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Keto Wine: 10 Best Low Carb Wines

By Thomas Wrona Published on

Table of Contents

Drake is famous for a lot of things, including the quote, “Seven days without wine makes one weak.”  Though that’s not based on a clinical study, if you can relate to it, then we can say with scientific certainty, you’re really into wine. If you’re reading this article you’re also probably into keto and wondering if there’s such a thing as low-carb keto wine. 

Luckily there are many low-carb wines you can enjoy on a keto diet. 

Here are our tips for selecting the best keto wine, and a list of the 10 best keto wines to choose from. 

What Makes a Wine Keto Friendly, or Not?

For a wine to be considered keto-friendly, it generally needs to fit the following two conditions:

  • Low in alcohol (13.5 ABV or less)
  • Low in residual sugar

Some of the types of wine that are typically keto-friendly include merlot, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and pinot grigio. 

But even these varieties can be more or less “dry’. Wines that aren’t considered dry may be too high in residual sugar to be suitable for keto. 

Chose Dry Wines

Dry wines contain the least amount of residual sugar. That’s why “dry” wines are usually not sweet. A wine becomes dry when over time yeast species such as saccharomyces cerevisiae ferment grape sugar into ethanol.

Some winemakers stop this conversion process before it’s complete in hopes of preserving some of the grapes’ original sweetness. The result is a wine that has higher levels of residual sugar. It’s thought that sweeter, more sugary wines have a higher ‘likeability factor.’

That may be so, but not when it comes to keto-friendliness. Dry wines that have been fully fermented and contain less to no residual sugar are ideal for keto. 

If a wine tastes sweet, it’s probably too high in sugar to be compatible with low-carb ways of eating. 

How to Determine the Carbohydrates in Wine

Finding out the sugar content of any given wine is fairly easy. Just find out how many grams of carbohydrates the wine contains, then divide that by the wine’s volume. 

Here are a couple examples:

Pinot Noir contains roughly 3.4 grams of sugar carbohydrates per 5 ounce serving. That means it’s 2.4% residual sugar, and therefore contains 2-3 g sugar per Litre. Not bad at all. 

3.4/142 (grams per 5 oz.)= 0.024 = 2.4%

Chardonnay, another low-carb wine, contains 3.18 grams of carbohydrates per 5 ounce serving. This 2.2% residual sugar, equates to 2-3 g/L — slightly better than Pinot Noir.

3.18/142(grams per 5 oz.) = 0.022 = 2.2%

Tips for Finding Low-Carb Wines

Wines don’t have their carbs listed on the bottle, so here are a few tips for finding low carb wines: 

  1. Value wines (i.e. cheap or boxed wines) usually have more residual sugar than you’d expect. Residual sugar can hover in the 5-30+ g/L range. 
  2. White wines and rosés often contain extra residual sugar, as winemakers feel this counters their naturally higher levels of acidity. 10g/L is not uncommon. 
  3. Authentic European wines are usually dryer. Bordeaux, Chianti, and Xinomavro are all good choices.  
  4. For sparkling wines, bottles with the word “Brut” in their name are dryest. It’s possible to find sparkling wines with 1.5 grams of sugar/glass, or even less. 

Our Top Ten Keto-Friendly Low Carb Wines

Keto Wine #1: Dry Riesling 

Riesling is a white wine produced from aromatic grapes from Germany’s Rhine region. These grapes are known for their flowery fragrance and high level of acidity. Alongside Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc, Riesling is considered one of the top three white wine varieties. [1

A dry riesling makes a great pairing with the fattiest keto fish, and is a staple for wine drinkers on the pescatarian keto diet

Carbs in Dry Riesling

Dry Riesling contains roughly 4  grams of residual sugar per 5 oz. serving. 

Low Carb Riesling

A great low-carb very dry riesling is from Hermann J. Wiemer from grapes grown in the Finger Lakes region of New York state.

 

keto wine low carb riesling

Click here if you’d like to try four bottles of premium wine for $29.95 — with free shipping.  

Keto Wine #2: Pinot Grigio 

Also known as Pinot Gris or Grauburgunder, Pinot Grigio comes from a white grape species called Vitis vinifera. These grapes have a grayish-blue fruit, thus the “grigio” (gray) reference. [2

Carbs in Pinot Grigio

Pino grigio contains just 3 grams of residual sugar per 5 ounce serving. 

Low Carb Pino Grigio: 

One of the most well-balanced low-carb dry Pino Grigio’s for the price is J Vineyards California Pinot Gris 2020

low carb pino grigio keto

Keto Wine #3: Pinot Noir 

Pinot Noir is a red wine that’s known and loved for its versatility. Whether you’re having nourishing fatty keto meat for dinner, a rich keto cheese appetizer, or an eggy omelet for lunch, Pinot Noir can make a great pairing. 

This versatility is thanks to its balanced flavor profile. Not too sweet — yet not too dry. Not too light, yet not too strong— think of Pinot Noir as the “just right” wine. [3]   

 

Some of our favorite Pinot-Noir & food pairings include:

  • Roasted Lamb 
  • Salmon
  • Duck
  • Brie 
  • Camembert 

Carbs in Pinot Noir

Pino noir contains 3.4 grams of residual sugar per 5 ounce serving. 

Low Carb Pinot Noir

The Petit Clos Pinot Noir from New Zealand offers old world balance and a sophisticated very dry character at a great price point.

low carb pinot noir keto

Keto Wine #4: Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the world’s most popular white wine. It gets its crisp, clean flavor from the green-skinned grapes that grow in France’s Burgundy region. (Actually, these grapes can now be found growing throughout the world.) [4]

Carbs in Chardonnay

Chardonnay contains an average of 3.4 grams of residual sugar per 5 oz. serving. 

Low Carb Chardonnay 

Cave de Lugny Macon Lugny Les Charmes Chardonnay 2019 is one of the dryest out there.

keto chardonnay

 

Keto Wine #5: Rosé

Rosé is a low-carb wine with practical perks. Wine connoisseurs have named it the perfect party wine — on par with champagne.   

Contrary to what you might be thinking, rosé isn’t simply a color-diluted blend of red and white wines. True rosé wine is made from red grapes that have had their skin removed sooner than usual, which prevents most of that reddish hue from seeping into the wine.  You might say rosé is a delightfully  premature  red wine. [5

Carbs in Rosé

Dry rosé wine contains under five grams of residual sugar per 5 ounce serving. 

Low Carb Rosé Wine

Seven Hills Winery Dry Rose is an excellent low and low alcohol option from the Columbia Valley in Washington.

keto rose

Keto Wine #6: Merlot

Merlot is a versatile red wine with a smooth feel and mild flavor. It’s also keto-friendly. What’s not to like?

Carbs in Merlot

Merlot wine contains 3.8 grams of residual sugar per 5 ounce serving. 

Low Carb Merlot 

Chateau Mayne Vieil Cuvee Alienor 2016 is a great very dry French merlot for around $20.

keto friendly merlot

Keto Wine #7: Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet sauvignon is one of the most beloved red wines in the world.  And the dry varieties are some of the keto-friendliest. Consider pairing cabernet with keto meals dripping with healthy keto fats, along with mildly flavored dishes. It’s own own robust flavors means it doesn’t mix well with spicy foods. 

Carbs in Cabernet Sauvignon

Dry rosé wine contains 3.82 grams of residual sugar per 5 ounce serving. 

Low Carb Cabernet Sauvignon

FitVine Wine Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is a light and dry pick that is specifically made to have very low residual sugars.

low carb keto wine

Keto wine #8: Tempranillo

Tempranillo is a low-carb wine with a surprisingly fruity taste. The best tempranillo is produced in Spain. As you might expect, this wine goes well with Spanish or Mexican foods, and is a perfect addition to a mediterranean keto diet

Tempranillo: wine carbohydrate amount

Merlot wine contains about 3.6 grams of residual sugar per 5 ounce serving. 

Low carb tempranillo

Zuccardi Q Tempranillo 2013 is a dry old vine wine with relatively low alcohol content and a balanced profile at a good price point.

low carb tempranillo

Keto wine #9: Chianti 

Technically speaking, Chianti is any wine that’s produced within the Chianti region in Tuscany. Yet true Chianti Classico is a very dry red wine that possesses several specific qualities — for one, it must come in a fiasco-enclosed, distinctively shaped bottle. [6

Carbs in Chianti

Chianti wine contains just 2.6 grams of residual sugar per 5 ounce serving. 

Low Carb Chianti

Antinori Pèppoli Chianti Classico offers a dry lower alcohol Chianti from one of the region’s most respected winemakers. 

low carb chianti

Keto wine #10: Champagne

Is there anything more luxurious than champagne? Champagne and a keto-friendly meat and cheese plate makes an excellent pairing. 

Bubble lovers the world over will be pleased to learn that champagne can be quite keto-friendly. Brut or extra brut Champagnes contain just a few grams of carbs per serving. [7

Carbs in Champagne

Brut Champagne contains just 2 grams of residual sugar per 5 ounce serving. 

Low Carb champagne

The champagne of champagne, the iconic yellow bottle Veuve Cliequot offers both cultural cache and a great low-carb brut bubbly.

low carb keto friendly champaigne

Carbs in Wine Chart 

Here’s a head-to-head look at how many grams of residual sugars common types of wine contain.  

Low-Carb Red Wines

WineCarbs per 5 oz serving
Chianti2.6 g
Pinot Noir 3.4 g
Tempranillo 3.6 g
Merlot 3.8 g
Shiraz / Syrah 3.8 g
Cabernet Sauvignon 3.82 g
Sangiovese3.85 g
Grenache / Garnacha4 g
Malbec4.1 g
Zinfandel4.2 g

Low-Carb White Wines

WineCarbs per 5 oz serving
Campagne2 g
Sauvignon blanc 3.01 g
Pinot grigio / Pinot gris 3.03 g
Chardonnay3.18 g
Chenin Blanc 4.9 g

Wine to Avoid on Keto

It’s best to avoid high alcohol varieties like Zinfandel and shiraz and hard chards’. 

Though alcohol is not a carbohydrate, your body treats it like poison by prioritizing its metabolism. In doing so, alcochol halts ketosis–the breakdown of fatty acids into ketones that keto is founded on. 

While authentic European wines tend to be dryer, American wines typically fall on the other side of the spectrum. Most Californian reds are too sweet to be low-carb-friendy. Dessert wines like port and sherry are also far too sweet to make the cut. 

How Much Alcohol Can I Drink on Keto? 

Most people who drink alcohol on keto find that their sensitivity to alcohol increases. This is completely normal. When you consume alcohol while in ketosis your brain will receive more acetone than normal, leading to increased intoxication. 

Moderation is key if you want to take advantage of the flavonoids and other antioxidants present in keto wine, while avoiding more intense hangovers. [8] [9]

Keto Wine: The Takeaway

A keto diet centers on the types of rich fatty foods that wine has always been enjoyed alongside. 

Fortunately, when consumed in moderation, there are many “keto wines” that are  low alcohol and low carbs. 

Follow our list of keto-friendly varieties while focusing on wines labeled “brut,” “extra brut” and that are described as “dry”. 

We’ll leave you with a sign off by one of history’s most famous wine enthusiasts: 

Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”

– Wine enthusiast Benjamin Franklin

©2020 Doctor ROBERT KILTZ. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED