If you’re a wine lover looking to go on a diet, you know you have to find one that will allow you to indulge in a glass or two. Low-carb diets like Keto and Atkins are all the rage, but are you still allowed to drink wine on them? How do you find a wine that won’t completely bust your carb goals?
We’re here to help. Every diet should have room for a little bit of indulgence. If wine is your thing, there are ways to drink it while still staying on track for whatever diet plan you’re following. In this article, we’ll go over why people count carbs and how many carbs are in all the most popular types of wine.
Why do people count carbs?
Low-carb diets are really popular right now, and it seems like everyone is on keto. The ketogenic diet, or keto for short, focuses on eating low carb, high fat, and moderate protein. This is a complete reversal to the diet recommendations of the past, which said to avoid fat at all costs. But why do people actually worry about carbs?
When you limit your daily carb intake, it sends your body into a state of ketosis (that’s where the diet gets its name). Usually, the body likes to burn carbs for energy and store the fat you eat. But when you limit carbs, your body burns your stored fat. During ketosis, your body becomes extremely efficient at burning fat for energy, which can cause rapid weight loss.
There are many reasons other than weight loss that people count carbs. Being in ketosis turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy to the brain. It has also been shown to lessen seizures in people with epilepsy. Additionally, it may correlate with a significant reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels.
To be on a low-carb diet, it’s usually recommended that you consume anywhere from 20 to 50 net carbs per day. Net carbs are the effective carbs that your body processes. To find the net carb content of a given food or beverage, subtract the fiber from the total carb count.
While wine does have a few grams of carbs per glass, tons of wines will allow you to stay within your daily net carb count.
How many carbs are in every kind of wine?
Wine is overall fairly low-carb, but not all wines are created equal. Generally, dry wines have fewer carbs than sweet ones, as they contain less sugar. White wines and sparkling wines also tend to have fewer carbs than reds. We’ve compiled a list below of the average amount of carbs in the most popular types of wines and which varieties have the lowest carb count.
If you’re a fan of the bubbly, you’re in luck. Overall, champagne is one of the lowest-carb wine options there is. The average 5 oz glass of champagne has around one to four grams of carbs. You can definitely knock back a few glasses while staying well within your daily carb allowance.
However, some champagnes have more sugar than others, meaning they have a higher carb count. The following numbers are for a standard 5 ounce serving of champagne.
- Doux Champagne has 7.5 grams of carbs per serving
- Demi-sec Champagne has 4.8-7.5 grams of carbs per serving
- Sec Champagne has 2.5-4.8 grams of carbs per serving
- Extra Dry Champagne has 1.8-2.6 grams of carbs per serving
- Brut Champagne has less than 2 grams of carbs per serving
- Extra Brut Champagne has less than .9 grams of carbs per serving
If you’re trying to keep low carb, we recommend staying within the extra dry, brut, and brut categories.
Rosé is pink and sweet, which would lead you to believe it’s loaded with carbs and sugar. However, you can get rosé with a fairly low carb count. Dry rosé wine has around 2.9 grams of carbs in a 5-ounce serving. We recommend staying away from sweet rosés, as they can be packed with sugar.
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular white wines in the world. It’s made from green-skinned grapes, and depending on the brand, the flavor can range from crisp to grassy, to juicy, to tropical. Sauvignon Blanc is fairly low carb, averaging about 3.01 grams of carbs for a 5-ounce serving, making it a great choice for those on a low-carb diet.
Pinot Grigio is a refreshing, zesty white wine that’s extremely popular all around the world. It has a punchy acidity, with flavors of lemon, lime, green apple, and honeysuckle. It’s fairly dry and also pretty low carb. In a 5-ounce glass, there are only about 3.09 grams of carbs.
Chardonnay is the world’s most popular white wine, and for a good reason: it’s delicious. It’s versatile, medium to full-bodied, with a moderate acidity level. Depending on where the grapes are grown and how it’s made, the flavor notes range from apple to lemon, papaya, and pineapple. It can even take on notes of vanilla when it’s aged in white oak. Luckily for you, it’s low-carb too. A 5-ounce glass has only 3.18 grams of carbs.
Riesling is on the sweeter end of the spectrum overall, meaning it will be a little bit higher in carbs. It’s fruity, and the notes can range from lime to lemon to pineapple to orange, depending on the ripeness of the grapes. It comes in dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling varieties, with the dry being the lowest in carbs. A dry riesling has about 5.54 grams of carbs per serving. It’s slightly higher than the others on the list so far but can still be enjoyed in moderation without totally blowing your low-carb diet.
Pinot Noir is a light-bodied red wine with aromas of red fruit, flower, and spice. The primary flavor notes are cherry, raspberry, mushroom, clove, and hibiscus. It’s a fairly dry wine and generally has the lowest carb content of any red wine. For a 5 oz serving, there are about 3.4 grams of carbs. Higher than some of the white options on the list, but if you’re really craving a red while still keeping the carbs under control, pinot noir is your best bet.
Shiraz, also known as Syrah, is bold and full-bodied, with aromatic smoke, black fruit, and pepper. It can be round and fruity or dense and tannic, depending on the style. It’s also a pretty good low-carb red option since it only has 3.79 grams of carbs per 5 oz. serving.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a fairly dry, full-bodied wine with black cherry, black currant, vanilla, and pepper flavors. It is characterized by the high amount of tannins, which provide structure and complexity while supporting the rich, dark fruit flavors. For a 5 oz serving of Cab Sauv, there are about 3.82 grams of carbs.
Malbec is a full-bodied wine known for its plump, dark fruit flavors and smoky finish. It’s more affordable than a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Shiraz but offers a similar flavor profile. Malbec is a dry wine, so it’s good for low-carb dieters. A 5 oz. serving of your average Malbec contains 4.1 grams of carbs.
Zinfandel comes in both red and white varieties and is known for its fruity flavors of jam, blueberry, cherry, boysenberry, and cranberry, with notes of pepper and licorice. Zinfandel is light-bodied and usually quite dry. A 5 oz serving constraints around 4.2 grams of carbs.
How to shop for low-carb wine
While the list above contains a wide range of wide varieties, all are fairly low in carbs, all things considered. If you really want to be strict about your carb intake, we recommend going with a dry white wine, like a Brut champagne or a Sauvignon Blanc. Overall, fuller-bodied wines have more carbs, so try to stick to lighter-bodied wines if you’re watching your carb count.
When perusing the aisles of your local wine shop, there are some words to look for on labels that will tell you that wine is higher in carbs. Avoid wines with descriptions such as off-dry, semi-sweet, sweet, dessert, late harvest, doux, dolce, sec, demi-sec, and semi-sec. Go for wines that are described as dry, brut, or extra brut.
When following a low-carb diet, you can still enjoy your favorite wines in moderation. If you choose the type carefully and go for drier wines, you’ll easily be able to fit a few glasses into your daily carb allotment.
For all your wine delivery needs, Saucey has your back. We can deliver thousands of wines, beers, and spirits right to your door. We offer speedy delivery and no order minimums. Peruse our wine selections, and treat yourself with a bottle delivery today.