How much sugar is in a glass of wine?

A poignant media headline caught my attention this week stating “two glasses of wine can contain more calories than a hamburger” While it was designed to shock and cleverly reel me in for the read, it got me thinking more about how much you might know about daily sugar intake and what's inside your wine bottle.

What’s your daily sugar allowance?

According to the Federal Commission for Nutrition on Carbohydrate Intake  a maximum of 10% of daily energy intake should be from added sugar (e.g. sucrose, glucose, fructose), and from honey, sugar syrup and fruit juice. For an adult who is predominantly sedentary and has a daily energy expenditure of about 2000 kcal this comes to a maximum of about 50g of sugar per day. 

How much sugar is in your wine bottle?

Residual sugar (or RS) refers to the natural grape sugars left over in a wine after the alcoholic fermentation is complete. It is measured in grams per litre.  In case you didn’t already know, the sugar found in grapes is a combination of glucose and fructose. Wines can range from 0 to 220 grams of sugar per litre (g/L), depending on the type or variety of wine. And don't be fooled by dry tasting wines! They can contain up to 10 grams of sugar per bottle. 

Not so fun fact: Currently, most countries are not required to label sweetness levels in wine. Say whaaaat?!

What about wine with lower alcohol content?

A recent study conducted by The Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA) suggested many of the most sugar-packed wines were the ones which had the lowest strength of alcohol. So, drinkers may opt for a lower-strength alcohol thinking that this was a healthier option - but could unwittingly be upping their daily sugar intake. 


If opting for less sweet or lower strength wines isn't the solution, then what is?

The good news is that this problem has been on my mind for a while and it’s one of the reasons I decided to start VE Refinery. With the intention of demonstrating that wine, alcohol and high sugar content are not synonymous. Take NOUGHTY Organic, Sparkling, Chardonnay for example. With just 2.9g of sugar per 100ml, it’s almost half the sugar content of other non-alcoholic sparkling wines, and with just 14 calories per glass, it's the perfect answer to a hangover free celebration.