Units and calories in Champagne
Find out how many calories and units of alcohol there are in champagne
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A glass of champagne might have more alcohol and calories in it than you expect.
A typical-strength 125ml glass of champagne has around 1.5 units of alcohol. So, over a week, drinking more than a bottle and a half of champagne in total would put you above the UK Chief Medical Officers' (CMO) low risk drinking guidelines, of drinking less than 14 units a week.
Keeping an eye on how much you drink, and staying within the low-risk guidelines, has clear benefits for your long-term health. It could lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of long-term health problems, including at least seven types of cancer, or liver or heart disease.
Cutting down on drinking can benefit your waistline too. Alcohol contains almost as many calories as pure fat (around seven calories a gram).
It’s easy to see how much alcohol is in any champagne - just look out for the Alcohol by Volume (ABV) which you’ll find on the label, or ask at the bar.
The ABV tells you what percentage of the champagne is alcohol. The higher the ABV, the more alcohol is in the drink and the stronger it is - for example, a 12% ABV champagne contains 12% pure alcohol.
The amount of alcohol in champagne can vary. But champagne’s typical strength means drinking more than four glasses for a woman or six glasses for a man could be classed as ‘binge drinking’ (more than six units of alcohol for a woman, or eight for a man).1
What is a unit of alcohol?
Research shows that binge drinking (between 5-7 units) over a three-to-six-hour period increases your short-term risk of accidents and injuries by two to five times.2
All alcohol, including the alcohol in any champagne, is made from natural starch and sugar. That means a couple of typical 125ml glasses has the same number of calories as an ice cream sundae.
What’s more, because calories from alcohol are 'empty calories', meaning they have no nutritional value, they don’t benefit our bodies in any way.
An easy way to cut your calorie intake from champagne is to choose a non-alcoholic alternative, a lower strength sparkling wine or, if you’re having more than one glass, alternating between champagne and water.
The strength of champagne is usually around 12%, which means that it contains 12% pure alcohol.
That’s around the same amount of alcohol typically found in other sparkling wines, like prosecco or cava. The strength of these drinks can vary though – the best way to check is to look at the label, which will display the ‘alcohol by volume’ (or ABV).
Choosing a lower strength drink as a replacement to a full-strength one can be a great way to cut out unnecessary alcohol and calories. And there are more ‘reduced alcohol’ sparkling wines available than ever before, in supermarkets and pubs. A ‘reduced alcohol’ sparkling wine, like Moscato d'Asti, could be around 5.5% ABV (remember to check the label) – so would cut your alcohol consumption in half compared to an equivalent size glass of full-strength champagne.
Even better for reducing your alcohol intake would be a ‘low alcohol’ wine. These aren’t allowed to be more than 1.2% ABV,3 and many are around 0.5% ABV.
If you’re thinking about cutting the amount of champagne you drink to improve your health or appearance, you can do it with Drinkaware. Great ways to start are:
If you always have a glass of champagne to celebrate a good day at work, or commiserate a bad one, try doing something else instead. An alcohol-free dinner out makes for a feel-good treat, while a gym session is a great way to relieve stress.
At social occasions, you may be having your glass regularly topped up by your host or a waiter. Putting your glass down when you’re finished, or saying no to a refill, can help you stay in control.
Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach means it’s absorbed into your body more quickly. To slow things down eat before you drink alcohol, or if you’re at a celebration, make good use of the buffet.
Champagne often comes out to celebrate when good things happen. But there’s many other ways to mark an occasion, whether that’s buying a well-chosen gift for a friend or having an alcohol-free team event.
There’s always an excuse to have a drink, but it can all start to add up. Taking more drink-free days each week is an easy way to cut back and improve your health. Take our DrinkCompare Quiz to discover your drinking risk level, and create an action plan to reduce your drinking.
Last Reviewed: 12th January 2022
Next Review due: 12th January 2025