Shaina Wizov is the founder of South Florida blog, Take A Bite Out of Boca. She is an avid wine drinker with a passion for all things bubbly! In September 2019, she traveled to Northern Italy to increase her knowledge about wine and continues to educate herself regularly. Shaina is a social media influencer and content creator, working with various clients in food and beverage, fashion, beauty, wellness and lifestyle. You can find her on Instagram at @takeabiteoutofboca.
Here we are again — another compare and contrast between a new low calorie sparkling wine that has hit the market and my beloved Mr SYLTBAR, a tried and true favorite I just simply cannot get enough of.
Wines to drink on a Diet
This time around, we’re testing a sparkling wine that is mainly marketed to the Weight Watchers (WW) community. Now, don’t get me wrong — SYLTBAR reaches that audience too, as both Mr and Mrs have been proven to be 2 SmartPoints for WW. But this wine, Cense Wines, even boasts the WW logo on its label. The Cense Wines website states that they have partnered with WW, a widely recognized and trusted health-conscious brand, to “create a full-flavored and delicious SmartPoints®-friendly wine.”
Sparkling Wines on Weight Watchers
Cense’s portfolio includes both premium wines and canned wine spritzers. The premium wines include a sparkling wine, sauvignon blanc, rosé and cabernet sauvignon, and the spritzers come in wild berry, ruby grapefruit and lemon lime. All of the premium wines are 3 SmartPoints, 85 calories, 1g residual sugar (but they all have 4-5g carbohydrates), and 9.5% alcohol per 5 ounce serving, and the wine spritzers are 4 SmartPoints, 100 calories, 2g sugar, and 4.5% alcohol per 355ml can, which is equal to 12 ounces.
So, as you can see, the website is very transparent with the nutrition facts behind the bottles… But Mr SYLTBAR Premium Prosecco still wins the numbers game. A 6 ounce pour (not 5 ounces, like Cense uses for their serving stats) is 49 calories, 0.3g residual sugar, and 11.5% alcohol… and only 2 WW SmartPoints!
But I know what you really want to hear about… The taste!
Does the Cense Wine Taste Good?
Cense Sparkling Wine’s website tasting notes call it “crisp, fruity and refreshing filled with tiny bubble aromas and flavors of apple, pear and citrus.” I popped open a bottle to give it a try, and my completely honest opinion is that it is the worst sparkling wine I have ever tasted. It reminded me of a California chardonnay (the wine is produced in California by the way), which is my least favorite variety of wine ever and I will never ever drink it. It left an awful aftertaste lingering on my tongue after just one sip. It was not what I would call crisp or refreshing, but instead much bigger than a sparkling wine should be — and not in a big, bold, incredibly delicious Amarone red wine kind of way.
I get the desire to drink low calorie, low sugar wine… But at what cost? We should not have to sacrifice flavor or alcohol content to do this! Yes, I said alcohol… Cense gets its wine to that low 85 calorie count by removing some of the alcohol, which is why the Cense sparkling wine is only 9.5% while SYLTBAR sits pretty at 11.5%!
What I love about SYLTBAR is that the winery did not feel the need to add any sugars or chemicals during the production process, and just let the grapes do their thing, 100% naturally. What results is a pure wine that actually is crisp and refreshing, with notes of pear and golden apple — flavors that do shine through in Mr SYLTBAR, but that I could not quite make out in the Cense sparkling wine.
Regardless of whether or not you follow the WW diet, or just simply prefer low calorie and low sugar wine, you can have all of that and drink something that still tastes good. That’s why we have SYLTBAR, and that’s why I will always recommend it first. Visit the website at syltbar.com and check out both of the sparkling wines, Premium Prosecco and Sparkling Rosé, and if you prefer still wines, there is also a Pinot Grigio, Pinot Grigio Ramato, Friuli and Cabernet Franc — still low calorie, low sugar, but not low flavor.