Rather than providing you with a list based on serving size, alcohol content, and specific brands that you can find on numerous websites that can’t help but generalize, let’s make our own generalizations. Simply come to realize that the calories in a glass of wine are ultimately your best option if looking to enjoy a drink without serious ramifications around the waistline and beyond/below/behind.
The “beer belly” is not simply an idiom but rather a result of the high amount of calories present in nearly all beer. Expect your average (mass produced) 12 ounce beer to come in at roughly 150 calories. While a seemingly low number, who only has one beer? Micro or Craft beers with higher alcohol contents can come in as high as 200 calories per 12 ounces; light beer, still, generally speaking, packs about 110 calories per serving, and face it, tastes awful if it has a taste at all.
One ounce of spirits, again a generalization, with no mixer brings around 70 calories to the glass. These spirits would include gin, vodka, rum, whiskey, etc. and excludes liqueurs that will, more often than not, have twice as many calories. These drinks should not be confused with cocktails that when mixed with sodas, simple syrups, and juices can exceed 200 calories based on the mixer and volume of alcohol that the heavy handed bartender, in a quest for tips, may pour you. Martinis may be the best bet for your waist at around 170 calories but your liver will certainly argue this point. Martini drinkers, unlike beer drinkers, rarely have six and if they do calories are the least of their short and long term problems.
Finally, the caloric content of wine. The calories in a glass of wine are your best bet. If you are drinking sweet wines rather than 100% dry fermented wines this will cease to be the case in no time flat, and flat your stomach will not be for long (Yoda speak aside). Generally speaking, again, your average four ounce glass of wine will contain about 75 calories. Champagne, given the same serving size though in a much prettier glass, will only add a handful of additional calories. Quite simply, the choice is simple, the calories in wine are negligible in the grand scheme of raising a glass. Better yet?
Drink red wine. While counting calories is important, red wine offers a myriad of additional health benefits due to the presence of antioxidants. At the risk of not seeing your days out as you should, you need to drink more wine. In moderation of course. There exists empirical evidence that red wine, again in moderation, is beneficial to your health. What is moderation? Moderation, if you are lucky enough to live in a country with nationalized or socialized health services, is two to three glasses a day. If, on the other hand, you happen to reside in a country that is the most litigious society in the world without said health care, moderation is ONE glass. Sorry.
In layman’s terms….
Red, and consequently rose wines are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are good. They battle the bad by slowing the oxidation process wherein reactive particles also known as “free radicals” have this horrible habit of attacking other good things, namely, healthy cells throughout the human body leading to that pesky heart disease.
Specifically the antioxidant resveratrol, is especially, keeping with layman’s terms, good. Resveratrol is found in the skins and seeds of red wine grapes in high concentration. Resveratrol is a good blood thinner, it keeps individual blood cells, platelets, from hanging around like a group of neer-do-wells in front of the liquor store leading to assault and bodily harm charges as well as teenage pregnancy, or in this case blood clots. Blood clots are bad. Blood clots have this nagging tendency to block smaller vessels in the heart and brain staving off the flow of oxygen. This lack of oxygen is called ischemia and is also bad. Don’t worry too much about remembering this medical term, chances are when you collapse on the sidewalk clutching your chest the person calling the ambulance won’t, they will probably just use “heart attack” as they call emergency services. Ischemia in the brain is more commonly known as a stroke, really bad.
Finally, resveratrol, doesn’t much care for low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or bad) cholesterol. LDL likes to cause a multi-syllabic problem in the arteries. Essentially, once LDL oxidizes it forms a plaque that leads to the hardening of the arteries. Not to worry. Because resveratrol and its mate saponin, another antioxidant found in red grapes, often team up, grab a six iron and a leg from a coffee table and just batter LDL around the head and neck lessening its resolve to kill you.
In addition to the meager amount of calories in a glass wine, wine is just plain smart for the health conscious. Smarter yet? Walking to your favorite wine shop and choosing from a wealth of health smart reds.