one sided of the rouge bevvy we love so much, it also has been said to have Resveratrol which is a phytoalexin antioxidant that can reverse aging by combating the effects of UV radiation.

The Power of Greek Yogurt and Honey in your Face Mask

Yogurt, as with most dairy products, has active probiotics that work wonders on your digestive track and provide health benefits like smoother digestion, lower blood pressure and can even fight IBS (irritable Bowel Syndrome). But when you put it on your face the probiotics can actually smooth and help revitalize your skin. Raw organic honey can also deep clean your pores as it is known to have antibacterial properties as well.

What Happens When You Mix The Ingredients Together?

I can only speak from personal experience here, and I’m not a scientist but… the facemask felt cooling at first on the skin but quickly started to tingle and even burn a little. I think the combination of the dairy product with the wine made a type of emulsion which may account for some of the reaction? I don’t know, but I do know that greek yogurt is high in fat and wine is an alcohol and those two don’t mix. This is why when mixing the face mask always pour the wine into the dairy and not the other way around. It will chunk up like squeaky cheese and curdle so fast it’ll make your head spin.

Red Wine Face Mask Recipe

  • 1/3 cup organic Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons raw organic honey
  • 3 splashes of red wine (I’d recommend a quarter cup)

Add the yogurt and honey in a bowl and mix. Add a small amount of red wine and mix then apply liberally to face and let sit for about 20 minutes.

My Experience With The Red Wine Face Mask

Mom and I had an absolute blast and laughed until we cried watching the video afterwards so I hope you guys enjoy watching it as well. Putting the actual face mask on was relatively easy and mess free but wearing it was a bit uncomfortable. At first the mask was tingling, then tingling turned to a warm feeling, then it started to burn a bit. We grabbed a bunch of fans to cool our faces off. Que fan dancing and Beyoncé hairography.

Then the burning slowed to a dull heat at about 15 minutes and at 20 minutes it was tight due to the red wine face mask finally drying. Finally we took some warm cloths and wiped the mask off. Surprisingly not a lot of mess at all except some flakes of dried mask for in my wine. I still drank it…

After the Red Wine Face Mask

So after we filmed the video we were just chatting and hanging out and then mom noticed that her skin felt super soft. So I touched my skin and was shocked! it was silky smooth and as I’m writing this the morning after I noticed that it is still smooth and glowing. AND! I had a huge zit (you can probably see it in the video) and it is all but gone now! I’m super thrilled with the results of this and will definitely do it again.

A huge thank you to my mom who was a good sport about the whole thing. Love you mom!

7 Tips to Drink Wine and Stay Thin

Lifestyle January 3, 2014 – Updated on September 9th, 2019

Ever notice the lack of consideration that diets have for your wine habit? Seriously. How is one supposed to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle if it completely removes a wine? Also, is it possible to drink wine and stay thin?

Fortunately, this is overwhelming evidence pointing to wine as the healthiest form of booze if consumed in moderation.

Here are 7 tips on staying healthy while still drinking wine.

7 Ways to Stay Healthy and Drink Wine

The following 7 tips may help you enjoy a healthy diet that includes wine.

  1. Know wine’s calories
  2. Earn your glass
  3. Don’t drink before you eat
  4. Do drink dry red wine
  5. Don’t drink too late
  6. Do spend more on wine
  7. Drink wine away from home

Talk to a Doc: First things first – everyone’s physiology is different. If you are seriously overweight or have a severe condition, talk to your doctor about your health.

1. Know the calories in wine

“If you are already thin and healthy, alcohol intake does not seem to affect weight gain.”
referenced from Alcohol Alert, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse

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Most wine has anywhere from 92-175 calories per glass. If you’d like to find out the specifics on a particular wine, check out this chart.

The interesting thing about alcohol calories is that our bodies digest ethanol differently. We send excess ethanol into a complex metabolic process involving our liver which eventually releases acetic acid that’s removed from the body (a.k.a. we pee it out). So, not all of those calories are converted to energy.

Of course, it’s important to note that everyone’s physiology is different: women, Asians, Native Americans, and Inuits secrete less alcohol than Caucasian males. Read more about that here.

What’s weird is that if you drink more than you can metabolize, you are more likely to not to absorb the calories. This doesn’t mean you can go out and drink a bottle of wine, it just means that alcohol calories are a little more forgiving than say… ice cream calories.

How much wine is too much wine?

Heavy drinking is about 3+ drinks for a man and 2+ drinks for a women daily. Do your health a favor and acclimate your body to about half of that as a good example of moderate drinking behavior. Some of the longest lived people on earth drink about this much wine every day.

Moderate drinking:
  • (men)
  • + (women)

2. Earn your glass of wine before you drink

Walking in the early evening will help keep your metabolism up and will also slow down the ‘need to feed’ impulse that we often have at the end of the day. Walking is natural decompression. This habit may help reduce over drinking as well.

Setting your diet up for success means increasing your metabolism. What’s interesting about wine is that it also increases metabolism for about 70-90 minutes. It’s important to drink water when you consume wine and liquor to maintain the balance of water in your cells since alcohol is a diuretic. You’ll note that beer is different than wine and causes cells to swell.

“Men and women who drink alcohol tend to have a stable body weight over a decade of observation compared with their non-drinking counterparts, whose weight increases”
A prospective study of alcohol intake and change in body weight among US adults

3. Don’t drink before you eat

Drinking wine before you eat has shown to increase appetite when consumed 30 minutes before eating so save your wine for your meal. If you love to cook and drink at the same time, try splitting your glass of wine into 2 servings of 3 ounces each.

Also, having wine on a full stomach will make it so you’ll be less likely to feel the effects and more likely to absorb all of the associated calories.

4. Drink dry red wine

Red wine has shown to have much higher antioxidants than other wines. Pay attention to the alcohol level when purchasing a bottle and attempt to keep it below 13.5% ABV. Find out about the amazing health benefits of red wine.

5. Don’t drink too late at night

Alcohol behaves similar to carbohydrates in our bodies, so resist drinking too late. You will also be able to have higher quality rest if you stop all eating and drinking for the day around 8 to 8:30pm –that is if you go to sleep around 12am.

6. Spend more on a bottle of wine

In order to change our habits, we have to put value around the things we eat. If you spend a little more on your bottle of wine, it will encourage you to enjoy it over a period of several days. You can easily preserve your red or white wine in the fridge with a vacuum pump wine sealer. Sparkling wines will last up to 4 days with a Champagne stopper.

7. Don’t drink at home

We humans are lazy, so if temptation isn’t close by we are less likely to indulge. If you’re on a strict diet, remove indulgent foods and drinks from your house. By all means, you can still have a drink at night! Why not walk to a neighborhood wine bar and meet a friend?

BONUS: wine as an aphrodisiac

A little wine could actually help you get into the mood. We are not doctors so don’t take our word for it, instead look at the facts:

  • Wine increases blood flow and causes a warm tingling sensation on the skin.
  • Ethanol is a glutamate inhibitor and slows down brain activity – this will keep you from getting distracted!

You don’t need that much for the effects; just a splash.

Losing Weight Without Giving Up Wine

By Rai Cornell

Whether it’s a low-fat diet, a low-/no-carb diet, or just good olde fashioned balanced diet and more exercise, many of us will be kicking off the New Year with healthy resolutions. When it comes to weight loss, many experts suggest abstaining from alcohol altogether. But the idea of giving up wine has us wanting to throw out the scale and say, “No way, Jose!”

You ready for this…? You don’t have to give up wine to lose weight. Feel free to find your favorite “mind blown” gif right now.

We’ll say it again…You don’t have to give up wine to lose weight!

Here’s what you need to know about the food pyramid’s shunned step-child, alcohol, and how you can fit your favorite wines into your New Year’s weight loss resolution.

Wine’s Bad Reputation for Weight Loss

Let’s start by understanding why the weight loss experts say you should avoid drinking alcohol when you’re trying to lose weight. The truth is: it’s not the drink itself that’s going to sabotage your weight loss goals. Drinking a glass or two of wine isn’t necessarily going to prevent you from dropping those excess pounds.

Rather, it’s what you do while you’re under the influence of alcohol that has the biggest impact on weight loss. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions. Whether you let some NSFW phrases fly while drinking or you’re more likely to chat up strangers at your favorite wine bar, alcohol makes us naturally less reserved, controlled, and rational.

When you mix the inhibition-lowering effects of alcohol with a tempting plate of nachos or macaroons, that’s when the problem is born. Research has shown that as inhibition is lowered while drinking alcohol, you’re more likely to consume more calories from food. There are many reasons for this. Some people prefer to eat while drinking so they can attempt (although we’re not sure how successful this actually is) to put off getting drunk. The thought is that food in the stomach absorbs a bit of the alcoholic liquid and allows the body to process the alcohol slower, which means the drinker can enjoy more of his or her favorite cocktail.

For other people, cravings and bad judgment run rampant while their inhibitions are lowered. While you know the pizza and ice cream aren’t good for your waistline while sober, all cares are thrown to the wind after you’ve knocked back a few drinks. It’s these bad food+drink habits that have a significant impact on your weight. However, there is hope…

That same study that showed that alcohol lowers inhibitions and can lead to consuming excess calories from food also found that individuals who were conscious of their calorie intake on a regular basis weren’t negatively impacted by alcohol’s effects. In other words, people who are mindful of what they eat all the time can maintain their control over their eating while drinking.

This means that if you practice mindful eating, you develop a better sense of the caloric and nutritional values of food, and you develop a mindset of enjoying food as a nutritional tool rather than a means to feel good, you can enjoy more control over both your food and alcohol intake even after a glass or two of vino.

How Alcohol Acts in Your Body

Think of alcohol as a barrel of monkeys. In your everyday life, you enjoy drinking your morning coffee, eating a healthy salad, and finishing the day with a well-balanced dinner. Your body knows exactly what to do with these things. The carbs, protein, and fat are filed away like animals into a corral.

“Ok, we have some muscle damage, well let’s send this steak protein over there for processing. Oh, we need some quick energy to run to catch the train, better process this sugar on the double!”

Your body works like a well-oiled machine. Until the monkeys arrive. As you drink your alcohol, it’s like someone shook, rolled, and then broke open the barrel of monkeys. Now you have mischievous little critters running all around wreaking havoc and your body says, “Woah! Who let this craziness in here? We better get this cleaned up before we do anything else!”

Because alcohol is technically a toxin, your body stops everything it’s doing to collect and process the alcohol. Unlike carbs, protein, and fat, your body refuses to store alcohol, which means it has to burn it right away.

While your body is dealing with the crazed (although entertaining) monkeys, the other nutrients in your body are pushed to the side and stored for later.

In this way, alcohol is like a big HALT sign on your metabolism. Because of this, it’s best to either avoid eating heavy meals while drinking or avoid drinking more than a serving or two of alcohol while eating a meal. If you are snacking, while drinking, go for low-calorie options so your body doesn’t have a lot of energy to store while it’s rounding up those monkeys.

The Best Wines for Weight Loss

Not all wine is created equal. We’re huge proponents of that idea here at Vinebox. But it doesn’t just come down to quality, taste, and experience. There’s actually a big difference in calorie and carbohydrate counts among wine varieties.

If your goal is to lose weight, the best wine to enjoy will be a lower calorie, lower carb wine that will have a minimal impact on your daily nutrition. The best wine for weight loss is dry wine like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot or a dry sparkling white wine. Sweet wines have significantly higher calorie and carb counts, which can leave you struggling to reach your healthy goals.

Here’s a quick reference guide for wine calorie and carbohydrate counts.

Type of Wine




Sparkling White Wine




Cabernet Sauvignon

Pinot Noir



Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio


Late Harvest White

Dry Sherry

Sweet Sherry


Each bottle is different, so these are approximate values that should be used as a guide. Estimates are made based on a standard 5 ounce serving.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Now that you know what the concern over alcohol is all about, how wine interacts with your body, and the best wine options for weight loss, it’s time to create a healthy habit that will set you up for reaching your weightloss goals in 2018.

Respect the Calories

You’ll see this sentence all over health blogs and scientific research: “Excess drinking and weight gain are linked.”

And it’s true! But the keyword here is “excess.”

There are two types of excess you need to avoid if you’re going to have a successful weight loss journey without giving up alcohol: calories from food and calories from alcohol.

Calories from alcohol do count and they do have an impact on your body. But if you enjoy having a glass or two of merlot every night, then just know that you’ll need to take those 122 – 244 calories into consideration when you’re trying to meet your weightloss goals.

Also remember that anything you eat while drinking alcohol may have a bigger impact on your weight than when you’re not drinking. Instead of having a glass of wine with dinner, aim to have an earlier dinner and enjoy your wine an hour or two after you eat. This will give your body time to start digesting that meal before the monkeys run in to push the pause button.


You’ve heard this before: it’s all about indulging in moderation. Right? But that doesn’t really help, does it? It’s easy to talk about moderation. It’s hard to actually implement it in the moment – especially if you’re feeling a bit tipsy in that moment.

To help yourself enjoy an actual serving of wine (5 ounces) rather than the typical free-pour glass of wine (around 7.5 ounces), buy smaller wine glasses, measure out your serving, or use pre-portioned small bottles of wine.

VINEBOX’s single-serving glasses are already perfectly portioned for you so you never have to worry about overindulging. Plus you get to taste some tantalizing new varieties from all over Europe.

Watch the Clock

Another great way to enjoy your wine while losing weight is to spread your drinks out over time. Make a promise to yourself (or a trusted friend or loved one who’s supporting your goals) that you’ll only have one glass of wine every hour.

This gives your body plenty of time to process the alcohol and prevents you from entering that phase of lowered inhibitions. You maintain your control, you still enjoy your wine, and you can go on rocking your resolutions!

Are you making New Year’s Resolutions this year? Share them with us in the comments below!

When you’re trying to lose weight, the biggest bummer of all isn’t giving up chocolate cake or hitting the gym five days per week — it’s having to quit drinking. Seriously, grabbing drinks is one of the most social activities of all time. And abstaining from a poolside beer or ice cold rosé can make for a torturous summer when all your friends are busy boozing. Luckily, we’ve got a little hack that helps you sneak in a glass every now and then. You’ve just got to know which bottles to pop.


If you love red wine, stick to merlot, pinot noir, or rosé. According to Tanya Zuckerbrot, R.D., creator of the F-Factor Diet, they each contain about 88 calories, 3 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of sugar per glass.

Steer clear of marsala and sherry, though. Those glasses are loaded with 164 calories, 14 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of sugar.


When it comes to lighter white wines, opt for chardonnay, white zinfandel, or sauvignon blanc. Zuckerbrot notes that these picks are all under 85 calories, with 2.6 grams carbs and 1 gram of sugar per glass.

What you definitely need to avoid are sweet dessert wines like riesling or moscato, which can clock in at upwards of 160 calories per glass, 12 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of sugar per glass.


No matter which varietal you choose to pour, you’ve got to stick to a 5-ounce serving. So, as tempting as it is to fill that giant balloon glass with a little somethin’ extra, you should try to stay strict.

What’s more, the old adage that “moderation is key” remains true here as well. Zuckerbrot made a perfect point in a recent interview with Women’s Health: “Just treat it like any other indulgence by adding up your calories for the day or week to determine how much wiggle room you have and where wine can fit in.”

So, my fellow winos, that means only one glass per night.


A life without wine is a life not worth living, but by making the right choices you can keep the calories down.

I might still be as bald as a coot – balder than, actually – but I’m no longer the lard-bucket I was last year. Thanks to some light exercise and a change in diet I have managed to shed a heartening three stone over the past 12 months.

For the first time in almost a third of a century I have been out jogging. I have replaced my breakfast-time toasted ketchup sandwiches with fruit, and my lunchtime pork pies and pickles with buckets of my own home-made (and really rather fine) lentil stew. I try not to mix carbs and protein and I have given up wheat, sugar, caffeine, potatoes and dairy products.

The one thing I haven’t given up, though, is wine. Indeed, since so many of my other pleasures are now forbidden, I probably drink more than I used to (and almost certainly more than I should), but I have still managed to lose the weight with ease – the first stone disappeared in about three weeks.

“Wine is fattening,” says Moira Howie, the Waitrose nutritionist, when I boast to her about this. “Although there’s no fat in wine, it definitely contributes to a person’s daily calorie intake with calories coming from both the sugar in the wine and the alcohol.”

Fair enough, but losing weight is a psychological process and I would feel seriously deprived if I were to give up wine (and be out of a job) whereas skipping spuds is not a hardship.

Of course, it depends on what your tipple is as to exactly how many calories you will be consuming. An average woman needs 2000 calories a day and a man 2500 and, tempting though it is, we can’t take up this allocation entirely with wine. A small (125ml) glass of dry white wine will have around 85 calories; medium dry will have around 95, and sweet about 120. A large (175ml) glass of red wine will also have 120 calories, while my other favourite drink, a pint of Guinness, has around 170.

The independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has recently proposed putting the number of calories in any given wine, beer and spirit on the backs of bottles, something that Waitrose has already started to do with its own-label range.

“For a long time people didn’t realise how much alcoholic drinks can contribute to their calorific intake and we want to raise their awareness about this,” says Howie. “Drinking wine with a meal can add up to between 300-400 extra calories, roughly equivalent to an extra ham sandwich a day. These can often be forgotten calories.”

Not everyone thinks that such labelling is a good idea.

“Listing the calorific content of wine raises the possibility that people can misuse the information,” says Gavin Partington of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. “We don’t want young women, for example, deciding to miss a meal and having a few glasses of wine instead. We would argue that it’s much better to have alcohol alongside food; it tastes better and is better for you.”

I don’t think putting yet more advice on the backs of bottles is the answer. We’re already bombarded with information regarding sulphites and the number of units of alcohol per glass or bottle, as well as increasingly stern warnings about drinking if we’re pregnant, about to drive, undertake a brain operation or attempt to walk in a straight line. Further EU-sponsored admonitions are promised and there will soon be no room on the label.

So wine is fattening. So, too, are creamy mashed potatoes, chocolate brownies and sherry trifle. We just need to accept this and make it part of a varied and healthy diet. Wine, after all, is good for us if taken in moderation. And if you want to lose weight, make a choice and give something else up. And exercise. As Moira Howie points out, exercise is the key to promoting weight loss and to keeping it off.

I’m darned if I’ll give wine up. It’s all about choices. I mean what would you rather have: a tablespoon of mayonnaise or a large glass of red wine?

Calories and Champagne

Regular so-called Brut champagnes can have up to 15 grams of sugar per litre, whereas the bone-dry Brut Nature ones have up to 3 grams. Champagnes made without the addition of any sweetening dosage include Ayala Brut Nature, Jacquart Extra Brut, Pol Roger Pure Brut Nature, Tarlant Brut Zéro and Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut. They are ideal for the calorie conscious, with no more than 65 calories per 125ml glass, compared to 90-plus for regular champagne.

In calorific terms:

A small (125ml) glass of champagne = half an avocado

A small (125ml) glass of dry white wine = 2 crêpes/pancakes

A large (175ml) glass of red wine = 1 slice of takeaway pizza

A pint of Guinness = 1 portion of Parmesan cheese

A pub serving of gin & tonic = 1 bowl of fish soup

Here is the lie your glass of red wine is telling you: I shall make thee thinner (assuming your glass of red wine, like most, is a Shakespearean actor).

As much as we want to believe the French Paradox, we also kind of have to accept the basic facts of metabolic chemistry, i.e. when you consume alcohol, your body will metabolize it before anything else. It’s like, if a weird but awesome jerk came into a bar, the bouncers would get him out before they’d escort out some drunk karaoke-ers over-singing En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind” (and god bless us, every one).

“Drinking presses ‘pause’ on your metabolism, shoves away the other calories, and says ‘Break me down first!” Or so Pamela Peeke told CNN. Basically meaning your body will deal with alcohol before anything else, so even if you have a delightful salad, your body is going to muck around with the vodka tonic before it does anything to the avocado or organic arugula. Yes, you paid $4.67 for the organic arugula, but your body is paying more attention to the $.95 of vodka in your drink.

And yes, it kinda gets worse. “Alcohol especially decreases fat burn in the belly,” says Peeke. Also, and no surprise, it sucks more for women, who “experience a widening waistline as they age,” (no sh*t). “This usually coincides with overall weight gain and a reduction in lean muscle mass,” per Not that everyone on earth doesn’t gently, and then slightly less gently, expand at the waist just before hitting the cusp of middle age (don’t freak out, you earned it, life is short, eat Cheetos, etc.).

Truth be told, from what we can tell, wine doesn’t have any more impact on the waistline than any other alcoholic drink. In fact, red wine might actually be recommended for beating back the belly fat. Per this dude from Dr. Oz, a daily glass of red wine may well counteract the production of belly fat. “The resveratrol may interfere with fat synthesis, and other red wine polyphenols may inhibit aromatase, an enzyme made by belly fat that converts androgens to estrogens.”

Then again, Suzanne Somers (who we can all trust because, well, the Thigh Master) says something a bit different at least when it comes to white wine: “I call this ‘Chardonnay Syndrome,’ and sadly, getting sucked in can make you fat! White wine is sugar, and unless you need it as instant energy, your body will store sugar as fat — along with whatever else you are eating with it. The pounds inevitably creep on, usually through the belly and butt area. “

Somers—wait, can we just call her Suzanne?—makes a key point there. Women tend to gain weight in the waist area, the place where potential partners look a lot because the world is cruel and stupid. Intake of calories may just be the culprit—and wine calories add up pretty quickly, especially when they’re white and delicious.

But with red wine, you may be ok, who knows. But what’s most important is to drink with the knowledge that wine has calories, just like any other enjoyable (interesting) comestible. And then, god help us, do crunches.

Calories in Red Wine: Do They Really Matter?

Tips & Tricks October 7, 2015 – Updated on September 8th, 2019

Will red wine make you fat? The answer to this question and why calories in red wine aren’t really the problem. In fact, the only thing you should be worried about is in your head…

Calories in red wine aren’t really a problem

Before you start drinking, let’s acknowledge that red wine has calories, primarily in the form of alcohol:

The yellow box shows the average ABV of most wines. Dry wines are in the left column and sweet wines on the right column (measured at 50 g/L residual sugar–equal to about 2–3 tsp sugar). Keep in mind that some wines have very low alcohol and some are high.

The good news is most red wines very low carb!

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The bad news is drinking wine tricks your brain into thinking you’re hungry…

No one has ever drunkenly craved a salad—and there’s a reason. A study conducted by Purdue University found that moderate consumption of alcohol enhances the taste of salt and fat, which is why bacon and scrambled eggs the next morning seem so satisfying.
Dr. Edward Miller Wine & Health

Back in the 1960’s there was a popular diet called the “Drinking Man’s Diet.” The idea was that a dieter would replace their sugars and starches for alcohol… It was like Atkins + wine. The diet came to be after observing heavy drinkers losing weight despite drinking thousands of alcohol calories each day!

The “Drinking Man’s Diet.” An all-too-familiar fad diet… this time, from the past.

While it’s true that heavy drinkers’ bodies learn to waste alcohol calories and turn them into heat, all that heat makes the food turn into a host of chemicals that seriously affect vital organs (think cancer, liver problems, etc). The study also showed that if you’re just a moderate drinker or on a low-fat diet, you metabolize all 7 alcohol calories per gram. So poop, no help there.

Tips To Stay Healthy and Drink Red Wine

If you’re trying to stay slim, be sure to monitor your serving size. A proper pour of wine is just 5 oz (not the entire 20 oz glass!)

Your body should only process a limited amount of alcohol per day. And for many (like women and certain genetics), moderate means just 1 glass of wine. The positive out of this is: now you can drink the good stuff and have it all week!

Have a small protein-friendly snack before drinking a glass of wine. This will help you resist the inevitable craving. Nut mix anyone?

Get sweaty and earn your next glass of wine.
Sadly, after the excitement from last year’s headlines (“Wine improves gym performance”) there is now a competing study showing opposing results. So you might not want to pour wine into your water bottle… unless you’re having that kind of day.

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Do your own math:
There are 7.1 calories per gram of pure ethanol
Convert grams to ounces by a multiplier of 28.3495
Factor in the density of ethanol at 0.789 g/cm3
7.1 x 28.3495 x 0.789 = 158.81 calories per ounce of pure ethanol

How Does Alcohol Impact The Calories In Red Wine?

So now we have counting carbs down pat. I know you may still be wondering how the alcohol will affect your diet, especially if you are low-carb. Alcohol is not metabolized like a carbohydrate and is not stored as glycogen—meaning even if you are on the now-popular “keto” diet, you can have some alcohol and still be compliant.

However, when you consume alcohol, the liver prioritizes metabolizing the alcohol first and puts everything else on hold—after all, it wants to rid the body of any toxins ASAP. This means any other metabolizing—for instance, burning of fat cells or other calories—is on hold. Factor in the additional calories from the alcohol itself, plus the fact that your lowered inhibitions may have led you to reach for a pizza bagel at that party last night (no one blames you—pizza bagels are delicious), and it is easy to see how drinking red wine could stall your diet goals.

Some Basic Guidelines For Controlling The Calories In Your Red Wine

So we’ve established that all wine has calories. If you are still reading this, I have a feeling you plan to consume red wine going forward despite the calories. We want you to have a few simple rules to follow when you are ordering wine online, in a restaurant or deciding on which wine to serve at a party. These don’t require that you become a wine expert, but that can give you a few tools to avoid the highest calorie red wines.

  1. Avoid red wines from the warmest wine-growing regions. If you are buying California wines, you may want to avoid areas like the Central Valley or Temecula. The grapes get very ripe here. Ripe grapes mean more sugar and more sugar means more alcohol. You already know what more alcohol means.
  2. Consider wines from France. Wine production in more heavily regulated in France. There is less chance that sugar will be added during fermentation. In general, French wines are lower in alcohol.
  3. Drink whites. White wines are generally lower in alcohol and therefore have fewer calories.

Reference: Calories In Red Wine/White Wine | Carbs In Red Wine/White Wine

Here is a quick go-to guide to give you a general idea of the calories and carbohydrates in wine. Remember, this is a GUIDE, and these actual numbers in wines you drink will vary quite a bit:

Calories By Wine Type

Calories In Red Wine Varietals

  • Cabernet Sauvignon – 120 calories per 5 oz pour
  • Merlot – 120 calories per 5 oz
  • Cabernet Franc – 125 calories per 5 oz
  • Syrah or Shiraz – 125 calories per 5 oz
  • Grenache or Garnacha – 120 calories per 5 oz pour
  • Zinfandel – 130 calories per 5 oz pour
  • Pinot Noir – 120 calories per 5 oz pour

The verdict: using common sense and moderation, wine can almost definitely have a place in your healthy diet. Remember that most health guidelines recommend no more than one five-ounce pour per day. A typical wine glass holds four times that amount of wine. If you want to manage the calories in red wine, start by managing your portion sizes.

Happy sipping!

How to fit red wine calories into your diet – Red wine calories per glass

You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of red wine, but have you wondered how to fit red wine calories into your diet? Can red wine make you gain weight? Not necessarily.

Red wine may have health benefits

One of the things I love about the official Mediterranean diet pyramid is the little glass of red wine pictured on the side next to the glass of water. Wine in moderation, red wine in particular, is considered an inherent part of the Mediterranean diet. Plenty of research links moderate wine consumption to general health benefits. Whether the wine itself is responsible, or is just a marker for a healthy lifestyle — such as the Mediterranean one — is open to debate.

Red wine is known to contain a variety of antioxidants, which may have health benefits. Along with antioxidants, red wine has calories, from alcohol and carbohydrates. If you’re tracking calories for weight control you need to account for those in wine. It’s all about tuning into the red wine calories per glass.

Red wine calories per glass

According to the USDA nutrient database, different varieties of red wine tend to have very similar calorie counts, although not all the calories come from alcohol. A 5 fluid oz glass of red wine has an average of 122 calories and just over 100 of those calories are from alcohol (about 14 grams). The rest of the calories are from carbohydrates. Aside from antioxidants, red wine doesn’t have significant amounts of any other nutrients, such as protein, vitamins or minerals.

Red wine (5 fluid oz glass) Kcal Carb grams
Burgundy 127 5.5
Cabernet Sauvignon 122 3.8
Merlot 122 3.7
Pinot Noir 121 3.4
Syrah 122 3.8
Zinfandel 129 4.2

Alcohol is metabolized to acetate which is used as an energy source. The metabolism of fatty acids (from your food or your fat cells) can be reduced if you drink a lot of alcohol. It’s a good argument for drinking red wine in moderation.

The metabolism of ethanol diminishes as we age, so tolerance is impaired. Ethanol lingers longer in the blood, affecting cognitive and neuromuscular function. Alcohol is also dehydrating. Again, two more good arguments for moderation.

What exactly does “moderation” mean? As I noted in my book “Food Wisdom for Women”, the definition of “moderation” is all over the map. Organizations like the Centers for Disease Control stick to the One Drink Per Day definition, which is included in the US Dietary Guidelines. A study of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet concluded that 7 glasses of red wine a week was reasonable. This means one glass/day.

How do we define “drink.” For wine, it’s typically 5 fluid ounces (just over 1/2 cup), which is about what you would be served in a wine glass at a restaurant. For a standard wine glass, you might expect to get a glass that’s just over half-full. But if the glass is the size of a soup bowl, you’ll be getting a lot more than 5 fluid ounces, even if it’s only half full. And if you’re pouring wine at home and you top off the glass, you’re pouring more than 5 fluid oz, which means more than the average 122 calories.

Get a handle on serving sizes

  • Get out your different sized wine glasses
  • Measure 5 fluid ounces of water
  • Pour it in the different glasses and note how full the glasses are.
  • If you have a food scale, measure out 147 grams of wine – that is the average weight of 5 fluid ounces of wine.
  • This will also help you judge how much you’re getting at a restaurant or a friend’s home.

How to drink red wine for beginners

  1. If you already drink a glass of wine as part of your typical daily fare, and your diet is going well, then your calories are under control.
  2. If you’re pouring your own glass at home, measure your wine (as above) to be sure you’re not pouring more than you think.
  3. Once you’ve got a handle on portion size, look for ways to trade off calories in other less healthful foods or beverages. For example, red wine calories can be swapped for foods you may be using as treats: a cookie, a doughnut, a scoop of ice cream, a small candy or energy bar, or sweetener and whipped topping on your latte.
  4. Cut back slightly on portions of other foods across the board, especially at dinner: rice, noodles, salad dressing, casseroles, soup and bread are good candidates. Leave butter off of bread, vegetables and potatoes, or use less oil for frying.
  5. If you’re trying to follow a more Mediterranean diet, one basic principle is smaller portions of meat/poultry/dairy and less processed meats. If you tend to eat large portions of meat, then cutting back can leave enough calories for a glass of red wine.

Originally published on 13 September 2018,
Updated: 15 November 2019

Meal Planning & Diets->Mediterranean Style Alcohol & Other Beverages->Wine Donna P Feldman MS RDN is author of “Feed Your Vegetarian Teen”, writes about food and nutrition at Radio Nutrition and is co-host of the Walk Talk Nutrition podcast series.

Wine glass calories red

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