Units and calories in white wine
Find out how many units and calories are in a glass of white wine.
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A glass of white wine might have more alcohol and calories in it than you would expect.
A typical-strength medium (175ml) glass of white wine has around 2.3 units of alcohol. So, over a week, drinking more than six glasses of white wine 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, 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 white wine - 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 white wine is alcohol. The higher the ABV, the more alcohol is in the drink and the stronger it is - for example, a 13% ABV white wine contains 13% pure alcohol.
White wine’s typical strength means drinking two large glasses in one session could mean you’re consuming six and a half units of alcohol, so could be classed as ‘binge drinking’ (more than six units of alcohol for a woman, or eight for a man).1
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 found in white wines like Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or any other type - is made from natural starch and sugar. There are 131 calories in a typical 175ml glass of white wine3 – slightly more than you would find in a bag of ready salted crisps. That means that, over time, drinking too much can lead to weight gain and start to affect your appearance.
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 white wine is to choose a non-alcoholic alternative, a lower strength wine or, if you’re having more than one glass, alternating between white wine and water.
contains up to 131 calories
up to 187 calories
up to 561 calories
Different types of wine – whether red, white, rosé or sparkling (like prosecco or champagne) – can vary a lot. They are typically around 11-14% ABV, although some can be as high as 14.5% ABV. The only way to be sure is to check the label.
Choosing lower strength can be a great way to cut out unnecessary alcohol and calories. And there are more ‘reduced alcohol’ wines available than ever before, in supermarkets and pubs. A ‘reduced alcohol’ white wine 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 wine.
Even better for reducing your alcohol intake would be a ‘low alcohol’ white wine. These aren’t allowed to be more than 1.2% ABV,4 and many are around 0.5% ABV.
If you’re thinking about cutting the amount of white wine 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 white wine 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.
There’s often 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.
Why not add a splash of soda water to your white wine to help the same number of units last longer?
If you're used to drinking large glasses of wine, swap those cavernous 250ml wine glasses for 125ml ones – in the pub and at home. You can even buy a measuring cup.
Drinking more slowly can help you savour the flavour of your wine and will mean you’re less tempted to have one more glass.
Last Reviewed: 1st July 2022
Next Review due: 1st July 2025