Can Wine Be Keto?
Yes, it can.
Or, to be more exact, certain types of wine can be enjoyed in moderate capacity on a low-carb diet.
Which wine is the ultimate keto wine? Let’s break it down.
Does wine even have carbs?
Yes, while not as high in carbs as beer (we all know that one has to go if we start doing keto), wine has carbs. Luckily for all the wine-lovers out there though, depending on the wine that carb content can be as low as 2g per glass – or as high as 50g per glass.
It all depends on which wine you choose.
Dry wines are the most optimal option for anyone doing a low-carb diet.
So what even is “dry” wine? Wine is called dry if it typically contains less than 10g of sugar per bottle. Sugar, in wine, has a very specific function – when the grape is being fermented, the yeasts feed off of sugars to produce alcohol. Thus, when the fermentation process is done, the sugar levels have decreased significantly – but that doesn’t mean they’re gone.
Dry wines are the ones that have a long fermentation process – so the sugar levels are low enough that a keto dieter can safely enjoy a glass.
Both white and red dry wines typically have below 5g of carbs per glass (if we consider 6 fl oz or 175 ml to be the standard glass).
Some of the “keto wines” you can enjoy without being kicked out of ketosis are:
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sauvignon Blanc (can also be sweet)
Semi-dry wines are fermented for a long time – but not as long as dry ones. So their sugar levels are low, but on average not as low as that of dry wines.
That said, there can be an overlap between carb contents of dry and semi-dry wine. For example, dry wines with higher alcohol levels like Grenache or Riesling may contain over 5-6g of carbs per glass – while semi-dry wines on overage contain around 7g.
If you’ve had a relatively “carb-light” day and feel like you’re allowed to live a little on the edge – you can likely enjoy a glass of semi-dry wine without being kicked out of ketosis.
Better stick to the dry varieties though.
Semi-Sweet, Sweet, and Dessert Wines:
This is where we enter the dangerous territory. Unfortunately, any wine that is marked “sweet” in any way, shape, or form is forbidden territory for a keto dieter (unless you’ve decided to blow your diet – which, please, do not).
Just as dryness, the sweetness of wine is determined by fermentation length. Sweet wines’ fermentation process is short compared to dry ones – so more of the sugar is left by the end.
Dessert wines are characterized by both high sugar (sometimes added either before or after fermentation) and high alcohol levels.
n average, the carb content of these types of wines ranges between 20g and 50g per glass – your entire day’s worth of carbs.
This is why it’s important to pay attention to labels on wine bottles – some wine varieties, such as Riesling, Grenache, and Zinfandel can be found both in dry or semi-sweet and sweet varieties. Don’t be shy and always ask which variety it is you’re drinking.
Champagne or brut/dry sparkling wine is probably the safest choice of wine for keto dieters, with around 1g of carbs per glass.
Do keep in mind that not all sparkling wine is champagne – and keep away from sweeter varieties.