Want to know all about carbs in wine and which wine to consume on a diet?
A glass of rich red wine may pair perfectly with your steak, but not if you’re tracking your carb intake.
How many calories are in a glass of wine?
How do you find the best low carb wine or low sugar wine for your diet - from the diverse range of dry wine, dessert wine and other wines?
And, should you drink wine on a diet?
This Article Contains
- Carbs in Wine - Where do They Come From?
- How many Carbs are there in Wine?
- Carbs in Other Alcoholic Drinks
- How to Estimate the Carbs in Wine
- Should You Drink Wine on a Diet?
- What Wines Can You Consume on a Diet?
- Wines to Avoid on a Diet
- 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal 'Gold Medallion' Orfevres Limited Edition Brut Millesime, Champagne, France
- 1990 Dom Perignon P3 Plenitude Brut, Champagne, France
- 2014 Screaming Eagle Sauvignon Blanc, Oakville, USA
- 2013 Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France
- 2004 Domaine Leroy Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy, France
- 2015 Castello di Volpaia Il Puro Casanova, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, Italy
- 2018 Muse de Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose, France
- 2015 Chateau d'Esclans Cotes de Provence Garrus Rose, France
Carbs in Wine - Where do They Come From?
The net carbs in a wine are a result of the unfermented sugar.
During the fermentation process, the yeast converts the carbohydrates (sugars) in the wine into alcohol. If the winemaker stops the fermentation process before all the carbohydrates are converted, the wine is left with residual sugar.
The carbohydrate content of the wine is determined by this residual sugar.
Before looking at the carbs in wine, here’s a glimpse at the sugar and alcohol content in a glass of wine (5 ounce or 147 ml.)
How many Carbs are there in Wine?
Here a quick look at the net carbs in different types of wine:
A. Carbs in Red Wine
The bigger-bodied a red wine is (like dry red wines), the higher will be the carbs. So, look for a dry red wine that is light to medium-bodied.
For a keto diet, red wines like Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon work best.
Zinfandel and Grenache, on the other hand, are considered sweet wines not the best wines for weight loss. A fortified wine like Port can have up to 14 grams of carbs in a glass - not a keto friendly option either!
Carbs by red wine grape varietal
And, how many carbs in white wine?
B. Carbs in White Wine
If you are a white wine lover then we have good news for you!
Dry white wine - like Sauvignon Blanc and Brut Champagne - are low in residual sugar. They are light-bodied and pack fewer carbs than dry reds. Moreover, dry whites have a fruity taste - so if you like sweet wine but want to avoid carbs, go for a dry white wine instead.
Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay also are low in sugar content.
Carbs by white wine type
Carbs in Other Alcoholic Drinks
Other alcoholic drinks like whiskey and rum may not have many health benefits, but they pair well with keto diet food due to the zero carb content.
An alcoholic drink that has Alcohol by Volume (ABV) of 13% or less is ideal for keto diet - as long as they have low levels of residual sugar. So, check the ABV to choose an alcoholic drink that’s not a high-carb one.
Here are the net carbs in different alcoholic beverages.
The fermentation process of hard liquors - vodka, tequila and rum - reduces the sugar content to almost zero. That’s why these alcoholic beverages are known as zero carb drinks.
But being zero carb doesn’t necessarily make them keto-friendly. That’s because our body burns alcohol instead of the fat cells and frequent alcohol consumption will slow down the weight loss process.
That’s why keto dieters should practice moderation in alcohol consumption.
You can drink them as a mixed drink like a cocktail as well. Here’s a classic vodka drink to try - Add 4oz of plain seltzer to a shot of vodka. To this, add some lime juice and enjoy!
When it comes to beer, it is no surprise that it is not a keto-friendly alcoholic beverage. It has high carb content - around 20 grams per 12 ounce (355 ml serving) and slows down your metabolism. Although a light beer has fewer carbs than a regular beer, it is not an ideal low carb alcohol for keto diet.
But if you crave a cold beer after a long week at work, go for a low carb beer.
Light beers have low carbs and moderate sugar content and wouldn’t affect your weight loss journey.
Note that a light beer will also have a small amount of potassium, so consult your dietician before you consume beer.
If you want to keep your calorie count to a minimum, then liqueurs must be avoided at all cost. Although you can find liqueurs with moderate alcohol content, they have high sugar content. Any alcoholic drink with added sugars is a no-go for a keto diet.
Be it a light beer or a low carb Sangria, alcohol consumption should be kept minimal to maintain ketosis.
Cocktails, on the other hand, have juices and syrups with high sugar content - not the best choice for a diet. The artificial fruit juice is not only high carb but also affects the blood sugar levels.
Here is a mixed drink with fewer carbs to satiate your cravings.
Add 4 oz of lime seltzer to a shot of tequila. To this, add a bit of sugar-free low carb sweetener and you are good to go. You can also try this tequila drink with grapefruit seltzer or a club soda.
How to Estimate the Carbs in Wine?
The rule of thumb is, the higher the residual sugar the higher the carbohydrates will be.
Unfortunately, wine labels don’t provide any nutrition facts - so there is no instant way to know the carb content oe the amount of residual sugar in a wine.
But, here are two methods that you can use to estimate residual sugar and carb count of a wine.
Alcohol is the result of the fermentation of sugar by the yeast. The more sugar the yeast eats, the higher will be the ABV. So, wines with high ABV levels usually have low sugar levels.
Take the example of German Riesling. The dry Riesling wine has 10%-11% ABV and contains 5-6 grams of carbs. On the other hand, a late harvest riesling wine has 8-9% ABV and up to 20 grams of carbohydrates.
2. Wine styles
The style of wine can be used as an indicator of residual sugar in the wine.
- Bone dry wines have less than 1g sugar per glass - they’re the best wines for a ketogenic diet.
- Dry wine contains 1 to 2 grams of residual sugar (RS) per glass.
- Sweet wine can have 3 to 5 grams of sugar per glass of wine.
- Dessert wine can go to 30 to 40 grams RS per glass (5 ounce serving or 147ml.)
The RS levels in sparkling wine are follows:
- Brut Nature wines are one of the driest wines. There is only 0 to 3 grams of sugar in a bottle of wine.
- Extra Brut contains 4 to 6g RS per liter. If you want a keto wine to go perfectly with your low carb diet, then an Extra Brut wine is a go-to choice.
- Brut wines have 7-12g RS per liter - good low carb alcohol for a keto diet.
- Extra dry wines contain 12-17g RS per liter.
- Dry (Sec) sparkling wines can go up to 17-32g per liter.
- Demi-Sec (Off-Dry) and Doux (sweet) sparkling wines are considered sweeter wines and pack maximum carbs. Demi-sec wines have 32-50g residual sugar per liter while sugar in doux sparkling wines can go even higher.
Should You Drink Wine on a Diet?
Keep these tips in mind when you buy wine to drink on a low carb diet.
- Low-quality wines you may see in grocery stores are not made from the best quality grapes. Winemakers add sugar to make it taste more fruity - even when it says ‘Dry’.Alcohol consumption will affect your diet - no matter how low the alcohol content. Too much wine consumption will eventually slow down your weight loss.
- A standard drink has a serving size of 5 ounces (147ml). Exceeding it will also increase your carb count.
- Dessert wines/sweet wines are high carb wines and must be avoided at all cost.
But this doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy a drink once in a while. All you need to do is be more conscious of your calorie count.
What Wines Can You Consume on a Diet?
A lower carb dry wine can be enjoyed occasionally.
Red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are perfect for the keto and Paleo diet because they are low carb and have moderate wine calories. (A keto diet is based on ketosis - a metabolic state where the body uses fat to get most of its energy. Keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet.)
Some dry white wines for a ketogenic diet include Champagne (Brut or Extra Brut), Pinot Blanc and Pinot Grigio.
You can also go for low carb organic wines. The winemakers use traditional winemaking methods with no added sugar, preservatives, or sulfites that reduces the amount of carbs in wine.
Wines to Avoid on a Diet
Keto diet requires a proper meal plan with low carb foods and beverages. Some wines with high sugar content that you should avoid are - dessert wine, late harvest wine, fortified wine, spatlese, auslese, Ice Wine (Eiswein), doux, demi-sec, semi-sec, and dolce.
Keeping Blood Sugar Levels Under Control while Drinking Alcohol
If you are on a diabetic diet, maintain blood sugar levels by measuring your carb intake and having a low carb diet.
Here are some helpful tips on alcohol consumption on a diet.
- Alcohol should not be consumed on an empty stomach.
- Do not count the carbohydrate in an alcoholic beverage as the carbohydrate in your meal plan.
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
- Go for a low calorie drink - aka no sweet wine to keep your carbohydrate intake and your blood sugar in check.
Now every calorie counts and that’s why choosing the right alcoholic beverage with your keto diet is important.
So, which are the low-carb wines that you should get hold of?
Best Low Carb Wines to Buy in 2021
Whether you decide to go with a dry red wine or a Pinot Grigio white wine, what you need to focus on is the wine calories. Here are some low carb wines you can buy in 2021.
1. Brut Champagne
Champagne Brut is a dry Champagne that packs a low amount of residual sugar - only about 2.8 grams of carbohydrates in a glass of wine. The low wine calorie levels maintain the ketosis and net carbs remain low - perfect for a ketogenic diet.
Here are our low carb Brut Champagne wine suggestions.
A. 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal 'Gold Medallion' Orfevres Limited Edition Brut Millesime, Champagne, France
This sparkling wine is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape varieties. Pinot Noir produces low carb wines. Blended with Chardonnay, this wine has fewer calories than other wines and is a perfect alcoholic beverage for a ketogenic diet.
Average price of 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal 'Gold Medallion' Orfevres Limited Edition Brut Millesime, Champagne, France: $3500
B. 1990 Dom Perignon P3 Plenitude Brut, Champagne, France
A Champagne Blend wine, it packs rich flavors of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier grapes. This sparkling wine packs fresh fruit aromas of Pinot grapes with flavors of lemons and brioche.
Average price of 1990 Dom Perignon P3 Plenitude Brut, Champagne, France: $2,720
Another Champagne you can try is Cava from Spain. Cava is sparkling wine made from a diverse range of grapes with diverse flavors. It comes in two styles - white and rose Cava wines.
2. Dry White Wine
Dry white wines are best suited for a diabetic diet. They have less than 4 grams of carbs per serving that keeps your carb intake low.
A. 2014 Screaming Eagle Sauvignon Blanc, Oakville, USA
A dry and light wine, the 2014 Screaming Eagle Sauvignon Blanc has a dominant taste of citrus fruits like lemons. You will also get hints of tropical fruit flavors that add a sweetness to the wine. A great choice for a low carb wine.
Average price of 2014 Screaming Eagle Sauvignon Blanc, Oakville, USA: $7,070
B. 2013 Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France
The 2013 Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru is a Chardonnay wine with a rich flavor of ripe apple with notes of Christmas spices and floral aromas. It has a light and delicate body and ends with a bitter finish.
Average price of 2013 Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France: $12,169
3. Dry Red Wine
Red wines are often full-bodied. While choosing a red wine make sure to get a light to medium-bodied wine.
Here are some of our suggestions.
A. 2004 Domaine Leroy Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy, France
Red wines from Burgundy are not considered the best when it comes to low carb Pinot Noir wine. But this rare light-bodied dry red wine packs low carbs and rich dark fruit flavors.
Average price of 2004 Domaine Leroy Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy, France: $2,311
B. 2015 Castello di Volpaia Il Puro Casanova, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, Italy
A Sangiovese grape wine from Chianti DOCG. Unlike Pinot Noir, this red wine packs earthy notes of tobacco, soil, and forest. Notes of fresh red fruits including strawberry and raspberry gives it a sugary taste.
Average price of 2015 Castello di Volpaia Il Puro Casanova, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, Italy: $98
4. Dry Rose Wine
Here are some of our dry low carb rose wine recommendations.
A. 2018 Muse de Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose, France
A crisp and dry wine from the Provence region of France, this rose wine is made from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre grapes. On the palate, you get hints of vanilla and citrus tangerine flavors that ends with a spicy note of pepper.
Average price of 2018 Muse de Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose, France: $146
B. 2015 Chateau d'Esclans Cotes de Provence Garrus Rose, France
The 2015 Chateau d'Esclans Cotes de Provence Garrus Rose is a rich and complex wine with dominant flavors of red fruits. Light on the palate, this rose wine from Provence is one of the best wines for a low carb diet.
Average price of 2015 Chateau d'Esclans Cotes de Provence Garrus Rose, France: $151
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Being on a low carb diet (Paleo diet or a Keto diet) doesn’t mean staying away from simple wine pleasures. You can always enjoy a glass of a rich red wine or low carb beer as long as you monitor your overall calorie intake.
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