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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Calorie counting Santa selects a glass of red wine for the holidays!

Dear Wine Ladies,

As I indulge in one of my favorite holiday beverages, an eggnog and rum cocktail, I take note of my clothing becoming increasingly tighter. With a number of cocktail parties and dinners yet to attend I wonder if a glass of wine (or two) might be a more prudent choice? I’m sure that it would, but by how much I wonder? What is the caloric count of wine, and are some less fattening than others? How would a mixed drink compare as well?

Oakville, Ontario

Dear Leesa,

Your instincts are right on, better to steer clear of the egg nog, although delightfully rich and festive, the classic cocktail packs quite the caloric punch weighing in as high as 400 calories for a small four ounce serving. If you simply cannot resist, ask for a sampler that can be served in a shot glass.

The caloric count of a glass of red or white wine in comparison is definitely significant; on average you can count on 70-95 calories for a 4 ounce glass, depending on level of sweetness and percentage alcohol. Opt for the drier wines as well as those lower in alcohol; those that tend to come from cooler climates or the old world of winemaking.

A 1.5-ounce shot of any 80-proof liquor - vodka, rum, gin, etc. - has 100 calories. Be mindful when opting for mixed drinks, of the additional calories of prepared mixes, soft drinks or even orange juice, which can mount the final calorie count significantly. One of our little tricks of the trade come holiday time, is to ensure we enjoy two to three full glasses of bubbly… sparkling water that is, before and after each cocktail.

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