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Calories in Wine vs Beer

11-10-2017

Trying to keep fitness and general nutrition in mind while still enjoying a glass of wine this fall? It can be tough, considering that unlike a case of soda, there aren’t nutrition facts listing the calories in a bottle of wine. So, how do you know how many calories are in a bottle of 750ml red wine? Is there a big difference between that and how many calories are in a bottle of 750 ml white wine? And, is there an easy way to tell how many calories are in a glass of champagne before your tip the toast?

Photo credit: https://aggieskitchen.com/red-wine-berry-spritzer/

The best education is a bit of research. Understand that this guide is a base generalization and not an exact caloric count for every glass of wine out there. Just like not every soda has the same caloric count just because it’s soda, the exact amount of calories in wine will vary. But, in general, red wines have 25 calories per ounce while white wines have 24 calories per ounce.

That means that, per 750ml bottle, red wine has 632 calories, and white wine has 607.

As for champagne (or other sparkling wines), you can count on about 23 calories per ounce, or 570 calories per bottle.

So, what about beer? Most beers have in the neighborhood of 150 calories per twelve-ounce serving, but can range all the way up to 330 calories per bottle! So, ounce per ounce, wine tends to have a higher calorie than beer, but this statistic can be wildly misleading. Wine tends to be consistently around 120 calories per serving, while beers can range from 55 calories per bottle to well over 300. Since the FDA doesn’t require alcohols to list nutrition facts, banking on your beer being low-cal might be a dangerous risk.
There isn’t a huge caloric difference in beer or wine varietals that points to a clear choice when you choose what to consume. Additionally, alcohol is fat-free. So why do so many people associate alcohol consumption with weight gain?

The link between alcohol consumption and weight gain is generally the result of consuming too many empty calories, specifically carbohydrates. Since wine doesn’t contain fat and has only trace amounts of protein, when you consume large amounts of wine, you’re consuming a lot of empty calories and carbohydrates. Both red and white wines contain about 1 gram of carbohydrate per ounce.

Let’s not forget, however, that wine isn’t all bad for your health! Red wine specifically has high levels of antioxidants including resveratrol. Doctors have linked these antioxidants to improved heart health and a decreased risk of developing certain types of cancer, they’ve also been scientifically found to support weight loss! Beer, on the other hand, is high in carbohydrates, carbonation, and not much else.

So, what’s the trick? As with all indulgences and pleasures, the trick is to consume your wine in moderation. Research suggests that one to two glasses of red wine per day is ideal for optimal health results. In the end, there are options to make both beer and wine a bit more diet friendly. Light beers will save you a handful of calories and cut your carbs in half when compared to their darker cousins, but you may find that you need to consume twice as much light beer to feel satisfied, defeating the dietary saving graces. You can always turn a wine into a “wine spritzer” by making your glass half wine, half club soda. Again though, this often leads to more servings and an increase of calories in other places.

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