Low Calorie Wine Sounds Great, But It's an Awful Idea

Low Calorie Wine Sounds Great, But It's an Awful Idea

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Greatist Bites examine what's fun, weird, innovative, and downright interesting in health, fitness, and happiness - all in 250 words or less. Check out all recent Bites here.

Photo: Garry Knight

Reality TV personality (and my personal girl crush) Bethenny Frankel recently added four new wines to her SkinnyGirl line of low-calorie alcoholic drinks. Each glass of SkinnyGirl booze has just 100 calories per 5-ounce serving, while the same portion of traditional white wine has about 110 calories and red has about 120.

As much as I'd like to hang out with Miss Frankel while kicking back some wine, her skinny drinks are a bit misleading. Some svelter brands of vino manage to drop a few calories by decreasing alcohol content to less than 10 percent (and, ehem, where's the fun in that?), but SkinnyGirl wine is still 12 percent alcohol by volume. So if most wines at the local liquor mart contain about 13 percent ABV, why are people bothering to buy SkinnyGirl?

The brand's appeal is unlikely due to a truly meaningful decrease in calories (Remember, SkinnyGirl wines are only around 10-20 calories lighter than regular vino. That's like eating two or three fewer almonds for a mid-day snack). But because the bottles' labels put calorie counts front and center, and most alcoholic beverages don't, a consumer may be duped into thinking the calorie count is significantly lower. The sneaky part is that SkinnyGirl is no less caloric than other wines with 12 percent alcohol by volume.

If you do decide to drop some dough on wine that's lower in booze, just remember that you may be tempted to drink more of the low-cal stuff to make up for the decrease in alcohol. And heck, regular old wine (in moderation) is actually good for us.

Would you tip your glass to low-cal wine? Weigh in in the comment section below, or tweet the author @nicmcdermott.