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Guilt-free sipping: Weight Watchers wine is now available in the US

by Aly Walansky / / Source: TODAY

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When it comes to dieting, many nutritionists recommend avoiding calorie-laden alcoholic beverages.

But this can be especially hard during the holidays, with the endless parties, dinners and other seasonal get-togethers. But this week, Weight Watchers is rolling out a new product in the U.S. that aims to give those watching their calorie intake more options when it comes to imbibing.

The weight loss program has partnered with Truett-Hurst Winery to launch a line of lower-calorie wines and the first one, a Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand, is out now.

Weight Watchers

“Cense is a fresh and bright wine with aromas of lemon and lime, crisp acidity and juicy grapefruit flavors,” according the product's website.

Weight Watchers says its new white wine is "is rich in flavor" but contains only 85 calories per a 5 fluid ounce serving (the equivalent of 3 Weight Watchers SmartPoints), while many other white wines contain about 120 calories (4 SmartPoints) per the same serving size.

If getting into the world of wine seems a bit unusual for a brand that focuses on helping people eat healthier, think again. According to Weight Watchers vice president of products, licensing, and e-commerce Ryan Nathan, wine is actually one of the company's most tracked items for those following its points plan.

But how, exactly, did the two companies create a lower-calorie wine that supposedly tastes the same? According to Truett-Hurst co-founder, president and CEO Phil Hurst, Cense is made using "an innovative technology that captures the compounds that make up the flavor and aroma of a wine, holding them aside while removing excessive alcohol." Indeed, a bottle Cense is 9.6 percent ABV while most wines hover somewhere between the 11 to 14 percent ABV range.

Of course, Weight Watchers isn't the first company to get into the diet wine spirits business. Reality star Bethenny Frankel has made millions with her ready-to-drink Skinnygirl cocktails and wines.

And this wine isn't exactly a total first for Weight Watchers, either. In 2012, the weight loss program partnered with Australian winemaker McWilliam's Wines to create a several lower-alcohol wines — but that line was only available in U.K. grocery stores.

Cense's first wine is now available online for $15, but at Kroger stores it's retailing for $13.99 a bottle. And for those already looking forward to warmer days ahead, a rosé is coming soon.

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