A glass a day keeps the doctor away, unless your doctor loves wine as much as you!
With summer right around the corner it’s essential to find healthy wine options that allow you to wine down without stacking up the calories. Fret not, the doc’s on call and ready to point out the most health conscious wine choices.
It’s no secret that wine has countless health benefits (see Chel’s earlier post here) and with the main ingredient being grapes, it can be confusing to understand how some wines can be healthier than others. Unfortunately, wine bottles don’t come with nutrition labels so the only thing we can judge them on is the ABV (alcohol by volume) and the taste.
ALL WINES AREN’T MADE THE SAME
The truth is, winemaker’s manipulate grapes in different ways and not all wines are produced the same. Although wine itself is fat-free, it still contains calories. Calories in wine are influenced by two factors, the amount of sugar (ie. carbs) in the wine and ABV. Wines with the highest alcohol content undoubtedly have the highest number of calories. Although high alcohol wines give you more booze for your buck, they’re likely to affect your waistline more than sweet wines.
Alcohol has 7 calories per gram while carbs/sugars have 4 calories per gram. No need to do complicated math, but aim for wines with an ABV between 10-12%, this is about 120-140 calories for a 6oz pour whether it’s white or red. In addition, go for wines on the dry spectrum as these contain the lowest amounts of sugar.
Red wines offer more health benefits than white wines, such as higher levels of antioxidants and decreased risk for heart disease. Rosé wine, which is made from red grapes but have less contact with grape skins, offer many of the heart healthy benefits of red wine while cutting calories. Seek out dryer style Rosé wines, like ones made in Provence France. Rosé all day, baby.
Champagne takes the cake as the most calorie friendly wine option. A glass of bubbly has only 91 calories and some very dry champagnes (ie. extra brut) have as few as 65 cals per glass! Champagne diet anyone?
• Pinot Noir – by far the healthiest red wine!
• Cabernet Franc & Sauvignon – 120 cals
• Gamay (aka Beaujolais) – Low cal French red, 114 cals per 5oz serving!
• Pinot Grigio – Bring on Turtle Time!
• Vinho Verde – Crisp, airy, Portuguese white. You’ll feel healthy and it basically goes down like water.
• Torrontes – Argentinean, 100cals/serving.
• Sauvignon blanc – Line 39 is my personal fave
Sparkling & Rosé
• Extra Brut Champagne – as low as 65 cals!
• Prosecco – 120 cals
• Provence style Rosé – keep it dry to avoid excess sugar
If you’re really looking to get your skinnygirl on, consider making a spritzer. Spritzers can slash sugar by as much as 50%! Combine your fave dry wine with seltzer water (aka your favorite La Croix) in a 3:1 ratio. Add fresh fruits and you have a summertime drink that’s just under 100 calories.
So with that — drink two and call me in the morning. Doctor’s orders!
Merissa Garvey Harris, MD
Dr. Harris is a resident physician specializing in Radiology and based in Dallas, TX. She is also the founder/CEO of Vino Dolce Candles, a candle company inspired by global wine regions. Check out her Instagram here!