Can You Drink Wine On Keto? Best Keto Wines & Drinks To Avoid

Informational

Guy pouring wine into a glassTable of Contents

It’s hard to be on a keto diet because you cannot consume high-carbohydrate foods. Some drinks are also not allowed but don’t worry because the best wine for keto will satisfy your cravings.

You can drink wine while on a keto diet as long as it is low in carbohydrates. Keto wines include red wines, such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and dry white wines like Brut Champagne and Sauvignon Blanc.

This article discusses the different types of keto wines and the drinks you should avoid while on a keto diet.

The Effects of Keto Diet

Ketogenic or keto is a type of diet wherein the person produces more calories from fats and proteins than carbohydrates. 

Those under the keto diet decrease their intake of easy-to-digest carbohydrates such as pastries, sugar, soda, and white bread. This works by making the body undergo ketosis. It breaks down fats and proteins to produce energy, thus making you lose weight.

People typically use the keto diet for weight loss, but it also helps with some medical conditions like epilepsy. The keto diet is also used to treat acne, certain brain diseases, and heart disease. However, these applications require further research and findings.

However, the keto diet has a negative effect because the byproducts of ketosis are ketone bodies (such as acetone). These chemicals can be toxic to your body, especially if you have Type 1 diabetes.

That’s why it is essential to consult with your doctor first before undergoing a keto diet.

Comparison of Keto Wine to Other Alcoholic Drinks

Red wine bottles on a shelf

Wine is preferable for people who undergo a keto diet because it has lower carbs than other alcoholic drinks. Distilled spirits such as gin, rum, whiskey, tequila, and vodka have zero carbohydrates due to the removal of sugar through distillation.

However, most cocktails and mixed drinks that use these spirits are made with syrups, sodas, and high-sugar juices. An example of this is Long Island Iced Tea which has 33 g of carbs per 8.3 ounces due to the combination of lemon juice, cola, and simple syrup.

Another drink that is not ideal for a low-carb diet is beer because it has starch that is high in carbs. A can of beer is about 12 ounces and has more than 12g of carbohydrate content.

Wine coolers (bottled drinks made from wine, fruit juice, and carbonated water) also have high carbohydrate content. Smirnoff has about 26g while Breezer has 30g, so you should not consume them on a keto diet.

Source of Carbs in Wines

The yeast ferments the sugars in grapes to produce alcohol during the process of making wine. Unfermented sugar, on the other hand, stays in the wine throughout the fermentation process. The residual sugar then turns into the carbohydrates in wine. Thus, wines with lower sugar during production have less amount of carbohydrates in the finished product.

Traditional winemaking techniques avoid adding sugars or artificial sweeteners to the wine during the fermentation process. While cheaper, mass-produced brands mostly add them to change the flavors and speed up the fermentation process. This process is called chaptalization and is only legal in a few places around the globe.

Meanwhile, the usual wines are made in small batches using tested techniques. So, avoid the products from commercial winemakers because they are not the best wine for keto.

The Best Wine for Keto

Since wine has low carbohydrate content, you may drink a glass regularly even though you’re on a keto diet. The byproducts of wine fermentation, like glycerol, also have minor effects on the insulin or blood sugar level.

Here is a helpful video on how to select low-carb wines:

Keto Red Wine Varieties

The table below shows the carbohydrate content of different red wine varieties, so you know which of them can be considered as keto wine. Based on this information, Grenache, Malbec, and Zinfandel have high carb content, so they are not the best wine for keto diet.


Grape Varietal

Carbohydrate Content (5 oz / 147 mL)

Pinot Noir 

3.4 g

Syrah

3.7 g

Merlot

3.7 g

Cabernet Sauvignon

3.8 g

Sangiovese

3.8 g

Grenache

4.0 g

Malbec

4.1 g

Zinfandel

4.2 g

Keto White Wine Varieties

Here is the table listing the different types of white wines based on increasing carb content. You’ll see that it is best to avoid Chenin Blanc and Dry Riesling because they are not keto wines.

Grape Varietal

Carbohydrate Content (5 oz / 147 mL)

Sparkling White Wine

1.5 g

Brut Champagne

2.8 g

Pinot Blanc

2.8 g

Pinot Grigio

3.0 g

Sauvignon Blanc

3.0 g

Chardonnay

3.1 g

Chenin Blanc 

4.9 g 

Dry Riesling

5.5 g

Other Keto Wines

  • Sec or Trocken - A dry wine with 5g of carbs per 200 mL.
  • Brut Nature - A sparkling wine with 0-3g of sugar per liter.
  • Brut or Extra Brut - A sparkling wine with typically 0-12g of sugar per liter.

Wines to Avoid When on Keto Diet

These wines contain high carbohydrate levels, so it is best to void them because they cannot be classified as keto wines.

  • Fortified Wines (such as Port) - These wines may have up to 14g carbs per glass serving.
  • Eiswein or Ice Wine - It typically has 5g of carbs.
  • Late Harvest or Spätlese - It can have up to 20g of carbs.
  • Dessert Wine - It may have 30-40g carbs per glass.
  • Süss or Doux  - It typically contains 7.5g of carbs.

Keto Wine FAQ

What has More Carbs Red or White Wine?Red and White wines in a glass

On average, red and white wines have carbohydrate contents in the 3-4g range. However, some white wines have lower carbs as compared to red wines. Thus, more whites are keto-friendly than some reds.

Dry white wines also have low carb content (typically less than 0.5g) and a fruity taste, making them a better alternative to sweet wines with high carb content.

Is Red Wine Vinegar Okay on Keto?

Yes, it is. Since the red wine was further oxidized to convert it into vinegar, its carbohydrates were also oxidized. There is 0 g of carbohydrates in red wine vinegar, making it keto-friendly.

Will One Cheat Day Ruin Ketosis?

A cheat day that involves consuming high-carb foods may disrupt ketosis, but a glass of wine wouldn’t. That amount of wine in a day is optimal because too much alcohol will negatively affect your body.

Being on a keto diet makes you prone to stronger hangovers because the lack of carbs decreases your alcohol tolerance. Being drunk also lowers your inhibitions to eat high carbohydrate foods, thus disrupting ketosis.

Conclusion

You can drink wine while on keto, but be sure only to drink keto wines with low carbohydrate content so it won’t disrupt your diet.

A glass of keto wine a day is enough because consuming too much may cause you to have an intense hangover, and it may decrease your inhibition to eat high carbs food.

Did you find this article helpful? What do you think is the best wine for keto? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.


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