by Jon Lewis

Did you know that various wineries have now begun producing reduced-calorie wines? Some current low- calorie wine producers are Skinnygirl, Skinny Wine, Weight Watchers, FitVine, and some foreign brands. These wines typically have approximately 90 calories for a five-ounce glass of wine. This compares to a typical five-ounce glass with about 120 calories—saving a person approximately 30 calories by drinking low-calorie you know that various wineries have now begun producing reduced-calorie wines?

Is it worth it? Maybe, and maybe not. Some wines produced today actually have lower calories, but they are not marketed as low-calorie wines. The calorie count in wine stems (no pun intended) from the grapes and the alcohol content. The sweeter the grape, the sweeter the wine, and the more calories the glass will contain. Similarly, the higher the alcohol content of the wine, the more calories that will be ingested.

The real question is the goal of the person drinking the wine. If a person wants to drink low-calorie wine in order to be able to drink more wine, it’s probably not a good idea. For example, if two glasses of average, regular wine are consumed, the person will be taking in approximately 240 calories. But, if on chooses low-calorie wine in order to drink more glasses—say three—the person will probably consume 270 calories or 30 calories more than two glasses of regular wine. This would defeat the purpose of drinking low-calorie wine, and the person will probably be sacrificing taste as well.

The low-calorie wines also advertise that their sugars are lower. For example, FitVine claims to have less sugar, but, in reality, white wines typically have less than 1.5 grams of sugar, and a five- ounce glass of red wine typically has less than 1 gram of sugar.

Consequently, the sugar content is usually not a driving force—it’s the alcohol content.

There are other factors that drive the availability of lower calorie wines as well. Some winemakers have started to retreat from the 14 to 15 percent alcohol content wines to 7.5 to 9 percent alcohol content. This reduction in alcohol content naturally reduces the calories in the wine, but it’s often done for a matter of taste.

Additionally, less alcohol content helps reduce the cost of the wine. Also, it is more difficult to reduce the alcohol content in red wines, therefore fewer red wines exist in the lower calorie category.

Ultimately, it’s up to the consumer to decide if reduced calorie wines are to be their beverage of choice