glass of white wine

Have you ever wondered how many calories are hiding in your glass of white wine? While many of us enjoy the crisp, refreshing taste of a chilled Sauvignon Blanc or a buttery Chardonnay, we often overlook the potential impact on our daily calorie intake. 

In this article, we'll examine the calorie content of various white wines and help you understand how factors like alcohol content and sweetness levels can affect the total calorie count.

How Many Calories Are in a Glass of White Wine?

A standard serving is approximately 125ml, or about 5 ounces. A glass of white wine with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 12% typically contains approximately 120–125 calories, although the calorie count can vary, as we'll explain. To put this into perspective, consuming a glass of white wine is equivalent to eating approximately three Oreo cookies.

How Many Calories Are in a Bottle of White Wine?

The calorie content of a full 750ml bottle of white wine averages around 625 calories. However, this value can fluctuate based on the wine's ABV and sweetness level.

Factors Affecting Calorie Content

Two primary factors influence the calorie content of white wine: alcohol by volume (ABV) and residual sugar content.

Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

Alcohol is the main contributor to the calorie content of white wine, with each gram containing seven calories, only two calories less than a gram of fat. As a result, wines with higher ABV percentages will have more calories per serving. For example, a bottle of dry white wine with 10% ABV contains around 500 calories. In contrast, a bottle of 14% ABV dry white contains around 625 calories.

Residual Sugar Content (Sweetness)

The sweetness of a white wine is determined by its residual sugar content. Carbohydrates, including sugar, contain four calories per gram. Sweeter white wines may have a higher calorie content than drier varieties at the same ABV. 

It's worth remembering that sweetness is not always a reliable guide to a wine's energy content. Fermentation consumes sugar to make alcohol, so the more residual sugar a wine contains, the less alcohol it has. Because alcohol is more calorific than sugar, sweet dessert wines often have a lower calorie count than dry wines with a higher ABV.

Calories by White Wine Type

The calorie content of white wine varies based on the type and style. Here's a more detailed breakdown of the calorie content for popular white wine varieties.

Dry White Wines

Dry white wines are characterized by their crisp, refreshing taste and low residual sugar content. The calorie count for dry white wines varies depending on the alcohol content, which can differ significantly even within the same family of wines.

  • Sauvignon Blanc: Known for its zesty acidity and herbaceous notes, Sauvignon Blanc typically contains 120–130 calories. Its ABV usually ranges from 12-14%, contributing to its relatively high calorie count.
  • Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris: This light-bodied white wine is known for its crisp, refreshing taste and lower calorie content. A standard 5 oz glass of Pinot Grigio contains approximately 120 calories, with an ABV ranging from 11.5-13.5%.
  • Chardonnay: Chardonnay is a full-bodied white wine that can be produced in various styles, from crisp and unoaked to rich and buttery. A 5 oz glass of Chardonnay contains around 123 calories, and its ABV typically ranges from 13-15%.

These average figures are interesting but not particularly useful for determining the impact a glass of wine will have on your overall calorie intake. In general, you should check each bottle label for calorie information. If the label doesn't have a calorie account, you're safe assuming dry wine's calorie content is proportional to its alcohol content.

Sweet White Wines

Sweet white wines have a higher residual sugar content but often a lower alcohol content. The exact calorie content will depend on the specific wine and its sweetness level.

Examples of sweet white wines include:

  • Moscato: This sweet, fruit-forward wine has gained popularity in recent years. Moscato's calorie content varies greatly depending on its sweetness, ranging from 111–147 calories per 5 oz glass. Its ABV is usually low, around 5-7%.
  • Riesling: Riesling can be produced in various styles, from bone-dry to lusciously sweet. A German Spätlese Riesling, which has a moderate level of sweetness, contains approximately 110 calories per 5 oz glass and has an ABV of around 7.5%.
  • Gewürztraminer: This aromatic white wine is known for its lychee and floral notes. Gewürztraminer can be made in both dry and sweet styles, with the sweeter versions containing relatively large amounts of residual sugar and alcohol. A 5 oz glass of sweet Gewürztraminer can contain up to 140 calories, with an ABV ranging from 12-14%.

When choosing a white wine, it's essential to consider personal taste preferences alongside calorie content. By understanding the factors influencing calorie count, such as ABV and residual sugar content, you can make informed decisions aligning with your health goals and tastes.