Uncorking the Truth: Wine on Keto – Is It a Sip or a Skip?

Updated:

Finding the perfect keto wine can be more complicated than you might think. While you can consume small or moderate amounts of wine on the keto diet, the type and characteristics of each wine are very important. That’s because you need to find a low-carb wine, and many wines do contain carbohydrates.

Plus, the carbs in wine are not clearly labeled as in other beverages, like beer. This guide will help you find the best options for keto wine.

The low down on wine

wine grapes

Most of us know that wine is made from grapes or grape juice. Wine grapes are relatively high in sugar, and that sugar gets converted into alcohol by yeast during the fermentation process. When almost all sugar is converted into alcohol, we call that a “dry wine.” The wine is called dry because the residual sugar, or sugar left over after fermentation, is very low. However, many wines can have a high amount of residual sugar. These would be the wines we refer to as “sweet.”

When looking for a wine to drink on keto, the best you can do is look for a 100% dry wine or as close to 100% dry as possible, which means that nearly all of the sugar has been converted to alcohol, and there is almost no residual sugar left. Red or white, it doesn’t matter. You can find both dry and sweet wines in both colors. Since we want to keep our carb count as low as possible, we want to opt for the driest wines we can find. However, finding a completely dry wine can be more complicated than you would think.

Should I even drink wine on the keto diet?

You may wonder if you should even drink wine or other alcohol on the keto diet. If we assume you found alcohol that is low in carbs, alcohol can harm diets, and keto is no exception.

The main thing to understand about alcohol is that the body metabolizes alcohol as a priority. Meaning you will burn off the alcohol first before burning off the calories that you are eating. You’re essentially putting a pause on fat burning. Alcohol itself does contain calories. On top of that, when the body metabolizes alcohol, it produces a compound called acetate which is a toxin to the body. This is one reason the body focuses on metabolizing alcohol first, to help remove the toxins.

If you can avoid drinking alcohol on the keto diet or any diet, then it would be preferred. However, we’re all human, and some of us like to unwind occasionally. The short of it is that it’s ok to drink wine in moderation on keto, but you should ensure that you’re drinking 100% dry wine that doesn’t contain residual sugar. Don’t go overboard; even large amounts of dry wine can throw your body out of ketosis.

Why it’s hard to find 100% dry wine

In many styles of wine, it’s intended that they do not finish out 100% dry. This is mostly a style choice by the winemaker or what consumers expect for certain types of wine. For example, a Moscato is usually expected to be sweeter, while a Cabernet Sauvignon is usually bone dry.

The problem is that, at least in the United States, there is no requirement to label the residual sugar amounts in finished wine products. Even trying to search for the residual sugars online will provide mixed results. This means that even the same style of wine could have more or less residual sugar than other wines of the same style, which is totally up to the winemaker. That residual sugar translates into the net carbs we try to avoid consuming on the keto diet.

The only way to know would be to test each specific wine for the amount of residual sugar left in it. This can make it extremely difficult to order wine when you are on the keto diet. We’ll do our best to recommend which wines you can drink on the keto diet and which wines you should avoid.

Is there any shortcut to ordering wine when out?

ordering wine

If you’re in a pinch but want to enjoy a glass of wine, ask for the driest wine available. If your server doesn’t understand what that means, first, I would question the quality of wine I’m about to receive, but the next thing to do is make it clear to them that you want the least sweet wine they offer.

So tell your server, “Give me the least sweet wine you have; the drier, the better.” That should take care of it when you are out to eat and want to unwind but stick to your keto diet.

Which wine can I drink on the keto diet?

At this point, you’re probably wondering exactly what type of wine you can eat on the keto diet without completely throwing your body out of ketosis. In the next few sections, we’ll examine red and white wines and which ones you should or should not drink on the keto diet. Again, we’re looking at the common residual sugar content of certain styles of wine. One winemaker may have left more residual sugar in their wine, but this should be a decent guide.

Chianti

Chianti comes from the region in Tuscany, where the Sangiovese grapes are grown. It’s usually made of 75-100% Sangiovese grapes with low residual sugar. The average Chianti wine contains about 1.2g of carbs per glass and about 100 calories per glass, making it a great keto wine choice.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a popular dry and bold red wine. It is made worldwide, but you’ve probably heard of a good “Napa Valley Cab” grown in California. Cabernet Sauvignon is usually finished dry, which makes it a good choice for the keto diet. A typical cabernet sauvignon wine will have about 122 calories and net carbs per serving.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir has a lighter profile than Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is an excellent red wine for keto. Coming in at 2.3g of net carbohydrates per glass, it’s an excellent choice for low-carb diets. With only 120 calories per serving, it’s also on the lower end. Enjoy a glass of Pinot Noir the next time you’re out and trying to find a keto wine.

Merlot

One of the most popular wine varietals in the world is Merlot, which pairs perfectly with a nice juicy steak. A typical Merlot will come in at around 122 calories with only 2.5g of net carbohydrates per serving. This is another go-to wine for people on the keto diet.

Chardonnay

A popular white wine varietal is Chardonnay. Many enjoy an oaky or buttery Chardonnay; the butter fits the keto diet. A typical Chardonnay comes in at about 123 calories and 2g of net carbs per serving. They are making this an excellent keto option for white wine.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is a zesty variety of white wine that comes in at 3g of net carbs per serving. With only 124 calories, it’s another good choice of wine to enjoy on the keto diet. Plus, you won’t miss out on flavor with the acidity and fruit flavor profile of Pinot Grigio.

Sauvignon Blanc

This is another one of the driest white wines, which makes Sauvignon Blanc a great choice for keto dieters. It’s refreshing and crisp, with only 2g of net carbs per serving and about 119 calories. You’ll get notes of pineapple and peach without the guilt of high sugar content.

Brut Champagne

If you’re looking for a good bubbly low-carb wine option, look for a good Brut. It has only 2g of net carbs atfive5 calories and all of the flavor of good sparkling wine. Celebrate the next occasion with a good friendly Brut Champagne.

Wines to avoid the keto diet

Now that you know which wines you should seek out on the keto diet, let’s talk about which wines you should avoid on keto. We say to avoid these styles of wine because they are often finished sweeter than their dry counterparts.

Moscato

Moscato is a very popular, sweeter variety of wine. Since it is often finished sweet, it has a higher carb count of about 11g grams per glass. It can also be higher on the calorie side at about 140 calories per glass. Moscato is one of the wines that you’ll want to add to your do-no-drink list on keto.

Riesling

Riesling is most commonly finished sweet. Recently, more dry Rieslings have been coming out, but generally, the sweet Rieslings have a high carb count. Sweet riesling has about 120 calories and 6g of carbohydrates per serving, making it a not-so-good choice for keto.

White Zinfandel

A typical White Zinfandel will have about 6 grams of net carbohydrates per serving and 122 calories. While these numbers are not terrible, it’s still not the best option for keto diets. You can choose a while with 3g of carbs or fewer to be better off.

Port

Port wine is a “fortified” wine, meaning brandy was added. Port wines are sometimes considered “dessert” because of their sweetness and high alcohol content. Sweet Port wine can have 14g of net carbs or more per glass and 236 calories. This makes it completely off-limits for keto.

Sangria

Sangria is a mixed drink combining wine, fruit juice, liquor, and fruit. It is pretty much always sweet and very high in sugar. You’ll want to avoid sangria on the keto diet.

Where to get keto wine

Believe it or not, mail-order wine clubs feature low-carb wines. These clubs will usually send you 3-12 bottles a few times yearly to help keep your wine rack stocked. I’ve personally tried this, and it works out well. Plus, I know that the wines are low in carbs and finished dry on top of that, the wine is really good quality and has amazing taste.

Dry Farm Wines

This is a personal favorite of mine. I received three red and three white bottles the other day. Dry Farm Wines is a wine membership club that sends you wines that are not only low in carbs but also organic and additive free. All of the wines are vegan, paleo, and keto friendly. They know that the wines are low in carbs because they lab test each wine before they decide to include it in their boxes.

Each bottle comes with an additional label on the back that explains the type of wine, where the wine is from, what grapes the wine is made from, and how much residual sugar the wine contains. You get to select your favorite type of wine, and Dry Farm Wines will curate and send it to you on a schedule.

I cannot recommend Dry Farm Wines highly enough, especially for people on the keto diet. The lab testing for residual sugar is a lifesaver, and the wine they sent me has all been excellent. If I were you, then I would try Dry Farm Wines today.

Secco

secco wine club

Secco has wines that are keto and paleo-friendly. With Secco, you can shop for excellent keto wine by bottle or join the membership club. This makes it an excellent option if you’re looking for a few bottles of quality low-carb wine or a more serious wine drinker who wants to try the membership club.

These wines are lab tested for their residual sugar and overall carb levels to ensure you get the lowest-carb wines. They have 14 different varietals of keto-friendly wines available today. In addition, they avoid many additives that other wines have in them. See their article about what is in your wine to learn more. Get yourself a wine that is low in carbs but not in taste. Try Secco now.

Gratis

It’s zero-sugar, low-carb wine in better packaging. This boxed wine stays fresh for up to 6 weeks after you open it. The wine comes in red, white, and rosé. Gratis is a brand that emphasizes the Southern Mediterranean lifestyle, which, if you didn’t know, is a blue zone. Blue zones are the places in the world with people who live the longest. Believe it or not, in many of these regions, wine is enjoyed pretty regularly.

Gratis wine is easy to drink and great with or without food. It is dry finished wine with fruity notes that is well balanced. Try Gratsi Wine.

Other tips for drinking wine on the keto diet

If you are going to enjoy wine on the keto diet, then there are a few things that you can do to help optimize for keto. First, pace yourself. You want to consume less wine if you can, and taking a while to sip your drinks can help here. Also, when you are carb-deprived, alcohol can sometimes hit you harder, so pacing yourself gives you time to asses just how the alcohol is impacting you. It’s common to feel more intoxicated than usual when drinking on the keto diet.

You’re going to want to pair your wine with lower-carb food. Drinking alcohol can sometimes lower inhibitions and cause you to make poor choices for food. Try to keep in mind low-carb foods, even though you are drinking. Plus, if you’re going to be drinking several glasses of wine, you could easily use up half of your net carb allotment. You can offset this by eating lower-carb foods.

Take a break to drink water and electrolytes. Alcohol can dehydrate you, and that effect can be even more exaggerated on the keto diet. Consuming water is a must; even adding a low-carb electrolyte beverage can be helpful. The last thing you want to do is deal with keto flu and a hangover simultaneously. No, but seriously, keto hangovers have been known to be notoriously bad. So enjoy in moderation, and make sure you get those electrolytes in.

Watch how much you are pouring. A standard glass of wine is 5 ounces. However, we often overserve ourselves. Even bars and restaurants don’t exactly stick to the 5oz pour. If you don’t watch, you could drink 8-10 ounce glasses of wine. That can add up over a couple of glasses in both carb count and how much alcohol you are drinking.

Conclusion – The Best Keto Wine

It is possible to drink low-carb wine, or as I like to say, Keto Vino. You must pay attention to which varietals you drink and always try to get the driest wine you can find. If you want to drink wine at home, ordering lab-tested keto-friendly wine is an excellent option. If you’re out, ask the waiter for their least sweet wine.

It’s hard enough to stick to the carb restrictions of the keto diet. It’s ok to let loose and occasionally enjoy a nice glass or bottle if you’re me. Try to moderate the amount you drink and choose low-carb options, but there is no reason to eliminate wine if you enjoy it completely. Bottoms up!