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Best Wines For A Low Carb Diet

Best Wines For A Low Carb Diet

Managing and lowering your carb intake can be tough, especially if you’re following the keto diet - and it can be even harder if you have to avoid your favourite wine.

However, there are many low-carb wine options that you can still enjoy even if you’re on a low carb diet.

The key to enjoying wine on a low carb diet is knowing which wines contain the lowest amount of carbs, and which wines to avoid.

We’ve got you covered - keep reading to learn more about carbs in wine, which wines have fewer carbs, and which wines you should steer clear of.


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Wait, Wine Has Carbs?

If you’ve recently started a low carb diet, or you’re still thinking about it, you may think that carbs (carbohydrates) are only found in food.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Most beverages contain carbs (except water, of course). For example, a can of Pepsi contains around 41 carbs, a glass of whole milk can contain around 12 carbs, and a glass of orange juice can contain upwards of 10 carbs.

Wine is no exception. The reason that wine has carbs all comes down to the fermentation process. Fermentation is the stage of the winemaking process in which winemakers ferment the naturally occurring sugars in the grapes with yeast.

Little yeasts (saccharomyces cerevisiae) will consume the sugars in the grapes, but not always all of the sugar. This leads to alcohol being produced, with secondary effects such as heat and bubbles.

However, once the fermentation process is completed, there will often be some sugar leftover. This is called residual sugar - the key reason why wine contains carbs.

If there is less residual sugar after the fermentation process, then the wine will typically contain fewer carbs - which is exactly what you need if you’re on the keto diet or following a low carb diet.

However, not all wine is made in the best way, and many commercial manufacturers will add extra sugar, flavouring, and sweetener to the wine which can lead to a higher amount of carbs. When you’re looking for low-carb wine, always check the label for added flavourings, sugars, and sweeteners.

Most vintners will avoid doing this as it can interfere with the naturally occurring flavours of the wine - adding sweeteners and flavours can affect the flavours and aromas of the wine, so many wine lovers will avoid commercial wines.

Some winemakers might prevent the yeast from consuming all of the sugar to result in a sweeter and more likeable wine. The more sugar leftover from the fermentation process, the sweeter the wine.


Which Wines Have Fewer Carbs?

Knowing which wines contain the fewest amount of carbs is key to enjoying wine while sticking to a low carb diet.

If you’re on the keto diet, you have a recommended limit of 50 carbs per day. This can be difficult, but thankfully, there are some wines that you can still enjoy while on the keto diet.

Some people make the mistake of sacrificing their dessert in order to enjoy a glass of wine, but if you choose the right wine, you can enjoy both!

Wine is typically a better choice of alcohol when lowering your carb intake, but some wines can have a higher amount of carbs than others. We’ll get on to the wines you should avoid in the next section!

Click here for some quality low carb wines - or here for some low calorie wine cocktail ideas!


Red Wines

You’ll find that a typical glass of red wine will contain between 2 and 4 carbs, whereas a full bottle can cost around 15 carbs depending on which type and brand you choose. This is relatively low in comparison to the whopping 18 carbs found in a pint of beer!

If you drink red wine moderately, then the occasional glass shouldn’t make too much difference to your carb intake.

Although dry whites are usually the safest choice in terms of carbs, you can still enjoy a lighter-bodied red while on a low carb diet. Pinot Noir, for example, contains just 2 carbs a glass!


White Wines

Dry white wines are the best choice if you’re following a low carb diet. Your typical glass of dry white wine will contain less than 1 gram of sugar, and around 2 carbs. 2g of carbs is very low in comparison to the 43 carbs found in Pina Coladas and other cocktails!

If you’re a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, then you’ll be glad to know that it contains just 2 carbs per glass. Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and dry, and pairs well with many low carb, healthy meals.

Pinot Grigio is also a great low-carb choice of wine - it typically features citrus flavours and also pairs well with many different foods. Pinot Grigio contains around 3 carbs per serving, which is a refreshingly low figure.

Sparkling wines are usually keto-friendly - however, be sure to opt for wines that are ‘brut’, ‘extra brut’, or ‘brut nature’. This means ‘dry’ in French - and if it’s dry, it’s most likely low in carbs.


Which Wines Should I Avoid?

Now you have an understanding of which wines are best for a low carb diet and why wine has carbs in the first place, it’s important that you know which wines to avoid when browsing the shelves of your local supermarket on a low carb or keto diet.

First of all, you should steer clear of fortified wine if you’re trying to lower your carb intake. Fortified wine typically has a higher alcohol content than other wines.

This is because less yeast was added during the fermentation process, which results in a higher amount of residual sugar, ultimately meaning more carbs. You’ll find that richer wines tend to have more carbs and sugar.

Another type of wine to avoid is any dessert wine - although they can be delicious and make a great after-dinner treat, they can have high levels of sugar and carbs, so should be avoided if you’re on the keto diet.

If you’re on the Keto diet, you have a limit of 50 carbs. Well, unfortunately, Port, Madeira and Sherry can cost you up to 20 carbs per glass, which is nearly half of your recommended carb intake for the keto diet. Instead of dessert wines, opt for a lighter-bodied wine.

If you’re trying to consume fewer carbs, you should also aim to avoid late harvest wines. Late harvest wines are made using grapes that have spent longer on the vine - hence the term late harvest.

Although late wines can taste deliciously sweet, some late harvest wines can contain around 20 carbs per glass, which is roughly the same amount of carbs as a chicken burger.

Another type of wine to avoid is any wine that looks like it contains added flavours, sweeteners, or sugar. Many cheaper, more commercial wines and alcopops contain higher amounts of sugar, carbs, and calories, so these should be avoided while you’re watching your carb intake.

Ice wine can also be high in carbs, as they’re typically sweeter. Ice wine is made from pressing frozen grapes, but can contain more carbs than other types of wine.

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