We live in a world of low-calorie foods, snacks, and beverages. It should come as no surprise that, in recent years, the makers of alcoholic beverages have developed what many now refer to as “diet” wines. Industry experts say hundreds of thousands of bottles of wine that are low in calories are flying of liquor shelves across North America.
Whether it is an attempt to get rid of unwanted calories or just to keep the figure slim, people are demanding low-calorie options for almost everything available these days – so wine makers have answered the call. The “Skinny Vine” is one of the fastest growing lines of diet wines in the United States. Run by Treasury Wine Estates, the line of three diet wines are said to have 25 to 35 percent fewer calories than many other wines.
The Skinny Vine collection is just one example. There are a number of wine selections from around the world that now boast low calories. The “Skinny Grape” from Niagara Canada and “Skinny Girl” from California are two more diet wines gaining in popularity. According to the liquor control board of Ontario, Skinny Grape has reached 1.6 million dollars in sales just in the province of Ontario. It is about 80 calories per five-ounce glass, while the average glass of wine can be well over 100 calories.
A lot of people are aware that alcohol can be high in calories, but not everyone takes into consideration that alcohol also makes it more difficult for our bodies to absorb nutrients and burn energy. Alcohol interrupts the fat burning process, giving way to potential weight gain. Studies also show that, whether it is beer or wine, when we drink we have a tendency to want to eat high fat food. Low-calorie alcohol can allow you to enjoy a drink without jeopardizing your weight.
While wines with fewer calories sound like a good idea, some marketing experts fear that they may also give consumers a false sense of security. While the words “skinny,” “slim,” and “low-calorie” may make drinkers feel more care-free about drinking more, it doesn’t dilute the fact that excessive alcohol can lead to inebriation, addiction and a host of other medical problems. Food experts have also pointed out that younger consumers tend to associate the term “low-carb” with “healthy”, which can be very misleading when consuming these products.
Besides the sugar content, the amount of alcohol in the wine is what increases the number of calories in it. Therefore, lighter alcohol contents contain less calories. To make lighter wines, wine-makers will often extract alcohol using various technologies. Wineries will harvest grapes before they are fully ripened, as these grapes have less sugar. A lower amount of sugar will result in less alcohol content during the fermentation process. The lower the alcohol content, the lower the calorie count.
Many people enjoy the taste of light wine. But for people who enjoy stronger bottles with a higher alcohol content, diet wines may lack the full-bodied taste that they prefer.
Many celebrities and nutritionists are now endorsing diet wines. Research is also showing that at least 20 percent of Americans are on a diet, so the selection of low-calorie wines is likely to grow over the next few years.