Wine is the drink of choice for a lot of people—and for good reason. There’s such a wide variety of wines to choose: from a slew of red wines for people who love deep flavors to a wide span of whites for those who need something refreshing, the variety goes on for ages. Every day, wineries and vineyards experiment with different flavors and styles to further broaden their audience.
Lately, more people are talking about how much sugar is in wine. The good news is that you can find delicious, low-calorie wine that won’t make you feel guilty about drinking a glass (or two). We’ve created a guide to the best low-calorie wine options for spring, featuring some of our favorite options for low-cal sipping. Read on!
What Is Low-Calorie Wine?
Let’s be honest—thinking about calories while you’re drinking wine can be quite the downer. Wine is meant to be savored and enjoyed. It’s not necessarily meant to fit into your meal plan. However, more and more people are worried about how the wine they drinking affects their weight loss and health plans—and that’s understandable. Thankfully, with low-calorie wines, people are still able to fit wine into their lives and stay on a healthy track.
First, it’s important to note that there are two different types of low-calorie wine: naturally low-calorie wine and wine specifically produced to contain less calories. Naturally low-calorie wines are dry and low in alcohol, typically around the 10 percent ABV range. These wines most often come from cooler winemaking regions because the grapes don’t produce as much sugar as their warm-climate counterparts.
Brands such as Skinnygirl and SlimLine specifically produce wines that contain less calories. These types of wine usually contain around 100 calories per five-ounce glass. Low-calorie wines can also go below 100 calories by having a way smaller ABV percentage. Let’s put it this way: each gram of alcohol has seven calories, which means a standard five-ounce glass of 12% ABV of wine has about 14 grams of pure alcohol. When you do the math, this glass of wine has around 100 calories just from the alcohol. When you reduce the ABV percentage, therefore, you reduce the number of calories.
Calories in wine also come from residual sugar. This is when not all of the grape sugar is converted to sugar—in general, the sweeter the wine, the more calories it has.
- Dry 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
- Very sweet wines have 72 to 130 calories from sugar
All that said, it’s easy enough to find a wine that’s not loaded in calories.
Rosés can be a bit higher in calories, but when you choose a skinny Rosé, you won’t have to sacrifice sweet for low-cal. Springtime is also the best time to roll out your favorite pink vinos!
Go for a light-colored sparkling Rosé for a light drink bursting with fruit flavor. We like SlimLine’s Slim Pink wine.
A Sauvignon Blanc is always a great choice for a low-calorie white wine—especially in the spring. It’s light-bodied and quite dry, but it’s still refreshing enough to keep you coming back for a second glass. You can find bottles at around 115 calories per serving.
Each bottle of wine is different, but Chardonnays typically have around 118 calories per glass. Chardonnay is another dry choice—as we said, the drier the wine, the less calories. Rieslings offer around the same number of calories, but they’re often much sweeter, which bumps up their calorie count a bit.
Red wines have more calories than whites or sparkling wines because of their higher ABV percentage. Merlot, however, is a good choice if you’re craving a low-cal red, as it’s a little lower in calories than typical red wines (depending on the bottle). We don’t often recommend reds for spring, but Merlot is a favorite!
Below, we list a few tips for finding your own perfect low-calorie bottle—check them out!
Tips for Finding the Perfect Bottle
Finding a bubbly wine is one of the best ways to reduce your calorie intake from wine. If you want the additional aspect of cutting back on sugar calories, then you’ll want to look for a “brut” label on the bottle. Fizzy wine options such as Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, and sparkling wine tend to contain around 110 calories per flute. That said, you need to look out for the sweet bubblies—as tasty and refreshing as they are, the sweetness can pack on the calories. Pick a dry bubbly instead for the perfect low-cal wine.
Watch Out for ABV Percentage
As we mentioned above, when you lower the ABV percentage of your wine, you lower your calorie intake. The higher the ABV percentage, the more calories your glass will contain. Typically, percentages around nine to 13 percent will provide you with less calories—closer to 100 per glass. When you reach for a boozier bottle climbing toward the 14 to 17 percent range, you’ll make your way to the high 100s or even 200s for a glass.
Learn to Love Dry Wines
If you’re a sweet wine-lover as well as a calorie-counter, then you’re a bit out of luck. As we mentioned above, the sweeter the wine, the more calories are added to the base 100. Wine-makers aren’t actually required to disclose whether or not they added sugar to your bottle during fermentation, which is why sticking to drier varieties is probably your best bet. Fortunately, you can train yourself to like these wines. Start with a semi-dry such as a Sauvignon Blanc, and then make your way down to drier wines.
Manage Your Pour
This is a tip for what to do once you find your perfect bottle of low-calorie wine. When you uncork a bottle, learn to be satisfied with a smaller pour. Smaller pours mean fewer calories. It may seem backward to pour a smaller amount from a bottle you love, but drink as a sommelier would (slowly, as you notice the depth of flavor), and you’ll be satisfied with the small pour.
For all your wine needs—low-calorie or not—turn to Wines ’Til Sold Out, your favorite place for wine deals online. We want to make sure you’re stocked up on all your favorites, no matter the time of year. Explore our Last Chance Wines or our Premium Selections, and see if you can put your newfound knowledge of low-calorie wine to the test. Shop now!