Can you drink wine on a low carb diet?

On our Tuscany wine tours, we sometimes meet guests who follow low carb or keto diets. So, the obvious question is: how many carbohydrates are there in wine?

It’s a fair question because most wine labels don’t contain that kind of nutritional information. But, if you’re looking for a keto-friendly wine, there are some clues to look for.

Here’s what you need to know about the carbs in a glass of wine and how to choose the best wine for your low carb diet.

The reality about carbs in wine

The good news is that many, but not all, wines are naturally low carb. That’s because the sugar in the grapes is converted to alcohol during the fermentation process.

The sugar that remains in wine after fermentation is called “residual sugar”. This is what contributes to the carbohydrate count in wine. A dry wine will contain very little residual sugar whereas the sugar content in a sweet wine will be much higher, with as much as eight grams per glass. Some low-quality wines that are billed as “dry” may contain more residual sugar to enhance the taste.

Given that the alcohol is created from sugar, it’s also worth noting that higher alcohol wines may contain slightly more carbs.

How to choose a keto-friendly wine

If you want to drink the best wine for a keto diet, choose a good quality dry wine that isn’t too high in alcohol content.

One of the lowest carb options is a sparkling white wine. For example, a Prosecco contains about two grams of carbs in a five-ounce serving. Look for the word “Brut”, which indicates that the wine is dry.

Dry red and white wines typically contain about three to four grams of carbs per serving. Chianti is a good choice for a low carb red wine. It’s a dry wine with many good quality options at the 13.5% alcohol level. The most-well-known white wine in Tuscany, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, is a nice dry, low carb option in a white. We’d be happy to introduce it to you on a wine tour from Florence to San Gimignano.

Which high carb wines should you avoid? Those on low carb diets should stay away from dessert wines, like Vin Santo (it’s delicious, but high in sugar).

The bottom line on carbs and wine

While you should also consider the calories in wine, the conclusion is that, yes, you can enjoy wine on a low carb diet as long as long as you make smart choices and drink in moderation.

If you’d like to taste some low-carb Chianti in the beautiful hills of Tuscany, join us on our must popular wine tour from Florence to three organic wineries.