One of the biggest questions most people ask when they start a low-carb or keto diet is: Can you drink alcohol? The answer is, it depends.
Low-carb alcoholic drinks like vodka and tequila are fine in small amounts on the ketogenic diet, but what about wine? For all you wine lovers out there, this article should clear up everything you need to know about keto wine.
Most wines have a high sugar content and will increase your insulin and blood sugar levels. But there are some keto-friendly wines you can drink and maintain ketosis.
The Ultimate List of Keto Wines
The best keto and low-carb wines are “dry wine”. Some brands specify that they’re low-carb or low sugar somewhere on the bottle, but there are plenty of wines that are naturally low in sugar and there might not be any advertising.
Here are the best keto and low-carb wines to look for:
1. Sauvignon Blanc
Despite its almost sweet crispness, sauvignon blanc contains the least amount of carbs and sugars, making it a top dry keto wine to choose from. In just one glass of sauvignon blanc, you’ll find only 3 grams of carbs[*].
While both sauvignon blanc and chardonnay are considered dry wines, the former is a light-bodied wine and the latter is just the opposite: a full-bodied wine.
Despite this difference, a glass of chardonnay will run you 3.2 grams of carbs, just slightly above a sauvignon blanc, but not by much[*].
3. Pinot Grigio
A glass of pinot grigio will set you back around the same amount of carbs as a glass of cabernet sauvignon[*]. And if you’re in the mood for white wine, pinot grigio and pinot blanc are about equal nutritionally.
4. Pinot Blanc
Pinot blanc, which closely resembles a pinot grigio, also clocks in at 3.8 grams of carbs per serving[*].
You may have noticed there isn’t much of a difference between the carb counts in these top seven keto-friendly wines. Each glass from this list ranges between 3 and 3.8 grams of carbs.
However, you will see a much different picture when you compare these seven to the rest of the wines out there.
Rieslings are typically a light golden, medium-bodied wine with a bite of acidity and relatively low alcohol. These hit a little higher in carb count at 5.5 grams per glass, but one glass shouldn’t kick you out of ketosis.
Rose is one of the most popular wines of the last decade with its summer-friendly flavor profile and bright, crisp notes. At just 5.8 grams of carbs per glass, you can easily get away with a Rose if you’re low-carb, but be careful if you’re in ketosis.
1. Pinot Noir
As the first red on the top keto wines list, pinot noir isn’t too far off from a glass of chardonnay with just 3.4 grams of carbs per serving size[*].
3. Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon may not be the absolute lowest in carbs, but at 3.8 grams per 5 oz. glass, it’s still a decently dry red wine for anyone following a ketogenic diet[*].
Syrah is a full-bodied, dry red with a little higher alcohol level on average. Its rich flavors make it the perfect wine to go with a rich meal or to drink all on its own. At just 4 carbs per glass, most keto dieters can get away with a glass or two if you’re low-carb, but be careful if you’re keto.[*]
5. Red zinfandel
Red zinfandels are full-bodied, flavorful wines that pair well with red meat and other richer meals. At 4.2g of carbs[*] per glass, you can easily enjoy a glass with dinner and stay in ketosis. Be careful if you want to enjoy more than one!
1. Brut champagne
Known for their low sugar content, Bruts are usually quite dry and acidic with the slightest hint of sweetness. This light-bodied wine contains as little as 1.5 grams of carbs per glass, making it the perfect keto wine for any celebration.
Like Brut, Champagne is a light-bodied white wine with some acidity but tends to have more fruity tones and is a bit sweeter. Each glass will cost you about 3.8 grams of carbs[*], so be careful with your pours if you’re trying to stay in ketosis.
Prosecco is a light-bodied white wine with medium acidity and beautiful bubbles. While some brands of prosecco taste a little sweeter, they’ll generally run about 3.8 grams of carbs per glass, which is fine for most people on a low-carb diet.[*]
4. Sparkling White Wine
Sparkling white wines will vary in taste, but most will be light, fruity, and enjoyable as a sipping wine before dinner or with light appetizers. At 4 grams of carbs[*] per glass, you might want to be careful with this one if you’re trying to stay in ketosis.
If you plan on drinking wine while on a keto diet, these are the ones to stay away from.
- Port wine: 9 grams of carbs[*]
- Sherry wine: 9 grams of carbs[*]
- Red sangria: 13.8 grams of carbs per glass, plus 10 grams of sugar[*]
- White Zinfandel: 5.8 grams of carbs[*]
- Moscato: 7.8 grams of carbs[*]
- White Sangria: 14 grams of carbs per glass, plus 9.5 grams of sugar[*]
- Pink Zinfandel
- Some Roses
- Dessert wines
- Wine coolers
- Frozen wine pops
Drinking alcohol like wine coolers and frozen wine pops is like consuming alcoholic sugar bombs. These drinks will certainly put you over your carb intake for the day.
If you really want to enjoy frozen bubbly, understand that it will probably kick you out of ketosis. When that happens, follow the tips in this guide to a keto reboot.
A better idea is to stick with keto-friendly wine brands, which can help lower your risk of being knocked out of ketosis altogether.
So, what makes a wine keto or low-carb, anyway? You may have heard that it’s best to stick to “dry” wines while on a keto diet, but what does that even mean? And how can you be sure your wine isn’t going to kick you out of ketos?
What Makes a Wine “Dry”?
What is a “dry wine” and can both red and white wines be dry?
A wine is considered “dry” if it contains less than 10 grams of sugar per bottle. But without nutrition information printed on the bottle or the menu, how can you tell which wines are lower in sugar?
First, you have to understand that sugar in wine has a specific function. During the fermentation process, the yeasts feed on the natural sugar from the grapes to produce ethanol (or alcohol).
Because of this, the result doesn’t contain as much sugar as it did in the beginning when it was a mash of grapes. But that doesn’t mean wine is sugar-free.
Sweet wines, as opposed to dry ones, have a much shorter fermentation process. Since the yeast does not have a chance to consume all the sugar, more of it gets left behind. This leftover sugar contributes to the sweet, fruity flavor, and as a result, you’ll find more carbs in each glass or bottle.
That’s why you’ll always want to look for the phrase “dry wine” when choosing a wine.
What About Biodynamic Wine?
Biodynamic wines may also be lower in sugar. A wine is biodynamic when it’s grown according to a specific set of farming practices that are even more stringent than the organic label requires.
Biodynamic farms use beyond-sustainable practices that leave the land in better shape than when they started. That means chemical fertilizers and pesticides are out of the question and all plants and animals work in tandem to create a fertile environment with rich topsoils.
Looking for biodynamic or dry-farmed wines are the two easiest ways to distinguish keto wines from non-keto wines, whether you’re at a restaurant or choosing a wine at the liquor store or supermarket.
Some brands will also show you the residual sugar amounts — or what’s leftover after fermentation — but this can be harder to find. Toward the end of this guide, you’ll see which brand does this well.
But since most of this information is unavailable, it helps to know which types of low-carb wines you can safely sip.
While you can certainly drink alcohol on a keto diet, you may want to reconsider doing so for the following reasons:
- The effects of alcohol makes it easier to overeat and drink more. The higher the alcohol content, the more likely you are to sabotage ketosis.
- Alcohol consumption switches off your fat-burning potential. Your body prioritizes getting the alcohol out of your system overusing your fat for energy. This may slow down or even stall weight loss and ketone production[*].
- You may have a lower alcohol tolerance. There are many anecdotal reports of lower tolerance and worse hangovers when you’re running off ketones.
Even though it’s fine to weave a drink into your weekly keto meal plan here and there — especially a glass of low-carb wine — it shouldn’t be something you do every day. Especially if weight loss is your goal.
Yes, there’s some evidence that wine has some health benefits. But if you’re drinking more wine for the antioxidant benefits, you may be better off with a non-alcoholic source like berries or colorful, low-carb veggies.
Keto Wine Brands You Should Know
Much like companies are starting to cater to the low-carb crowd with more options for light beers, low-carb beers, and hard seltzer waters, winemakers are also taking note.
These two keto-friendly wine brands are paving the way for low-sugar and low-carb options that also taste good.
1. Dry Farm Wines
Dry Farm Wines is the perfect solution for wine lovers who also happen to be following a ketogenic diet.
With a monthly subscription, their team will send you their best-handpicked keto wines that are all-natural, low in alcohol and sulfites, free of additives, and contain just one gram of sugar or less per bottle. And since they’re on a subscription basis, your next batch of wines will show up right to your door.
FitVine is a brand dedicated to making different wines that won’t sabotage your hard work. Their wines are lower in sulfites, free of additives, and have less sugar than traditional bottles.
They also have a similar carb count to the best keto wines highlighted in this guide. FitVine’s pinot noir, for example, will run you 3.7 grams of carbs. But it has a very low .03g of residual sugar (the amount of sugar left behind after fermentation).
Even with these great keto options, you can’t drink the whole bottle or split one with a friend without potentially consuming too many carbs for the day and kicking yourself out of ketosis.
3. Usual Wine
Usual Wine doesn’t just promise low-sugar wine curation and delivery, they promise never to use any additives in the winemaking process. Just grapes, water, and sunshine. That means no added sugars, sulfites, pesticides, or stale wine.
They’re unusual in that they ship you each bottle “by the glass” in 6.3 oz bottles. Since each bottle contains fresh, natural wine, you’ll usually only get about 1.5 carbs per glass, according to their website.
Wine, when enjoyed in moderation, is considered keto-friendly. There are several wines to choose from if you feel like celebrating or relaxing with your loved ones. However, some types of wines are higher carb than others.
Remember, it can take just two glasses of wine to chisel away at a third of your day’s total carb count. While this may be OK every once in a while, if you’re struggling to reach or maintain ketosis, it’s best to lower your alcohol intake or eliminate it entirely to reach your goals.
You can try a couple of different brands for yourself, or entrust your keto wine purchases to a company like Dry Farm Wines, which will curate a monthly box of wines that are tested and guaranteed to only contain 1 gram of carbs per bottle.
When in doubt, stop at one or two small glasses and always drink alcohol with a meal or snacks to keep blood sugar balanced. Happy wine drinking!