Red Wine

Uncorking the Calorie Facts: How Many Calories Are in a Glass of Wine?

red wine

Ever stopped to think about how many calories are in your favorite glass of wine? The nutritional value of wine varies, but we have the calorie count for white, red, and sparkling wines. That way, you can make a more informed decision next time you’re out with friends enjoying happy hour.

How Many Calories Are in a Standard Glass of Red Wine?

A 5-oz glass of red wine usually contains between 100 and 125 calories. Here again, chardonnay clocks in at the high end, while pinot noir comes in at the low end. If you’re looking for a lighter red wine available at a vineyard California, try a Beaujolais or Gamay—these varieties have fewer calories than other types of red wine.

Number of Calories  

Pinot Noir             Chardonnay              Beaujolais / Gamay

 125                           150                            100 / 110*

*Note: caloric content will vary based on alcohol content                               

          5 oz = 140 ml or 148 grams

As fascinating as it may sound, studies have uncovered that red wine could assist with weight loss or keeping off weight. One study showed that in contrast to men who didn’t drink alcohol, those who drank red wine daily gained less weight over a twelve-year period.

Another study found that women who drank one glass of red wine per day had lower body fat levels than women who didn’t drink alcohol. So there may be some truth to the claim that drinking red wine is good for your waistline!

A Brief History of the Calories in Red Wine

All wine lovers worth their salt know that a calorie is defined as “1 kilogram of water requires a specific amount of energy to be raised 1 degree Celsius in temperature.” But where do calories in wine come from, and why are they important? Let’s take a brief history lesson to find out.

The calorie was first discovered in 1824 by French chemist Nicolas Clément. It wasn’t until 1848, however, that German physiologist Justus von Liebig coined the term “calorie” (derived from the Latin calor, meaning “heat”). In 1863, an English physician named Wilbur Olin Atwater developed a way to measure the calorie content of food. He did this by burning food in a bomb calorimeter and measuring the heat.

The food industry in America along with various California vineyards eventually adopted Atwater’s system, which is still used today to calculate the caloric content of our food and drink. But how does this relate to calories in wine? Read on to find out.

How Calories are Measured in Red Wine

The process for measuring calories in wine is similar to the one developed by Atwater back in 1863. Today, we use sophisticated machines called bomb calorimeters to precisely measure the amount of heat given off when a sample of red wine is burned.

From there, we can calculate the number of calories in that particular wine using the following formula:

Calories per gram = 4.184 x [heat of combustion (kJ/g)] / [sample weight (g)]For example, let’s say we have a bottle of wine that has a heat of combustion value of 29.6 kJ/g and weighs 750 grams. We can plug those numbers into our formula to get the following:

  • Calories per gram = 4.184 x 29.6 kJ/g / 750 g. Calories per gram = 117 calories. So there you have it! That particular bottle of wine has 117 calories per gram or 879 calories per bottle.

Now that we have a great idea of how many calories are in red wine, let’s talk about where those calories come from.

Where do Calories in Red Wine Come From?

Most of the calories in wine are due to alcohol and carbohydrates (or sugars). To be more specific, ethanol (the type of alcohol found in wine) has 7 calories per gram, while carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram.

That being said, not all wines at vineyard in California are created equal regarding calorie content. For example, wines that are higher in alcohol will also be higher in calories since they contain more ethanol. The same is true for sweeter wines; since they have more sugar (aka carbohydrates), they will also be higher in calories.

In general, red wines are higher in alcohol than white wines, while dessert wines are higher in sugar than reds and whites.

So there you have it—a brief history of the calorie and how it relates to wine. With this knowledge about the calorie content of wine, you can make better choices about which wines to drink and which ones to avoid if health concerns you.

The (not-so) Dirty Details on the Different Calorie Counts in Red Wine

Wine is made up of two essential ingredients: grapes and yeast. Grapes are little balls of sugar, and yeast is a living creature that eats sugar and creates alcohol and carbon dioxide as a byproduct. That’s why wine is relatively low in calories compared to other alcoholic beverages; most of the sugar gets eaten up by the yeast during fermentation.

The calorie content of wine also depends on whether or not the wine has undergone secondary fermentation (a process in which sugars are converted into alcohol after the initial fermentation process).

Wines that have undergone secondary fermentation tend to be sweeter and have more calories because more residual sugar is left in the wine.

So, how many calories are in a glass of red wine? The amount varies depending on the type, but as a rule of thumb, red wine is about 120-130 calories per 5 ounces, and white wine is around 100-120 calories.* So now that you know, go out there and drink responsibly!


*Note: These calorie counts are estimates based on average figures. Your actual calorie count may vary depending on the type of wine you’re drinking.

Is a Glass of Red Wine Worth the Calories?

We all know that feeling. You’ve had a long day, finally home, and you want to relax with a glass of wine. But then you remember that you’re trying to be healthy and lose weight, and you wonder, is a glass of red wine worth the calories?

Although 5 ounces of red wine contains approximately 125 calories, it is not as bad as other drinks, such as beer or mixed alcoholic beverages, which can have twice or more calories. What are the health benefits of drinking red wine?

Red wine provides many benefits for your health. For example, it contains antioxidants that can repair cell damage. Red wine also prevents cholesterol from building up and forming clots by keeping blood Vessels clean and providing a source of energy for the heart. So how do these calories in red wine affect our bodies?

Well, it’s important to remember that any health benefits from red wine will come from moderate consumption. That means one or two glasses per day for men and one for women. When it comes to weight loss, however, even mild consumption of alcohol can impede your progress. Alcoholic drinks are high in sugar and empty calories, which can quickly add up if you’re not careful.

So, is a glass of red wine worth the calories? That depends on your goals. If you’re trying to lose weight, pass on the wine (or at least limit yourself to one glass). If you want to indulge in a drink but remain somewhat healthy, red wine can be part of your diet.


Don’t worry too much the next time you have a drink–it’s probably not as many calories as you think. And if you *are* ooking to cut back, tons of tasty options are still available. So go ahead and enjoy yourself–your waistline will appreciate it!

There are anywhere from 100-130 calories in a 5-ounce glass of wine. Every type of wine is different, so your calorie count may vary depending on what kind of vino you’re sipping. So, now that you know how many calories are in a glass of wine go forth and drink responsibly! Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *