How many calories in a glass of wine?

Another reason for going alcohol free?

I was asked in a comment here at, how many calories in a glass of wine? It thought it would be obvious but then I thought about it and of course, it isn’t.

Before I was diagnosed with liver disease wine was a big social drink of mine. I’m talking with lunch here or out with friends during a meal and because it is relatively low carb of course you think it is fine.

Of course, it is not on any level really for alcohol content but also calories. Given the amount of diet clubs that have a meal plan with a glass of wine next to it is it not any wonder that we can think of it as a glass of wine means nothing on those hips.

We talk about wine being “free flowing” an “oh it’s just wine” without really thinking about the headline that says “ at last is wine is good for the heart” if only everyone had that much discipline. So I kind get why people readers asked me the questions : How many calories in glass of wine?

Although my liver consultant also said it is not all our own fault and the size of wine glasses has increased. Also, before I quit alcohol all together, I was at a railway station before getting on a train and I ordered a large glass of white wine with ice.

The bar staff said why not pay 1 pound extra as you can take the whole bottle ( for an extra pound they repeated the offer ) and drink it on the train. I politely declined! It was the same bar that when I asked for an alcohol free 0.0% abv beer said “what the point?”. So you can see that one is not helping us really.

What is wine?

Is it pretty simple really which is why in the non-alcoholic variety people accuse it of tasting like grapes! There is a reason for that! Wine is simply a drink from grapes with the process of fermentation. The yeast element of it basically swallows up the sugar in the grapes and makes ethanol, ( alcohol ) carbon dioxide, and heat. Sounds tasty doesn’t it.

Now any varieties of wine so rose, red, white and then all the regions that they are from have the same ingredient really but the taste? This is of course governed by how and where they are grown to the type of climate in certain countries. So certain climates grow better wine than others because of this reason.

Can white wine cause body fat?

Well no not specifically but I once read a great book once that said “the only diet you will ever need is two pages”. I basically should have known better but the summary was calories in calories out. Seriously that was it !

As wine is full of calories it means you consume more than you need especially if you have it with a big dinner out. The trouble with wine is that it does not make you calories and alcohol aware. Especially if you open a bottle, so that phrase “I only had a couple of glasses” but the size may vary and so may the ABV, the alcohol by content ratio. It’s just one of those drinks!

How many calories in a glass of wine?

  • So drum roll please. Now if you have only one that seem like tiny a glass of wine 5 fl oz you are talking around 83 calories. Yes 83!
  • So make it large and you are talking 166 calories so you can see how the calories have jumped up considerably and really quickly. So imagine you are staying home alone like Miss Piggy in the movie and you are watching her in the Muppet Movie, and you say I’ll open a bottle for myself, why not it’s the weekend!
  • Then the number really piles up because we are talking anywhere nearer 635 calories. Now given recommended calories is 2,000 for women 2,500 for men it is an issue but I am not sure why the gender difference occurs if I am honest ! However, you see how the issue builds up with alcohol and calories!

So what would you have to do to work off a large glass of wine ( approx)

  • You could jog for 12 mins
  • Bike rides for 19 minutes
  • Play soccer for 19 mins
  • Ride a horse for 52 mins.

You get the idea now imagine that was a bottle plus the cost of the horse before you even start!

Now for a bottle you are talking a minimum of 45 minutes of high level aerobic activities. That’s a serious commitment before you even start to lose weight!

One word of warning which I did is that because wine is low carb it is often mentioned as OK in this kind of diet. Before I had my liver problem I was low carb and yes I lost weight but the alcohol rushes through your system and hits your organs really quickly. I am speaking from personal experience but do be aware of wine and low carb, they do not always go together as you might think!

What are the alternatives?

Now I am not going to say that non -alcoholic options are completely the answer because generally they do not completely! However, it does provide slightly fewer calories and quite a lot in some cases with much lower carbs.

Be aware however of mocktails etc where the sugar level is high. Remember for some to drinks it is only the fact that the alcohol that is not there decreases the calories overall. However by and large alcohol is what we call empty calories so it has no nutritional value. With a bit of checking of the labels you could dramatically rescue your calorie intake. Some of my options are:

What’s your view ?

So if you were asked : How many calories in a glass of wine? What would you say?
What have been your experiences with wine and calories or it is high abv count. Have you found an option you could share with us. Did you go to a diet club where they encouraged a glass of wine with a meal?

I would love to hear your view and the diversity of options here is fantastic so let me know and I will gladly respond.

10 thoughts on “How many calories in a glass of wine?”

  1. I loved this read. Very entertaining thought to think of. I have many friends who drink a good bit of wine and I’m sure they were be suprised by the results. Thank you for bringing this the forefront. As someone who struggles with keeping weight off. I can not think twice before indulging in a glass of wine!

    • Thanks Shane and I have shared your exact issue over the years so I really appreciate you commenting on how many calories in a glass of wine. I think it is easy to forget these so called “hidden calories”. 

  2. It is certainly easy to forget the Calories of Wine, 6-700 Kcals a bottle is a BIG portion of your Daily intake, it’s very easy to start going in the wrong direction, and that’s not to mention the fact Wine and Alchohol are EMPTY calories, there are almost no nutrients at all, along with the damage the alcohol can do! 

    When Training I have to stay away from alcohol in general, but beer and wine are the worst, it is almost impossible for me to drop weight while drinking as well! 

    But I think Off-Season Tipples are the main reason I bulk back up when not training! 

    • Thanks Steve and you are so right, it is empty calories, thanks so much for commenting on how many calories in a glass of wine, great to have your experience here, much appreciated. 

  3. Very great article Phil! I think it’s pretty safe to say that too many people do indeed underestimate how difficult it is to lose weight and keep it off if they drink alcohol, especially wine. I drink very, very little. Maybe a half of a glass every so often if I am in the mood. I will have to check out your non-alcoholic beverage recommendations some time. 

    • Thanks Rachel, much appreciated and thanks for commenting on how many calories in a glass of wine? Yes I think wine is the hidden calorie counter especially if people just drink it by the glass and its high ABV so alcohol by volume. I appreciate you taking time out. Phil

  4. Wow! Great article on how many calories in a glass of wine. I had no idea the amount. This is good that you have shared these important informative facts so people are more aware. I will for sure think twice next time I have some wine and probably choose one of your alternatives.

    • Thanks for sharing, it is so surprising how many calories are in wine and many alcoholic drinks. You do not realise at the time. I really appreciate you taking time out to comment on how many calories in a glass of wine.

  5. Oh how to ruin a good day. It seemed such good news that wine is great for the heart and a glass (or Two) daily will have us living to 120. Now you have bought to my attentions the reason my weight is going up , an extra 20% of my maximum calorie intake  waiting for dinner.
    It has probably made me cut my glass size down and omit a couple of days a week .
    I guess I might live longer but will I live happier, A question only I can answer.

    Peter H

    • Hi Peter, sorry to ruin your day. There are many mixed message out there so I would not worry to much. I think for many people it is fine, it just an awareness thing for me and people think alcohol has no calories whatsoever. Its a bit like fruit juices!! Balance is everything. Thanks for commenting on how many calories in a glass of wine. I appreciate you taking time out and for bringing a smile to my face. All the best, Phil


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