The Best Wines for Your Waistline
Photo by Christine Richards
Pool season is quickly approaching, and if you are like us, you are starting to look more closely at the calories and carbohydrates in what you are consuming. An average glass of wine can contain anywhere from 110 to 300 calories with red wines generally having more than whites. This is determined by a few factors: serving size, alcohol content and inherent sweetness or sugar. Usually, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories. Per gram of wine, alcohol contains seven calories and sugar contains four. All of these numbers can get a bit confusing, but don’t fret! We have found a handy dandy formula to help decipher how many calories are in each bottle, or glass, and how to choose the best wine with your waistline in mind.
Champagne and sparkling wines are a typical go-to for the summer pool season. What many people do not realize is that the majority of them contain an added amount of sugar called “dosage.” Dosage is part of the Champagne or sparkling winemaking process, and the amount of dosage in each bottle can range from zero to fifty grams of sugar per liter. WineFolly.com states that a standard 5 ounce pour of Champagne can range from 124 calories, in a Brut Nature or Brut Zero, to 175 calories, in the sweetest Doux. We did a little digging, and discovered a couple tasty sparkling options that omit the dosage process which you guess it, equates to less sugar and fewer calories.
Beau Joie Brut and Brut Rose are zero-dosage Champagnes, with no additional sugar added, and both feature a stylish copper casing that help the bottle stay cold for 45 minutes to an hour without the use of an ice bucket. Keep in mind that this length of time is reduced a bit if the external temperature is 80 degrees or above. A newer sparkling wine option is Syltbar Prosecco, and only contains 49 calories per glass. You can find this Italian sparkling wine in several retail outlets.
If you prefer still to sparkling, Brancott Flight Song Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio were crafted to be 20% lighter in calories versus the classic Brancott Estate wines. These Marlborough wines are only 88 calories, and are designed for guilt-free consumption, or close to it. The Santa Barbara winery, Palmina, specializes in producing traditional Italian varietals here in the United States. Owner and winemaker, Steve Clifton, produces a delightful Malvasia Bianca at only 12% ABV, and it would be an amazing addition to any sunny afternoon or summer evening. German Rieslings are another great still wine option, and are generally lower in alcohol, at eight to nine percent, which you now know means lower in calories too.
Although sweeter wines contain more residual sugar and higher alcohol, the standard pour is usually only 2 ounces. A 2 ounce glass of B&G Sauternes Passeport contains only 90 calories. This smaller serving size could be a great alternative to an actual dessert while still satisfying your sweet tooth.
*Please note that we are in no way suggesting that you replace all food calories with wine calories. Should you have any questions regarding health and nutrition, please contact a trusted healthcare professional.