Calories in Reds and Whites: Which to Choose?

By July 10, 2021Wine Glasses

While red wines and white wines are known for their difference in color, taste, smell, etc. many people often do not point out the nutritional differences between the two types of wines. When it comes to watching calories and overall health, it can sometimes be helpful to know which type of wine to reach for. When you are trying to watch your calorie intake, which should you grab? Red wine or white wine? Keep on reading to find out!

The Typical Caloric Intake of Reds and Whites

WineTypically, a white wine will yield less calories than a red wine. Red wine is known to be a bit higher in calories than whites due to its alcohol percentage as well as the fact that they typically contain slightly more minerals than whites. Yet not all wines are created the same and it is important to know that too!

Wine Calorie Rule of Thumb (

The typical rule of thumb when it comes to wine and calories is that…

  • Light alcohol sweet white will yield around 111-147 calories
  • High alcohol sweet whites will yield around 177-213 calories
  • Light alcohol dry whites will yield around 107-143 calories
  • High alcohol dry whites will yield around 153-173 calories
  • Light alcohol reds will yield around 135-165 calories
  • High alcohol reds yield around 165-195 calories
  • Sparkling wines yield around 158 calories
  • Sweet Dessert wines yield around 189-275 calories

As you can see by these numbers, white wines yield a lower calorie content than reds, but that isn’t always the case. You can see that a high alcohol dry white can end up having a caloric content that is higher than a light alcohol red. For that reason, you also have to be mindful of which type of reds or whites you’re consuming and not assume that all reds will be a higher calorie content than whites. Nonetheless, it is a helpful way to understand calories within wine and keep in mind where to go from there. If you need to cut back on calories, then typically a white wine that is low in alcohol and dry will do you best! If you are really wanting a red wine, then your best option is to opt for one that has light alcohol instead. Always keep in mind that higher alcohol contents and sweeter wines will yield more calories, so go for those that have less of that, if you want to cut back on calories.

Moderation is Key

Wine with FruitsLike anything else in this world, moderation is always the key! If you feel like you really want to make sure that you keep your calories under control, then try to also be mindful of how much you are drinking. Drinking wines that are lower in calories won’t be helpful if your consumption of wine is too high. Stick to 5 ounces of wine per day and choose those with low alcohol and low sugar to really reap the benefits of enjoying great wine without indulging too much. Yet remind yourself that while calories are important, they are not everything so always make sure that you keep your mindset around food and drinks neutral. You should be able to indulge in everything you enjoy so long as you do so in moderation and don’t overindulge. Otherwise, don’t feel the need to cut anything that you enjoy straight out of your diet. It is super important to also treat yourself once in a while!