22 Best Low-Carb Wines & How to Enjoy Them on a Diet – Surely
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22 Best Low-Carb Wines & How to Enjoy Them on a Diet

22 Best Low-Carb Wines & How to Enjoy Them on a Diet


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Let’s get the good news out of the way first: You can stick to a low-carb diet and drink wine at the same time. You just need to be smart about the varietals you choose, and make sure you’re drinking alcohol in moderation.

Easy enough, right?

Well, this is where it gets a little trickier. Unless you’re seeking out winemakers that focus on low-carb wine, a glance at that wine label may not give you all the information you need. Few wine brands just give away their carb and sugar content in such an obvious way.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet:

  1. You want wines that are dry over sweet.
  2. A lower alcohol content typically means a lower carb content.

Both reds and whites are fine, as long as you’re following those 2 rules.

Note: A standard glass of wine is a 5-ounce serving. That’s the amount of wine we’ll be using here when we share carb counts for each highlighted varietal. A healthier pour means a higher carb count, so it’s important that you’re watching your serving sizes as you sip.

Now, here are 22 keto-friendly wines that will fit right in with any low-carb lifestyle.

Red Wines

Many wine lovers prefer red wine over white thanks to the antioxidant activity in reds. For those on low-carb diets, the relatively low carbs in red wine mean you can continue enjoying your reds in moderation. Many reds are even fine on the paleo diet.

Cabernet Sauvignon

3.8 net carbs per serving

Bold, full-bodied cabernet sauvignon is big on tannins and flavor while still remaining relatively low in carbs. That’s because this varietal sticks to the dry side, and a dry red wine means it’s low in residual sugars. Meats are the obvious low-carb pairing for cabernets. 

The Dreaming Tree Cabernet Sauvignon

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Signature Cabernet Sauvignon

Merlot

3.7 net carbs per serving

Medium-bodied merlot falls in between cabernet and pinot blends when it comes to carbs. It’s still dry but full of flavor, often boasting notes of spice, vanilla, and dark red fruits. Merlot-dominant red blends are another good option for a versatile, low-carb red wine.

Bonterra Merlot

Noble Vines 181 Merlot

Pinot noir

3.4 net carbs per serving

Versatile pinot noir is lower in alcohol than many popular red wine varietals. That means it’s lower in carbs than most red wines, as a higher alcohol content means a higher carb count. Pinot noir is also easy to pair. You can even treat it like a white wine if you’re serving seafood.

Apothic Pinot Noir

Dark Horse Pinot Noir

Syrah

3.8 net carbs per serving

This dry red is comparable to cabernets on the carb scale, but its flavor is fruitier and a little smoother than the bolder reds. If you find a shiraz you like, by the way, go for it. It’s the same grape, just grown in different places. Syrah is from France, and Shiraz is from Australia.

Cline Sonoma Coast Syrah

Frey Organic Syrah

Rosé 

There’s quite a bit of variety when it comes to rosé wine. The carb content in a bottle of pink vino depends on the grapes used for that rosé. A rosé made from pinot noir grapes has a lower carb count than a sparkling pink moscato.

Choose a bone-dry rosé as the most keto-friendly option. The 2 picks below are both under 2 grams of carbs per serving.   

19 Crimes Revolutionary Rosé Wine

Josh Cellars Rosé Wine

White Wines

Dry white wines are even friendlier to low-carb diets than the most popular red varietals, with many varietals coming in around just 3 grams of carbs per glass. Just stay away from the sweet stuff. Sweet wines are no friend to a low-carb diet or weight loss in general.

Chardonnay

3.2 net carbs per serving

Some of the more buttery chardonnay styles may not taste like they should be low-carb, but there are plenty of keto-friendly options for chardi fans. The varietal is still more savory than sweet. Just watch for alcohol content on some of the fuller-bodied chardonnay styles. 

Kendall-Jackson Avant California Unoaked Chardonnay

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Pinot grigio

3 net carbs per serving

Pinot grigio’s dry finish makes it a favorite for red wine fans seeking a white alternative. It’s not as acidic as a sauvignon blanc, but just as low-carb. If you see a pinot blanc on your wine list, by the way, it’s more similar to a chardonnay in creamy finish and carb count than a pinot grigio.

Bellissima Zero Sugar Pinot Grigio ICT Terre Siciliane

Prophecy IGT Delle Venezie Pinot Grigio

Sauvignon blanc

3 net carbs per serving

Crisp, dry sauvignon blanc is one of the best wines out there for carb counters. Its high acidity also means it’s a great summertime wine, with citrus and floral tasting notes. Seek out wines from New Zealand’s Marlborough region for extra zest.

Duck Hunter Sauvignon Blanc

Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Sparkling Wine

Bubbly wines are one of the best options for carb counters with just 1-2 carbs per glass in many of the dry styles. Sparkling wines are also lower in calories than most red and white wines, so they’re a good option if you’re counting wine calories, too.   

Champagne

2 net carbs per serving

Look for “brut” or “extra brut” on the label if you’re seeking out classic French styles. That means “dry” and “extra dry.” Some of the extra brut champagne styles go as low as just 1 gram of carbs per serving. You’ll still get all the fizz.

Barefoot Bubbly Extra Dry California Champagne 

Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut

Cava

2 net carbs per serving

Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine that is lighter than most sparkling wines and similar to champagne in taste. Look for bone-dry options to keep the carbs low. Expect herbal and citrus notes with the dry styles.

Avinyó Cava Reserva Brut

Freixenet Eylssia Gran Cuvee Brut

Prosecco

2 net carbs per serving

Low-alcohol Italian prosecco is known as champagne’s sweeter cousin, but dry versions of this sparkling wine are still a low-sugar, low-carb option. You’ll still get that fruitier aftertaste with dry proseccos.

90+ Cellars Superiore Extra Dry Prosecco

La Marca Prosecco

Wines to Avoid

This list isn’t inclusive of all the wine options out there for a keto-friendly diet. You probably know to avoid wines high in residual sugar in favor of dry wines. There are a few more wine types to avoid if you don’t want to bust that low-carb diet.

  • Avoid dessert wines like moscato or sweet rieslings. A dry riesling, on the other hand, is a good option for a low-carb wine at just 1-2 grams of carbs per serving. The difference in taste is obvious if you’re just not sure whether what you’re sipping is sweet or dry.
  • Watch out for high-alcohol wines. Varietals with a higher alcohol by volume (ABV) have a higher carb content. Reds like chianti, zinfandel, and grenache all have at least 4 grams of carbs per serving, although that’s still much less than fortified wines.
  • Skip fortified wines. High-alcohol ports, sherry, and other fortified wines may sound great as an after-dinner drink, but they may as well be called sugar wine. Some pack as much as 20 grams of carbs in a single serving.
  • Sip mixed drinks carefully. Sangria has as much as 16 grams of sugar in a single glass thanks to the added fruit juice. For a healthier, upgraded twist on the classic, try our non-alcoholic version. In general, avoid mixed drinks with added juices. 

Wine Carb Basics

If you’re still wondering why some wines are better than others, let’s take a quick look at where carbohydrates in wine come from. 

The carb content in wine is directly related to residual sugars. The naturally-occurring sugars in wine are broken down by added yeast during the fermentation process. Those sugars then turn into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Sugars left behind are the residual sugars.

That’s why wines with a higher alcohol content typically have a higher carb count. They have a higher sugar content as a result. 

Some lower-quality winemakers use additives, including added sugar, to adjust the flavor profile or sweeten up the final product. These won’t be the healthiest wines out there, and are a no-go for anyone watching not only their carbs, but also their blood sugar.

How to Drink Wine on a Diet

The hard part may feel over now that you’ve got a handy list of low-carb wines to choose from, but even low-carb wines need limits. Whether you’re on a ketogenic diet or just watching your weight, there are a few ways to make it easier to drink wine on a diet.

  • Drink in moderation. If you’re on the keto diet, your target is about 50 grams of carbs per day to maintain ketosis. On any other diet, too much wine in general can make you gain weight over time. It’s empty calories, after all.
  • Watch your servings. Keep your serving sizes to 5-ounces, a standard pour. More than that and your diet takes a hit. Learn how to identify a standard pour by pouring out a bottle of wine into 5 glasses. (Each bottle of wine equals about 5 glasses.) 
  • Fill up on protein before you drink. It’ll keep you fuller longer and keep your carb count low if you’re watching those carbohydrates. It’s also a known fact that drinking can lead to bad food decisions, too, so wine on an empty stomach isn’t wise. 
  • Hydrate. Sip on glasses of water or sugar-free sparkling sodas in between alcoholic drinks. You’ll slow yourself down and keep yourself from overindulging. It’s much easier to count your carbs before you get too tipsy, too.
  • Try dealcoholized wine. If you’re already focused on a healthier lifestyle, it makes sense that you’d want to explore non-alcoholic wine as an option. You’ll save on calories and won’t need to monitor your alcohol intake as closely.

At Surely, we know that drinking less is better than drinking more. We also know that abstaining from alcohol altogether will always be the healthiest choice. If you’re trying to cut back or want low-carb alternatives to your favorite wines, you have options with Surely wine.

Try our non-alcoholic brut for that dry acidity or our non-alcoholic pinot noir for the added antioxidant boost. Follow us on Instagram for product launches, tips on pairing options, or just to join our community of like-minded wine lovers.

Sources

  1. Wine, food, and health
  2. Alcohol and food intake

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