For days when you want to indulge a little, remember that not all wines are made equal. By Pinky Chng
Photo: Günter Menzl/123rf.com
1. Check the alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage
ABV is the most significant indicator of your wine’s calorie number. Alcohol is very high in calories – we’re talking 7 calories per gram. Use this basic formula to calculate the calories in your glass: % of alcohol X ounces X 1.6 = calorie content
2. Sweeter wines aren’t necessarily higher in calories
Another source of calories in your evening indulgence is the residual sugar from the grapes after fermentation into wine. That said, this is a less-concentrated source of carbohydrate than alcohol, weighing in at 4 calories per gram.
Which means dryer, less sweet wines aren’t necessarily the best low-calorie choices out there. High ABV, dry whites like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc may still derail your diet more than light alcohol, sweet wines like Chenin Blanc.
3. When in doubt, buy European
European wines from regions like France, Italy and Germany tend to be gentler on the calories. These countries tend to have stricter laws and regulations on alcohol content, which means their wines tend to be lower in alcohol, and hence calories, than wines in America, for instance.
4. White is right
If you’re watching your waistline, it’d be wise to stick with white. Light ones such as Riesling and Moscator d-Asti clock in at under 6-9% ABV, which means each glass only contains 111-147 calories. High-alcohol reds and sweet dessert wines can contain up to 300 calories per glass.
5. Buy wines from cooler regions
Grapes grown in warmer climates, such as Chile or Australia, contain more sugar when ripe, which then gets converted to alcohol when made into wine. As such, wines from these regions tend to have higher ABV and thus calories.
A version of this story first appeared in The Finder.