Diet or no diet, sometimes you just need a glass of wine. Luckily, there are low-carb wines that are healthier and easy to absorb.
Doctors tend to limit people’s alcohol for women. However, a glass of wine per day can boost your HDL (good) cholesterol. There are also studies showing that people who drink wine tend to live longer.
The only problem is that most drinks are full of empty calories.
But here’s the good news: If you know what to look for, you can find an excellent low-carb wine and enjoy that blissed-out sense a glass can bring after a long day.
Wine comes on the low end of the alcohol spectrum when it comes to carbs. Other than super-sweet wines like port and late-harvest varietals, wines have around five grams of carbs per glass.
This means that you can have a glass of wine, even if you’re on a keto diet. However, there is still an ongoing debate about it.
Nonetheless, there’s a whole class of companies and websites devoted to selling what they say are keto-friendly vino.
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How Does Alcohol Affect Ketosis?
Alcohol carries carbs, and carbs affect ketosis. If your carb consumption is high, you won’t burn fat instead of carbs. Conversely, if your carb count is low, then you have a bigger chance of achieving ketosis.
The keto diet also alters how alcohol affects your body. Once you’re in ketosis, your body will have a much more moderate alcohol tolerance. Why? Because when you absorb carbohydrates, it creates a bit of a buffer for your body when breaking down alcohol.
But if you eliminate that cushion by depleting your body’s storage of carbs, alcohol hits your system faster and more robust.
Even if you’re having a couple of glasses of wine, your body will treat any amount of alcohol much faster, and you’ll likely feel the effects sooner. You may even end up with a hangover.
While there isn’t a ton of medical information to prove it, plenty of anecdotal evidence recommends that wine (or any alcoholic drink) with higher sugar content can worsen a hangover.
Can You Drink Wine on Keto?
Yes, you can drink wine while following a keto meal program. But keep in mind that drinking wine on the ketogenic diet needs some serious dedication.
You must first understand that there is no such thing as entirely sugar-free wine. Alcohol is the byproduct of the fermentation method in winemaking. So without sugar, there is no wine.
That said, the amount of residual sugar will vary depending on the type of wine it is. And fortunately, there are plenty of keto-friendly wine choices.
When trying to live a healthier lifestyle, our usual go-to is drinking alcohol. But while you’re saying bye-bye to chips, donuts, and any sugar-filled margaritas on the keto diet, you can still fancy a glass of wine and stay in ketosis.
The key is to retain your alcohol intake in check and choose dry, low-carb wines that won’t send your blood sugar soaring.
So go ahead and prepare yourself a Usual Wines mixed pack emphasizing red, brut bubbly, and dry rosé. You won’t have to worry about taking yourself out of ketosis, and your taste buds and macros will thank you.
What Makes a Wine Keto-friendly
First, it’s good to know a little bit about how wine is created.
The first move is choosing the grapes, which vary by type and region. Once the grapes are picked, they’re crushed and pressed, sequentially turning them into juice. At this phase, they will either turn into white wines (skins are extracted) or red wines (skins are left on).
The juice is left to ferment, a method where the sugars turn into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Red and white wines are fermented in different forms, using various additives, chemicals, and yeast strains. But despite the type, they all end up in a barrel where they age and bottled.
Like all things with Keto, the overall carb and sugar content are the factors to analyze in wine. And this is determined by various factors like how it’s created, alcohol content, dryness, fermentation, and more.
Another critical factor is the win’s residual sugar.
Sugar is always going to be in grapes, after all, which is a naturally sweet plant. However, they can ferment long enough so that all the sugar transmutes into alcohol.
Residual sugar (known in the wine world as R.S.) is the natural sugar leftover by grapes after fermentation.
Residual sugars can be left behind by ending the fermentation process early, which would produce a sweeter end product. However, if a winemaker enables the wine to ferment fully, the result is a drier wine with lower R.S. and, therefore, lesser carbs.
The problem is, residual sugar content doesn’t appear on wine labels, so it may take several more steps to verify whether a wine is keto-friendly.
What you can do is ask. Discuss with winemakers and learn how their wines are made. A local sommelier or a company concentrating on keto wine may also have this data.
To source keto-friendly wines in a regular store, look for wines classified as “dry.” This suggests that the wine has been fermented fully. Thus, all the sugar is removed.
These will be the least sweet choices in the wine aisle. However, keep in mind that even dry wines can vary in their R.S. content depending on price point and brand.
The volume of sugar in wine varies not only based on its type but also on who’s making it.
Winemakers can adjust the sweetness of wine in a variety of ways. They could stop the fermentation process so that more residual sugars are left in the finished product. They could also add sugars and other additives that’ll make you think twice before pouring yourself a glass.
Here are a few examples of the sugar content in popular types of wine:
- Dry red wines: Favorites such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon commonly carry between 3-4 grams of sugar per glass.
- Dry white wines: Common choices like Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc have 2.5-3.5 grams of sugar per serving.
- Brut wines and Champagne: Whether sparkling or still, most brut carries less than 3 grams of sugar per serving. Usual Wines sparkling brut holds 0 grams of sugar.
What’s the Best Way to Choose Keto Wine?
As stated, dry wine is the best option for KetoKeto. Be it red, white, or rosé, you want a wine with the least number of residual sugars.
A good rule of thumb for choosing keto-friendly wine is to look for bottles that hold less than 10 grams of sugar. However, nutrition knowledge isn’t typically included in wine bottles or restaurant menus. So you’ll have to do your research.
One surefire approach to reduce your risk of absorbing hidden sugars is to avoid cheap, low-quality wine producers. Many commercial names use added sugar (as well as added sulfites and other unwanted ingredients) to neutralize the lack of quality.
Instead of going mainstream, opt for wines made using Old World practices and that don’t rely on additives. Also, look for wines with “no added sugar” on the label so you can have a better chance of maintaining your carb count down.
It’s also worth checking out biodynamic wines. They seldom have naturally-occurring sugars and have no synthetic ingredients. Overall, you’ll want to withdraw non-keto wines such as sangria, dessert wines, wine coolers, and other sugary wines that aren’t dry.
If you’re following the keto diet and sourcing about five percent of your daily calories from carbs, even 5 grams per glass can add up instantly. So stick to low-sugar wines that are bone dry and come from a colder region.
A cooler-region wine reduces the potential alcohol by volume due to the lack of sugar developed inside the grape. By fermenting it dry, you eliminate all residual sugar. Thus, cutting total carbs and sugar.
Consuming alcohol is commonly discouraged if you’re on the keto diet. That’s because it decreases fat burning and ketone production. However, there are ways you can consume some as long as you had a keto-friendly meal and choose the right type of alcohol.
“When choosing your wine, it is best to have some fat at that sitting so you don’t get an isolated blood sugar spike or reactive hypoglycemia that can occur in your liver,” says Ali Miller, R.D., L.D., C.D.E.
Lucky for you, that means a charcuterie board is just one thing to eat while you drink some good low-carb wine.
What Wine has the Lowest Carb
Most wine labels don’t put nutrition facts like sugar, carbs, and calories. Hence, it can be challenging to figure out which are acknowledged as low-carb or low-sugar wines.
A good rule of thumb is to look at the ABV and residual sugar in the wine. As either one goes up, so as the calories and carbs, says Josh Fritsche, production winemaker at William Chris Vineyards.
Drier wines have few residual sugars than semi- or off-dry, sweet, or very sweet wines. And while residual sugar isn’t generally on the label, you can usually figure out how much sugar is in wine by doing a little research first.
Keeping that in mind, sweeter white wines like Riesling and Moscato are off the table. Varieties like Oregon pinot noir and French or Italian white wines can help you reduce carbs without sacrificing taste.
With that in mind, here’s a guide to five low-carb wines that won’t you feel deprived:
Look no further than FitVine when it comes to low-sugar wines.
Their wines have fewer than 0.09 grams of sugar and 3.9 grams of carbs per 5-ounce glass. They’re also free of flavor additives and low in sulfites, which is a significant plus factor.
These low-carb wines retain an ABV of 12.4 to 13.9 percent due to its different extended fermentation process. Choose from the brand’s variety of low-sugar reds and whites, including pinot noir, cabernet, red blend, rosé, chardonnay, pinot grigio, and sauvignon blanc varietals.
Prefer a bit of bubbly instead? FitVine’s prosecco holds just 0.7 grams of sugar per 5 oz glass.
Dry Farm Wines
This wine club curates high-quality natural wines from organic household farms. They also each one to meet strict health standards.
Each product was sugar-free, low in sulfites and alcohol, working with wild native yeast, and low-carb, and keto-friendly. Best part? Taste-wise, you’d never be smart to tell.
A curated box of these good low carb wines is delivered to your door every month, and you never know what you’ll get inside, which is half the fun.
Siduri Oregon Pinot Noir
Are you looking for the best low-carb red wine for your diet? Swedes’ choice for an easy-drinking, medium-bodied, low-sugar wine for red lovers is an Oregon pinot noir.
They have few residual sugars than red wines grown in a warmer climate. But no less flavor, with notes of juicy red fruits and crisp acidity.
Wonderful Wine Co. White Wine
Low-carb white wine is not an oxymoron.
While they might taste sweeter than some of their red counterparts, white varietals are considered low-sugar.
Case in point? This white blend from Wonderful Wine Co.’s line of keto-friendly, vegan, low-sulfite wines holds 2.76 grams of carbs per 5-oz. glass.
Mercat Cava Brut Nature
Bubbly typically has the lowest carbs of any wine. With three grams or less of residual sugar, bottles labeled “brut nature” are the range’s driest.
Mercat Cava Brut Nature’s sparkling, low-sugar, low-carb wine from Spain is well stabilized and crisp. It has notes of pear, green apple, and cream.
The alcohol content should matter, as well. More alcohol indicates more calories, although it is metabolized uniquely.
The body views it as a poison, and it will work to get it broken down and out as soon as possible. The body makes this high priority, so it will transpire before anything else can be metabolized.
That indicates the glass of wine could hit the pause button on fat-burning goals. The fewer the alcohol content on a wine, the better.
The essential factor in enjoying keto wines is perhaps the part. A 5-ounce glass obtains R.S. and overall carbohydrate content. Anyone who drinks the bottle will get knocked out of ketosis.
The second factor is the type of wine. The least R.S. kinds are pinot grigio, champagne, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc. Higher carb wines direct to be sweeter and include Riesling, zinfandel, port wine, and dessert wines.
But be sure that your glass of wine is genuinely Keto. The process has to be checked to ensure full fermentation, low sugar, lower alcohol, and no additives. Third-party labs can also be examined for carb content.
Even though some wines may be tolerable on a keto diet, it’s better not to indulge in them daily. Stick with the general guidelines for wine intake, including no more than one 5-ounce glass a day for women and no more than two glasses for men.
If required, use ketone testing strips to stay on track. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy your glass of low-carb wine.