Red Wine Calories vs White Wine

cartoon wine bottle
Find out how many wine calories you're drinking. Wine may be good for your heart, but what about your waist? See how the calories in white wine compare to the calories in red wine.

The calories in wine listed below are based on a 4 ounce glass of wine:

Wine (Average All Brands) Calories Grams Carb
Red wine, burgundy, cabernet 102 4.4
Red wine, medium, rose style 80 2.1
White wine 96 4.4
Champagne 77 1.2
Port 186 14
Dessert wine 189 16
Sake rice wine 155 5.8
Reduced alcohol wine (6%) 58 1.4

Is Wine Really "Good" For You?

Wine - red wine especially - gets a lot of good press. That's for three reasons:

  1. There have been some health benefits found associated with alcohol consumption
  2. Red wine seems clearly to have more health benefits than other kinds of alcohol
  3. The wine industry has a huge interest in putting positive information out there!

(Guess what? There are health benefits associated with eating fruit and vegetables too...grapes, apples, broccoli, onions, cauliflower, etc., etc.

Why don't we get excited about that news and run to the store to start eating more of those foods?)

Unfortunately, no one has an interest in putting the bad news out there. And here's one piece of "bad news" that often gets overlooked:

There are lots of empty calories in wine.

Don't get me wrong. I don't believe in "good foods" and "bad foods" and I'm not suggesting you need to avoid wine because of the calories it contains.

I believe in "good patterns" and "bad patterns."

Sure, a few wine calories may be "good" for your health,** but too much wine isn't good for your waistline.

Don't forget the wine calories listed above are for a 4 ounce glass of wine. If you drink a bigger glass, or multiple glasses, you need to adjust the calories accordingly.

What does 4 ounces of wine look like?

If you're unsure of what 4 ounces of wine looks like in your wine goblet, get a measuring cup and pour 1/2 cup (4 ounces) water in the glass to get a better visual.

Why aren't wine calories listed on the label?

The wineries (along with the breweries and alcohol distillers) have fought pretty hard to keep the calories in wine and nutrition info off their labels, which is why I call alcohol calories "hidden calories."

It's easy to forget about calories when you can't see a tangible number on a label!

**Final Note About the Health Benefits of Red Wine

It is true that studies have shown there to be cardiovascular health benefits to moderate alcohol consumption - for red wine in particular. However...

...every reputable health expert says that if you don't drink now, don't start just to get the health benefits! That's because alcohol poses significant health negatives, and its risks outweigh its benefits.

(And no, you won't hear the wineries telling you that!)

Any alcohol consumption increases breast cancer risk, it can be catastrophic during pregnancy, and of course alcoholism is its own risk factor. Additionally, there are the health risks that come from the weight that alcohol is only too eager to help you put on!

The bottom line: if drinking moderately is something you intend to keep doing, then red wine is likely your best option. But beware alcohol's effect on inhibitions as well! Alcohol's effect on your decision-making process can effect your food choices. If you're out drinking with friends...'re liable to eat things that you wouldn't have eaten otherwise. ("I think I'll have two desserts!") So when it comes to weight loss sabotage, wine - and alcohol in general - can pose a double whammy!

See an additional list of wine calories.

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