Weight Watchers’ low-calorie Cense Sauvignon Blanc joins the growing list of waist- and wallet-friendly wines
Here’s one less thing to wine about.
If you want to raise a glass to National Wine Day on Friday without pouring on the pounds, you’ve got plenty of low-calorie wines to choose from.
Most famously, Weight Watchers is bottling a sauvignon blanc that’s just 85 calories a serving, compared to the average white’s 120 to 150-calorie buzzkill.
The weight-loss company partnered with Truett-Hurst last fall, the winemaker behind affordable bottles branded for Trader Joe’s, Target and Kroger, on a low-calorie wine collection available online and at Kroger stores in 35 states. The first guilt-free bottle is the 2016 Cense Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, which has no added sugar, and boasts aromas of lemon, kiwi and grapefruit. It retails for $15 online (where it’s currently sold out), or $13.99 at select Kroger stores.
“The second most tracked beverage amongst our members is wine,” said Ryan Nathan, Vice President of Consumer Products and Ecommerce at Weight Watchers International, in a statement. “We are not only offering our members wine they can enjoy for fewer points, but we have also created a serious product that addresses the strong consumer demand for a great-tasting wine that is also lower in calories.”
Of course, an 85-calorie serving is only five fluid ounces — which is the standard wine serving size. However, research shows that most of us pour 12% more – especially if the wine is white, we’re pouring it into a wider glass, or if we’re holding the glass in our hands instead of setting it on the table. So Weight Watchers also offers portion control wine glasses (two for $20) with etchings at five, six and eight ounces so that you don’t overpour.
Weight Watchers isn’t the first company trying to give wine lovers a diet-friendly adult beverage. Skinnygirl, launched by “Real Housewife” Bethenny Frankel in 2011 (which she sold later that year for a reported $100 million), has expanded to a collection of eight wines which contain just 100 calories per five ounces. They include a California White and a Moscato for $15 at retailers like Walmart and Target, or websites including TotalWine.com and ReserveBar.com.
FitVine also crushes wines with less sugar, carbs, calories and sulfites than standard varietals, including a sauvignon blanc, a chardonnay and a new pinot for just 90 calories per five-ounce serving ($15.99 to $17.99 a bottle). They also sell reduced-calorie reds, including a cabernet sauvignon ($15.99) and a pinot noir ($19.99) that are 95 calories per five ounces, as well as a rose ($17.99) that’s 85 calories a serving.
Brancott Estate’s Flight Song wines were crafted to be 20% lighter in calories than the New Zealand winemaker’s other vintages. The $15 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Marlborough Pinot Grigio contain 88 and 87 calories respectively, per five-ounce pour. The sauvignon blanc features citrus notes and tastes of lemon sherbet and mango, while the pinot grigio boasts floral notes and flavors of crisp Nashi pears, apples and white peaches.
And British retailer Marks & Spencer revealed its Sumika collection of light wines, including a Sumika Sauvignon Blanc 2017 from South Africa with “refreshing flavors of elderflower, passionfruit and peach“ that’s just 50 calories per 100 milliliters, or less than four fluid ounces. There’s also a Sumika Rosé at just 50 calories per serving for just under $10 a bottle, or $60 a case.
German retailer Aldi also released a Featherweight collection of red, white and rosé wines last summer for less than $4 a bottle. The pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc pack just 55 calories per 125 milliliters (just over four fluid ounces), and the white zinfandel is 57 calories a serving. They’re being tested in select U.K. stores for now. The pinot satisfies with crisp citrus notes and white peach aromas, while the blanc has aromas of gooseberry and mint leaf, with apple and lemon flavors.
There’s a catch, of course. Less calories mean less alcohol. While the standard serving of full-calorie white wine delivers 12% alcohol per volume and up, the Weight Watchers’ low-cal version is just 9.6% ABV, the Skinnygirl wines are just 10% ABV, and the Marks & Spencer bottles are the biggest lightweights at 8.5% ABV.
But hey, low-calorie and low-alcohol counts mean you’re definitely drinking responsibly.
Or you can pour yourself a glass of dry, sparkling wine, like a Champagne, brut or prosecco, which usually run between 84 to 105 calories per four-ounce serving.
This article was originally published in November 2017 and has been updated with new wines for National Wine Day.
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