Skinnygirl Wine Exposed: Not So Low-Calorie

I was aghast to read in Wine Spectator Magazine that the Skinnygirl brand, the brainchild of Bethenny Frankel of the Real Housewives of New York City, is entering the wine market. Not that long ago, I wrote about the dubious “natural” labeling (aka. greenwash) on Skinnygirl cocktails and how they contain E211, an additive linked to aging and cancer.  So I was completely unsurprised to find more mis-truth in advertising surrounding their new line of wine.

According to Wine Spectator:

…the Skinnygirl line of wines is poised to capitalize on the brand’s already-established core of loyal consumers—largely health-conscious women ages 30 to 39 … The wine’s lower caloric content and 12 percent alcohol is controlled by a combination of grape variety selection and ripeness at harvest.

The article goes on to expose Skinnygirls’ low-calorie positioning as nothing more than marketing and promotional bluster:

Is 100 calories a glass really low-calorie? Actually, the average caloric content of most wines is 100 calories per 5 ounce glass, according to past estimates by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But the content can vary widely, with higher alcohol wines, red wines and wines with residual sugar approaching 120 calories a glass. But Skinnygirl will certainly be one of the only wines actively promoting its caloric content.

The fact is that most of the calories in wine come from the alcohol. The lower the alcohol content, the less calories it will contain.

Unsurprisingly, Skinnygirl wine will be no less caloric than the vast majority of other 12% alcohol content wines. Yet claims that “…each serving is only 100 calories—15% lower than most other brands.” It sounds like the Sin of No Proof to me. It also sounds like Skinnygirl is hoping to exploit consumer confusion on the issue by trying to make their wines out to be a “healthy” alternative to other wine. Shame

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5 thoughts on “Skinnygirl Wine Exposed: Not So Low-Calorie”

  1. That’s interesting! I am happy that wine is also helpful in our body. And also wine as being something that should be included in the our diet, am I right? Correct me if I am wrong. I have question, is it OK to drink wine everyday?

  2. I am so glad you wrote a post about this! I was browsing the liquor store the other day and saw her margarita mix as well. It is not very low calorie either. If you look on the bottle a serving is one once and it is about 120 calories I believe. That does not seem much different than normal…
    I agree a glass a day of wine is good for the heart, yet it still seems misleading them marketing these as low calorie.

  3. Thanks for the information. I feel misled by Skinny Girl!

    I have a friend who adds club soda to his wine to make it a spritzer. That’s the easiest way to have fewer calories in your wine. I guess I will do that instead!

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