Calories & Carbs in Wine

Overview

Wine drinking has been part of religious ritual for thousands of years, and is still enjoyed today at restaurants and dinner tables all over the world. In the United States, wine consumption has increased 25 percent in the last decade, according to The Wine Institute. Those who partake should be aware of calories and carbohydrates, as the drink of the gods can stretch the waistline of mere mortals.

Calorie Count

A five-ounce glass of red or white table wine is typically 121 to 125 calories, according to the United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database. White Riesling is slightly lower at 118 calories, and red Zinfandel is slightly higher at 129 calories. Interestingly, a five-ounce glass of non-alcoholic wine is only 10 calories. Champagne, which comes in a four-ounce glass, is 78 calories. Chefs who cook with wine add 14 calories with each ounce added to a dish, or two calories per teaspoon.

Carb Count

A five-ounce glass of red or white table wine supplies 3.8 grams of carbohydrate. Red Burgundy and white Riesling are at the high end, with 5.5 grams of carbohydrate, and Chardonnay is at the low end with only 3 grams of carbohydrate. Lower still is a five-ounce glass of non-alcoholic wine, with 1.6 grams of carbohydrate. A four-ounce glass of Champagne has 1.2 grams of carbohydrate. Cooking wine adds 1.8 grams of carbohydrate per ounce.

Bottomless Cup

Of course, friends and waiters like to refill wine glasses again and again, and that boosts the calorie and carbohydrate count. Two glasses of Chardonnay doubles the count to 256 calories and 6 carbohydrates. Three glasses of merlot supplies 366 calories and 11 carbohydrates. Chefs love to be generous when pouring cooking wine into their culinary masterpieces, adding 112 calories and 14.6 carbohydrates per cup.

Dessert Wines

Dessert wines must be sipped in moderation. A 3.5-ounce glass of dry dessert wine has 157 calories and 12 grams of carbohydrates, and a 3.5-ounce of sweet dessert wine has 165 calories and 14 grams of carbohydrate. That’s before you even stick your fork into the dessert.

Relatively Speaking

Red and white table wines compare well to a can of regular cola drinks or a bottle of regular beer, supplying less calories and carbohydrates. However, a five-ounce serving of wine has more calories and carbohydrates than a 12-ounce bottle of Bud Select or Michelob Ultra, or diet soft drinks. A 1.5-ounce serving of 80-proof vodka, gin, rum or whiskey, by comparison, has 97 calories and zero carbohydrates. If you add a mixer, the calorie and carbohydrate counts can both go up.

About this Author

Amy S. Eskind has been a journalist since 1986. Her work has appeared in “Life,” “People,” “USA Weekly,” and “American Profile.” She is the co-founder of Healthy U, LLC, a nutrition coaching practice in Nashville, Tenn. Eskind holds a degree in political science from Duke University and completed the didactic program in dietetics at Middle Tennessee State University.