Today on our regular CTV wine segment, CTV Host Melissa Lamb and I discussed calories in wine, and how to be mindful of what you’re consuming.

Check out our segment here:

Drinking a generous sized glass of wine (+6oz/each) can pack on nearly as many calories as a McDonald’s hamburgers does (240 calories/burger). Yup, you heard right. But, when you consider that one specialty drink from your favourite café may have as many as 500 calories, or that a bag of chips has roughly 1000 calories, perhaps it’s the coffee and chips we should be cutting out of our diet, not the wine!

Not all wines are loaded with calories but they all have calories and if you’re looking to get beach ready you may want to know exactly what you’re enjoying each night in that glass of wine. Keep in mind that the number of calories in a glass of wine depends on how big that glass of wine is! A 4 oz glass of light white wine may only have 100 calories, whereas a 6 oz glass of a 16% alcohol red wine may have 200+ calories.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not picking on wine, as virtually everything out there that you consume has calories, and more than I’d of thought!

For example, the following foods/beverages have more calories than a 5oz glass of Cabernet Sauvignon from Canada or Bordeaux (France):

  • 1 cup of Special K cereal with ½ cup milk = 180 calories.
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter = 160 calories
  • 3 Lindt 90% dark chocolate squares = 180 calories
  • 1 cup of yogurt = 190 calories.
  • 1 12oz bottle of IPA beer = 200+ calories
  • 1 small McDonalds French Fries = 230 calories
  • 1 cup of frozen chocolate yogurt = 260 calories
  • Starbucks White Hot Chocolate = 490 calories
  • 1 McDonalds Big Mac = 530 calories
  • 1 Large McDonalds French Fries = 560 calories
  • 1 (180g) bag of Lays Dill Pickle chips = 972 calories; one serving (~1/4 bag) = 270 calories.

So, it’s clear, everything has calories, including wine, so let’s discuss how many per glass, for different wine styles.

Alcohol has ~7 calories per gram versus sugar that has ~4 calories per gram, this means the higher the alcohol content the more calories in your wine, generally. Sweet wines also include residual sugar so that’s additional calories beyond the calories from alcohol that you need to be mindful of.

Here are some examples of wines and their typical calorie counts (per 6 oz pour (i.e. ¼ bottle)):

  • Low alcohol white wines, like dry low alcohol German Riesling or dry Pinot Grigio – 110 calories.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux – 160 calories
  • Cabernet Sauvignon from California – 175 calories
  • ‘Sweet’ Red Wines from California – 220 calories
  • Amarone from Italy – 190 calories
  • Port – 300 calories, however, a 2 oz pour would be 100 calories

So, unlike snack food and super sized portions of fast food, the amount of calories in a glass of wine is nothing to be too concerned about, but being aware of the number of calories in your glass of wine is always a good thing to know.

Today we tasted a few wines and discussed how many calories each glass had (being mindful of exactly how much a 4 oz pour is and how much a 6 oz pour is…).

Dry Red #1 – Rosewood Pinot Noir 2012, Niagara – $21.95 (extra dry red, 2g/L residual sugar) – 6 oz pour ~ 150 calories;

Dry White #1 – Angels Gate Riesling 2010, Niagara – $13.95 (dry white, 8g/L residual sugar) – 6 oz pour ~ 135 calories;

Sweet Red #2 Cupcake Red Velvet 2012, California – $15.45 (sweeter red, 18g/L residual sugar) – 6 oz pour ~ 220 calories:

Sweet White #2 – Schmitt Sohne Mosel Gold Riesling 2012, Germany – $9.40 (sweeter, 37g/L residual sugar) – 6 oz pour ~ 175 calories;

Summary: Being mindful of the number of calories in your wine is a good idea, but remember that most foods and beverages out there have calories. My recommendation, consider the size of the glass you’re enjoying and how about putting down that bag of chips and grabbing a glass of wine instead!

Below is a neat infographic showing rough estimates of the number of calories per glass for certain wine styles.


And another great infographic care of Wine Folly on what’s inside your bottle of wine: