Lower alcohol, lower calories

tape measureInevitably some of us will have put on weight over Christmas and, if like me, you not only cooked the food but ate it too then the waist-band button is probably straining a bit. One way of dealing with this post-Christmas excess is to reduce the daily intake of wine calories.

slices of cakeWine contains, on average, 85 calories in every glass, so drinking two fewer glasses a day is the equivalent of removing a slice cake from this woman's recommended 2000 daily calories (good news for men as you are recommended an extra 500 calories a day on top of this).

The actual number of calories in a glass of wine varies – high levels of alcohol and sugar can easily double the average number. Dry wines with a low alcoholic strength will have the lowest calorie count.

Black TowerChoose English and German wines while dieting as the northern European cool climate only allows alcohol volumes to get to a maximum of 12% (that's pretty low compared to the 14 or 15% alcoholic strength wines commonly produced in the hotter wine producing areas of America or Australia). For the lowest number of calories in a glass try German wines, 9% alcohol is not unusual.

But if reading wine labels for their alcoholic strength and counting calories isn't your thing then let someone else do all the hard work for you. Weight Watchers range of wines calculate the calories for you: Fruity White, Smooth Red, Purely Pink, Refreshing Rosé and their Zinfandel Rosé (available Tesco, Ocado, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose) contain 80 calories a glass.

But saving so few calories compared to any everyday bottle of low alcohol, dry wine may persuade you to extend your choice beyond these pleasant, easy drinking choices.

PG Wine Reviews

Sainsbury’s Portuguese Vinho Verde (9%)

£4.59 Sainsbury’s

Lemon and melon flavours with a slight spritz.

Palatium Rivaner German Pinot Grigio (11%)

£4.79 Tesco (down from £5.79 until 14 Jan)

Crisp lemon, almond and peach.

Yaldara Australian Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (11.5%)

£5.99 Morrisons Cellar

Really, really sharp tropical fruit flavours.

Giardini Lower Alcohol Italian Merlot 2012 (9.5%)

£6.99 Marks and Spencer

A light, easy-drinking red that tastes of cherry and plum.

Tesco Finest English White (12%)

£8.99 Tesco

Produced by Denbies, this elderflower and apple-tasting white could be mistaken for a Sauvignon Blanc.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk