Calories in wine: this is what determines the caloric intake in wine

Calories in wine: what do they come from and what are the factors that determine the caloric intake of this Italian specialty?

There are two components that determine the calories contained in wine:

  1. alcohol;
  2. sugars.

Fructose, or the sugar present in grapes, represents the most significant amount of sugar in wine, with a caloric intake of 4 kcal / gram. A dry wine contains 5-10g / l, while a passito has an average of 250g / l.

How much weight does drinking wine weigh on caloric intake then?

Considering that alcohol weighs 0.79 kg per liter and develops 7 calories per gram, and the alcohol content is expressed as a percentage by volume, the calories in wine can be calculated as follows:

1 liter of wine at 12° contains 120 ml of alcohol -> 120 × 0.79 = 94.8 grams -> 95 × 7 = 665 kcal

It can therefore be said that in total a 170 ml glass of dry wine has a caloric contribution of about 110 to 170 kcal (depending on the type), a sweet wine of 280 – 360 kcal.

Calorie del vinoCalories of wine: relationship between alcohol content and caloric content

Do the calories in wine have a correlation with its alcohol content?

As anticipated, the grapes with which the wine is produced contain sugars, fructose. During fermentation, these sugars are transformed into food alcohol, so the equation plus sugar plus alcohol seems to be confirmed.

Furthermore, since the caloric content of sugar is significant, it is not lost in the transformation, therefore the higher the alcohol content of the wine, the more calories it contains.

To get an initial indication of how many calories the wine you are about to taste has, just look at the alcohol content on the label. The higher the alcohol content, the greater the calorie intake.

For a greater degree of accuracy, some data is needed:

  • The alcohol contained in the wine, or on the total volume of the bottle, how much alcohol is there. For example, the  amarone della valpolicella classico has 15% vol. and this means that in 100 ml of wine there are 15 ml of alcohol. While Molinara Rosato has 12% vol. and therefore in 100 ml of wine there are 12 ml of alcohol.
  • The calories contained in alcohol: 7 calories per gram.
  • The specific weight of alcohol: 0.79 kg / l.
  • The amount of wine in the glass. This figure varies according to the capacity of the glass used, but varies between 80 ml for prosecco and 150 ml for red wine.

Calories of wine = amount of alcohol x specific weight x calories of alcohol

Using the formula on Amarone della Valpolicella we will have: (15/100 x 150 ml) x 0.79 gr / ml x 7 cal / gr = 124 cal

Taking a lighter wine and served in smaller quantities, such as the Molinara rosé, we will have: (12/100 x 120 ml) x 0.79 gr / ml x 7 cal / gr = 80 cal.

Sugar and calories

Are Wine Sugar and Calories Really Linked? The answer is yes.

This is because, as previously explained, before fermentation, grapes are rich in sugars. To get an idea, the quantity in grape juice is between 150-250 g / kg.

After the fermentation phase, on the other hand, the quantity of residual sugar in a dry wine is negligible, in fact it is less than 4 grams per liter. While it can become more relevant in sweeter wines such as passito.

Unlike the alcohol content, the sugar content is not indicated on the label and can therefore be difficult for the final consumer to calculate.

The union between wine and health is not affected as long as you choose the best wine for your diet or diet, if you follow one.

Wine consumption and energy needs

Ultimately, then, how much does drinking wine affect your daily energy requirement? Drinking one or two glasses a day can affect between 7 and 12% of the caloric requirement, calculated on an average active man not subjected to a diet (about 2000 calories a day). It all depends on the wine and food pairing that is made during the day, but in general the energy content of wine is lower than that of any other spirits, a Trappist beer or industrial drinks such as carbonated soft drinks or juices.