5 Lower-Calorie Wines for a Healthier Happy Hour

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Newer wine brands make drinking vino a bit more friendly to your waistline.
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A greasy cheese pizza and a bottle of wine may seem like the perfect send off to a hectic workweek.

But overindulging in that Friday-friendly combo can sometimes do more harm than good: Alcoholic drinks (like wine) not only contain calories and sugar, but they can also lead us astray from our weight loss aspirations, says Hailey Gorski, RD.

"A 5-ounce pour of Pinot Grigio with an ABV of 12.5 percent has 120 calories and 3 grams of carbs," Gorski explains.

"Alcohol lowers inhibitions, which means that we are more likely to make poor food choices," Gorski says. "If we select wine with low alcohol by volume (ABV), we are more likely to honor our health goals and make a more sensible decision at the dinner table."

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To help keep your carb and calorie intake under control, Gorski advises scanning your wine bottle and selecting blends that contain an ABV of 12.5 percent or below. "Wines that contain too much ABV, for example, tend to be higher in carbs and sugar," she says.

But you don't have to look high and low for healthier sips, as there are many low-calorie wine brands available at reasonable price points. To help bring these wines to your kitchen table, Gorski and other dietitians weigh in on low-calorie wines for a lighter buzz below.

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1. Cupcake LightHearted Rosé

If you're not into rose, you can opt for Cupcake's red and white wines.
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  • 80 calories per glass

If you're looking for a light and refreshing rosé to enjoy with a good book on a Saturday night, Lisa DeFazio, RD, recommends filling a glass of Cupcake LightHearted rosé, as it contains only 80 calories and 8 percent ABV per one 5-ounce glass.

"The grapes used in this wine are harvested early in the season in order to minimize the amount of sugar that is naturally found in grapes," DeFazio explains. "This helps create a lower-sugar, lower-alcohol product after blending."

Buy it: Drizly.com; Price: $9.99

2. Yellowtail Pure Bright Pinot Grigio

Yellowtail's affordable low-calorie wine tastes just as good as the traditional lines.
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  • 79 calories per 125-milliliter serving

This well-known Australian wine brand has developed a light wine that brings a fruity and refreshing addition to any happy hour or meal, says board-certified dietitian Staci Gulbin, RD.

Great taste aside, Gulbin explains that this wine is the perfect weekend pick-me-up, as it doesn't go hard on the calories and ABV levels. "At around 79 calories per 125-milliliter serving (about 18.7 calories per ounce) this wine clocks in at just 8.5 percent ABV," she adds.

Buy it: Drizly.com; Price: $11.54

3. SkinnyGirl Moscato Wine

SkinnyGirl is inexpensive and generally available, making it an accessible choice for the calorie-conscious wine drinker.
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  • 100 calories per glass

Moscato may pair well with tasty homemade desserts after a scrumptious meal, but sweeter wines like these aren't the most nutritious.

But that doesn't mean you have to write off moscato all together, as Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, explains explains that SkinnyGirl's take on this popular wine keeps ABV levels and calories under control.

"Each one of SkinnyGirl's wines all come in around 100 calories per glass with just 10 percent ABV," Palinski-Wade says.

Buy it: TotalWine.com; Price: $15.49

4. Cense Wines Sauvignon Blanc

Cense wines (cabernet, sparkling, rosé) keep it reasonable in the calorie and ABV department.
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  • 85 calories per 5-ounce glass

"While most other white wines contain about 120 calories, Cense offers blends that are lower in calories (85 calories per 5-ounce glass) and alcohol by volume (9.5 percent)," Jacyln London, RD, says.

"And if you are a WW (formerly Weight Watchers) member, this means obtaining three SmartPoints per glass, instead of the usual four."

Buy it: Censewines.com; Price: $15.99 per bottle.

5. Bev Sauvignon Blanc

Bev white wine cans pair nicely with fish tacos and provide a nice burst of citrusy flavor.
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  • 160 calories per 8.4-ounce can

Delicious taste aside, each white wine can skips out on the high ABV and calories associated with some white wines, says Emily Danckers, RD.

"Bev's Sauvignon Blanc contains 11 percent ABV and about 160 calories per can," Danckers explains. While that may seem high, one can contains more wine than your average 5-ounce glass — you'll get 8.4 ounces or about 1.5 glasses of wine in a can of Bev.

Buy it: Drinkbev.com; Price: $49 for a pack of 8