Wine Nutrition Facts: Reds, Whites, and Rosé


Ever been enjoying yourself, sipping away when you suddenly realize you do not know how much you drank and what exactly is in your drink? If you are nodding your head yes, shyly, just know this is a judgment-free zone. And from all of us at Bev, we can say with absolute certainty that we have been there and done that. 

The truth is, wine can be part of your healthy, balanced diet if you drink in moderate amounts. That's why it is useful to understand how many calories and the nutritional value in a bottle of wine to be sure you are enjoying a healthy limit. But the problem is: while most wine labels are beautiful and eye-catching, they do not share the nutritional facts like other foods and drinks. 

Apparently, the FDA and USDA believe that alcoholic beverages are not labeled nutritious and do not deserve a nutrition label. FDA, if you're reading this, we'd like to point out that wine does have health benefits like lowering the chance of stroke and heart disease. But alas, we digress. 

The truth is there are calories in wine, and there are more calories than you probably think, especially if you are doing your pours are not sticking to the 'standard' pour of five ounces. But we do not want to say you should avoid drinking your favorite beverage simply because wine has calories. Instead, we'll educate you so you can make smart decisions on your wine so that you can continue drinking! 

Today, we are sacrificing ourselves to do the hard research for you so we all can have a better understanding of the calorie count in different types of wine, where they come from, and what you should know while enjoying your sips. 

Wine is a blend of water, alcohol that is created through fermentation, carbohydrates, and minerals. Wine's calories come from alcohol and carbohydrates (aka sugar). Let's break these down. 

Alcohol

When a wine has a high alcohol content, it typically means the wine has more calories. We know this because alcohol contains seven calories per gram. As wine's alcohol increases, so do the number of calories you will consume. While you might be tempted to reach for wine that will give you the highest alcohol content, or as some might say, the most bang for your buck regarding alcohol content, the truth is you will pay for it in the number of calories you will consume. 

Today, most wines fall between 11-13% alcohol content. Of course, there are outliers, and some wines can have significantly less alcohol while others can have considerably more alcohol. Some can go as low as five percent alcohol and as high as twenty percent alcohol. 

Carbs 

If you count calories or have ever been on a diet, you likely know a thing or two about carbs. Many people vilify carbs when it comes to diet, suggesting that people should ditch carbs in order to lose weight. While carbs do not always deserve their bad rap, carbs play a role in wine's calorie content. 

Carbs, mainly sugar, contain around four calories per gram. Sugar is a soluble carb that adds that delicious sweetness to foods and drinks. Sugar affects how sweet an item is. Wines that have more sugar and carbs have more calories. 

Now, you're probably wondering how much sugar is in wine. Well, different types of wine contain varying amounts of sugar. Dry wines, or those with little to no residual sugar, have fewer calories than sparkling wines. In general, a glass of dry wine contains around four grams of carbs per serving, while a sweet wine can have approximately twenty grams of carbs. 

If this has enticed you to want to find a low-calorie wine, we should warn you it is not always straightforward. Just because a wine is dry does not mean it'll have fewer calories. If that wine is both dry and high in alcohol content, it can be more calories than sweet wine. When selecting a low-calorie wine, one must pay attention to both the sugar and alcohol content. 

Red Wine

There is a prevalent myth amongst wine drinkers: red wine is healthier and less caloric than white wine. Many argue that red wine has significantly less sugar than white wine. Fun fact, this is a myth. 

Calories

A typical restaurant serving size glass of wine (aka five ounces of wine) has 125 calories. 

If you are looking to decrease the number of calories you drink and want to stick to red wine, stick to dry wines like the following: 

Merlot: flavors range from herbs and blackberries to black cherries and plums. If they have aged in oak, some may notice notes of vanilla, clove, and cedar! 

Cabernet Sauvignon: A wine that smells like tobacco and leather, this dry red has dark fruit flavors like blackberry and black cherries. 

Syrah: A wine that tastes oddly similar to bacon but fruitier. An elegant and savory drink, the wine has flavors of vanilla and floral notes. 

Pinot Noir: This dry red has complex flavors ranging from raspberry, cherry, and mushroom. 

Malbec: A full-bodied babe rich with dark fruit flavors and notes of tobacco and dark chocolate. 

Tempranillo: A flavorful red with flavors of cherry, dried fig, and tobacco. Its deep, dark fruit notes often characterize it. 

Carbs

Traditional red and white wine provide the same amount of carbohydrates at around 20 grams of carbs per 750-milliliter bottle. 

Sugar

 In general, red wine has about .5 grams of sugar in a 5-ounce glass. 

White Wine

A testament to our friend white wine, here is proof that wine is a competitor to red wine when it comes to low sugar content!  

Calories

Dry white wines have zero to six calories from sugar, off-dry wines have 10 to 30 calories from sugar, sweet wines have 30 to 72 calories from sugar, and very sweet wines have 72 to 130 calories from extra sugar. 

Here is a breakdown of popular wine types and their calorie content: 

Chardonnay: The most popular type of wine since the 1990s, Chardonnay is bold and dry with intense flavors. In a five-ounce serving of Chardonnay, there are 123 calories. 

Sauvignon Blanc: Because this wine is dry, you can expect it to have very little residual sugar. A light-bodied, herbaceous wine with herbal aromas like grass and bell pepper, Sauvignon Blanc has 122 calories per five ounces glass. 

Semillon: Bold and dry, like Chardonnay, this wine is filled with intense flavors of lemon, pear, apple, and green papaya. Per the five-ounce serving of Semillon, you can expect around 122 calories in a serving size. 

Moscato: With few residual sugars, Moscato is light, sweet, and very aromatic. It typically has around 127 calories in five ounces of wine. 

Pinot Grigio: Light-bodied, dry, and zesty with fruity flavors like lime, pear, lemon, apple, and white nectarine, Pinot Grigio clocks in at 120 calories per five-ounce serving. 

Gewürztraminer: With just a touch of residual sugar, Gewürztraminer is full-bodied with low acidity. This spritzy wine has about 118 in a five-ounce serving. 

Riesling: Slightly sweet and very aromatic, Riesling has primary fruit aromas of orchard fruits like apricot, apple, pear, and nectarine and is sometimes considered a dessert wine. For a five-ounce glass of Riesling, you can expect around 120 calories. 

Carbs

Traditional red and white wine provide the same amount of carbohydrates at around 20 grams of carbs per 750-milliliter bottle. 

Sugar

 In general, white wine has about .5 grams of sugar in a 5-ounce glass. 

Rosé Wine

Calories

Because rose wine is lower in alcohol, it is lower-calorie than its high-sugar red and white wine counterparts. In a 175ml glass of rosé wine, there are about 138 calories (though, as we’ve explained, the calorie content will change depending on the sweetness and ABV of the wine).

Carbs

Traditional rose wine provides the same amount of carbohydrates at around 20 grams of carbs per 750-milliliter bottle. 

Sugar

 In general, rose wine has about .5 grams of sugar in a 5-ounce glass. 

Possible Health Benefits of Wine

While it is a myth that red wine has less sugar than white wine, red wine does have slightly more health benefits. 

Red wine has more health benefits because of the way it is created. When white wine is created, grapes are pressed, and seeds, skins, and stems are removed before fermentation. With red wine, the red grapes are transferred to vats directly, and they ferment with their seeds, skins, and stems. The grape skin gives the wine its color and is why red wine has a few more healthy compounds than white wine. 

Grape skin contains beneficial antioxidants that are known to promote good health. In particular, polyphenol resveratrol is the main reason red wine gets its name with health benefits. Research suggests that resveratrol may be the key ingredient in red wine that can reduce harmful cholesterol levels, prevent damage to blood vessels, and lower blood clots' risk. 

Although a glass of red wine does have the upper hand when it comes to health benefits, white wine does have health benefits. White wine contains antioxidant properties that help prevent cancer, and some research indicates that it can also protect the heart from aging.