By Barbara Hay
Tis the season for eating, and eating … and more eating with office parties, holiday buffets and cookie swaps. While you’re gorging this holiday season, don’t forget the wine calories. Wine and spirits can also pack on pounds if you’re not careful. Fret not, we are here to give a simple basic guide to wine and spirits calorie counting.
There are formulas for calculating calories in alcohol, but classic mixed drinks aren’t made according to a specific formula—different bartenders will combine ingredients in different proportions. So the formulas work best with wines and straight liquors and liqueurs.
Normally, the caloric formula for your libation takes the number of ounces you plan to pour in your glass multiplied by the alcohol content which is then multiplied by the factor of 1.6. So, a 4 ounce pour of Pinot Grigio that has 12% alcohol by volume would have approximately 77 calories (4 X 12 X 1.6=76.8).
Standard calorie counters say two glasses of wine, punch or cider is equivalent to 200-250 calories, while a standard cup (six ounces) of rich frothy Egg Nog is around 400 calories and two shots (3 fl oz) of liqueur will add 300 calories to your daily calorie count.
To make it easier to visualize the calories, here is a caloric equivalent drinks in comparison to food and snack items:
DRINK (CALORIES) FOOD (CALORIES)
A 12-ounce beer (150) 31/2 ounces roasted skinless chicken breast (142)
6 ounces of white wine (120) 4 cups light microwave popcorn (120)
One 12-ounce Wine Cooler (210) 4-5 pieces of sushi with vegetables and rice (200)
One Rum and Diet Coke (133) 1 cup vegetarian chili (135)
Rum and Coke (regular)(182) 3 medium whole-wheat pancakes (180)
Vodka Martini with one olive (184) 1 slice cheese pizza (183)
A 11/2 ounce shot Tequila/Vodka (100) 1 ounce store-bought guacamole dip (108)
Traditional Gin and Tonic (178) 11/2 ounces baked tortilla chips with 2 tablespoons salsa (177)
5 ounces Bailey’s Irish Cream (468) 31/2-ounce lean beef sirloin steak (201), 1 baked potato (220) with
1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream (15), green salad (25) with 1 tablespoon fat-free Italian dressing (6) for a total of 467 calories.
Cosmopolitan (151) 1 soy veggie burger (140)
When you know some basic comparisons and formula, you can easily make better holiday choices. Happy eating and drinking!