Four Surefire Tricks to Enjoying Wine Without Counting Every Calorie

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Even if you are counting calories, you should be able to enjoy a glass of wine.  There are some tricks that can make it easier to watch your weight and still enjoy wine more often.

Rather than worrying every time you take a drink, you can follow these guidelines to pick lower-calorie choices without sacrificing taste or quality.   When you consider how many calories are in cookies or ice cream, the calories in wine are not nearly as big a deal.  

Choose a Dry Wine

One reason it is difficult to count calories in wine is that manufacturers are not required to list them on the bottle.  That means you have to work a little harder to know how many calories you may be drinking.  

If you are looking at menus or labels, look for the word dry.  Calling a wine dry is simply a way of saying that it isn’t sweet.  A sweet wine has retained more of the natural sugar from the wine grapes.  Certain processes reduce the amount of sugar that ends up in the wine.

A label may tell you how many carbohydrates are in a wine. If so, keep in mind that each gram is adding four calories to the glass. That’s why a dry wine with 3 grams of carbohydrates will have fewer calories than a sweet wine.  A dessert wine is likely to have 20 grams of carbohydrates. 

Instead of worrying about numbers, just remember to favor dry wines.

Choose Lower Alcohol Content

The next aspect to consider is the alcohol content.  The typical wine has 11 percent to 14 percent alcohol content.  You may be able to guess this, but the alcohol content also contributes to the sugar in the wine.  If you can choose lower alcohol content in your wine, you are generally cutting calories.

Each gram of alcohol adds about 7 calories to the wine. An 11-percent content wine will have fewer calories than a 14-percent content wine.  Again, don’t worry too much about the exact numbers, just choose a lower alcohol content to decrease the calories.

Fair warning, though. If you drop too far below 11 percent, the taste of the wine may suffer.  When it starts to taste more like grape juice, it’s definitely not worth saving a few calories. 

Sip, Don’t Guzzle

Good wine is something to be sipped, rather than guzzled.  If you keep this in mind, you’ll drink more slowly.  This may lead you to choose a better Chardonnay wine, one that you will slow down and enjoy. Some insist that red wine is more sippable than white wine. This is due to the fact that red wines are generally not served cold. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if it sits between sips. The temperature isn’t changing drastically.

As with all types of drinks, the portion size does matter.  Every ounce is adding from 21 to 30 calories.  The recommended serving is five ounces. If you stick to that, you’ll only be adding about 120 to 130 calories to your diet.  That’s similar to the same ounces of a regular soft drink, but it tastes much more sophisticated. 

If you are tempted to drink a whole bottle, find someone to share it with.  You can reduce calories just by enjoying a favorite vintage with a friend or two.

Don’t Mix Your Wine

There are many ways to dress up wine.  There are wine coolers, sangrias, and other wine cocktails. However, most wine mixers will add calories. 

While it will stretch the wine to add some soda to it, that soft drink is adding calories. It would be better to skip the soda and just enjoy the wine as is. Of course, you could add diet soda, but then you are drastically changing the taste of the wine.  That taste is why we drink wine. So why alter it beyond recognition?

A mulled wine generally has a much higher calorie count due to the addition of fruit juices.  Likewise, a sangria generally has a higher calorie count. So, if watching calories, skip these and just enjoy a good glass of wine as it was intended.

If you apply these rules to most of the wine you choose, you will leave room for special occasions where you want to splurge on wines that don’t fit these rules.  

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