How many calories in a glass of wine? The EU has the answer

Displaying the number of calories on wine labels might soon no longer be a choice as the European Parliament takes steps to make calorie counts on alcoholic drinks mandatory.
According to Wine-Searcher, it has asked the European Commission to draw up a legislation that would require all alcoholic drinks to display nutritional information on their labels by 2016. In the EU, unlike other foodstuffs, it is currently not compulsory to display nutrition information on alcoholic drink labels.

Adopted by 63 of the 68 members for the parliament’s healthy committee, the legislation would also call for labels that would highlight the dangers of alcohol for motorists and pregnant women.

Labour MP Glenis Willmott has been the driving force behind this proposal, and she spoke to the Daily Star saying: “Consumers have a right to know that a glass of wine has the same number of calories as a slice of cake and that drinking while pregnant can harm your baby.”

According to The Business Insider, CEEV, the European Committee of Wine Businesses, which represents the EU industry and trade in wines said: “As an agricultural produce, wine changes from one year to the next depending on the characteristics of the harvest. Imposing nutritional labelling would lead to enormous additional costs for the winegrowing sector, costs with which most wine producers will not cope.”

Diageo announced in March its move to provide nutrition and alcohol content information per alcohol serving, the first for any alcohol company.

As the British binge-drinking habit shows no sign of abating, this is the latest in a string of initiatives aimed at curbing excessive alcohol content amongst the young, as well as fighting the increase in obesity in the EU.

This legislation will be voted on by the full European Parliament at the end of this month.
How many calories are in a glass of wine?
According to the drink aware website, a 175ml glass of 13% ABV wine is 159 calories, the equivalent to one and a half scoops of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream.

A 125ml glass of 12% champagne amounts to 89 calories, and is the equivalent of a chocolate digestive biscuit.

CellarVie Wines says
: We believe that although consumers do have a right to information which will allow them to make informed choices and that the alcohol industry has a duty to promote responsible drinking wherever possible, the subsequent costs that the wine producers will acquire will be huge and many small, independent wine makers will be seriously affected as a result.

Main blog image by Andrei Niemimäki

Why not have your say? Is this a good move by the EU? Should there be calorie counts on wine labels?

Register with CellarVie Wines today and leave your comments in the comments section below.


Written by: Lucy Prosser

Lucy Prosser 


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