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 Bethenny.com 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