Do you ever wonder, “How much sugar does a glass of Chardonnay have in it?” or “How many carbs are in this glass of Cabernet Sauvignon?” The good news is—virtually none!
Calories in wine
The majority of the calories in wine come from alcohol—not carbohydrates or sugar—except in the case of sweet wine
(see below). A bottle of wine (750ml / 25oz) contains approximately 600 calories. A typical glass of wine (5 oz) contains about 120 calories. Calories don’t differ very much depending on the type of wine.
A glass of light, dry white wine (i.e. Vinho Verde, Picpoul, Trebbiano) at 10% alcohol contains about 100 calories (85 from alcohol and 15 from carbohydrates).
A glass of red or white wine (i.e. Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay) at 13% alcohol contains about 120 calories (110 from alcohol and 10 from carbohydrates).
A glass of bold, high alcohol red wine (i.e. Zinfandel, Shiraz, Blends) at 15% alcohol contains about 130 calories (120 from alcohol and 10 from carbohydrates).
For comparison, a pint of beer (16 oz) with 5% alcohol contains about 230 calories (162 from alcohol and 68 from carbohydrates) and a shot of Vodka (1.5 oz) contains about 100 calories (entirely from alcohol).
Carbohydrates in wine
Most regular table wine has only around 1 to 4 grams of carbohydrates, equating to just 4 to 16 calories, per 5 oz glass. Red wines contain around 1-2 grams of carbohydrates from skin and seed extract and 0-2 grams of carbohydrates from leftover grape sugars, whereas regular white wines typically contain 0-4 grams of carbohydrates from leftover grape sugars.
Ingredients in wine
is composed mostly of water, second of alcohol and third of extract, or tiny particles of solid matter from the grapes. Wine also contains minerals important to our health, but in trace amounts. These include nutrients like Manganese, Potassium, Iron, Phosphorous and some B vitamins. US Winemakers are legally allowed to add (but not list on the label) over 70 clarifying and stabilizing ingredients to wines not otherwise certified sustainable, organic or biodynamic
. Laws differ in other countries but anything sold in the US as certified organic or biodynamic must meet the US legal standards.
Sugar in Champagne
What about Champagne
—how many calories does Champagne and sparkling wine have? The driest form of Champagne is called Brut Nature or Zero Dosage and will contain virtually zero grams of carbohydrates (sugar). A typical glass (5 oz) of this type of Champagne will contain about 100 calories A Brut Champagne will have maybe 1 to 2 grams of sugar per glass, so about 106 calories. A Demi-Sec will contain about 6 grams of sugar per glass, so about 125 calories and a Doux, slightly more at 130 calories per glass.
As for most sweet wines like Sauternes and Port
, these are high in sugar and alcohol, so have significant calories coming from both. However, recommended serving size is much smaller. The recommended 2 oz pour of these types of sweet wine will contain about 100 calories (68 calories from alcohol and 32 from carbohydrates in the form of sugar.