World's 1st Carnivore App
JOIN FOR FREE

Low-Carb Wine: The 10 Best Red and White Wines

Consuming alcohol can cause various health problems like gaining extra weight and inflammation. If you’re suffering from these side effects and are trying to shed extra pounds or reduce inflammation, especially if you’re on a low-carb diet, you can drink low-carb wine. To help you choose easily, I’ll introduce 10 low-carb red and white wines.

Low-Carb Wine: The 10 Best Red and White Wines
Highlights
  • Different kinds of wine contain different carbohydrate content.
  • Dry wines contain the lowest carbohydrate levels among wines.
  • The article introduces ten low-carb red and white wines.
  • Dessert wines, Fortified wines, Grenache, and Sangria are some of the high-carb wines to avoid.
  • Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Dry Champagne, and Catarratto are some of the Keto- and Carnivore-friendly wines.

Is Wine Low-Carb?

Not all wines are low-carb. Wines are made from grapes, which naturally contain sugars like glucose and fructose. The sugars in grapes are consumed by yeast to turn into alcohol and carbon dioxide in the winemaking process [1].

But not all the sugars are fermented. So, the produced wine contains some fermented and unfermented (residual) sugars comprising its carbohydrate content [2] [3].

As wines are made from different kinds of grapes and in different methods, they contain various levels of carbohydrates [4].

Not just wines but different alcoholic drinks - made from various fruits and grains - have varying carb content.

Wine Carbohydrate Level vs. Other Alcoholic Drinks

This table shows the average carbohydrate content in different types of alcoholic drinks, i.e., wines, beers, and spirits [5] [6] [7].

Type of BeverageCarbohydrate Content per Serving (approximate)
Red Wine (5 oz) 3-5 grams
White Wine (5 oz) 3-5 grams
Beer (12 oz) 10-15 grams (varies by type and brand)
Vodka (1.5 oz) 0 grams (no carbohydrates)
Rum (1.5 oz) 0 grams (no carbohydrates)
Whiskey (1.5 oz) 0 grams (no carbohydrates)
Gin (1.5 oz) 0 grams (no carbohydrates)

So, let’s focus on wines and find out the different types, as they have different carbohydrate levels, and not all of them are low-carb.

'Meat saved our lives': These people lost 200 lbs and healed 5 common chronic diseases with Carnivore.

Types of Wine

There are many different kinds of wine, but we’ll focus on the six main types, i.e., red, white, rose, sparkling, dessert, and fortified wines. The following table shows their calorie, sugar, and carbohydrate content [8] [9] [10].

Wine TypeAverage Calories per ServingAverage Sugar Content per ServingAverage Carbohydrate Content per Serving
Red Wine 120-130 calories 1-2 grams 3-5 grams
White Wine 120-130 calories 1-2 grams 3-5 grams
Rosé Wine 110-130 calories 1-2 grams 3-5 grams
Sparkling Wine 90-100 calories 1-2 grams 1-3 grams
Dessert Wine 150-200+ calories 15-20+ grams 20-30+ grams
Fortified Wine 180-200+ calories 10-20+ grams 15-30+ grams

Among different types, dry red, white, and rosé wines are the lowest-carb wines, but how come they have the lowest carb content?

Wines with the Lowest Carb Level

Dry wines (dry refers to the absence of sugar) have the lowest carbohydrate levels for the following reasons.

  • Residual Sugar: The residual sugar in wine adds to the overall carb content. Wines with higher residual sugar levels have more carbohydrates. Dry wines undergo complete fermentation, so they have fewer residual sugars and lower carb content.
  • Wine Production Techniques: Some winemaking techniques, such as malolactic fermentation or the addition of sweeteners, can increase the final carb content of the wine. But dry wines have no added sugars.
  • Grape Varieties: Different grapes have different levels of natural sugars, affecting the carb content of the wine. For example, sweeter grapes lead to wines with higher carbohydrate levels. Dry wines are made from grapes with lower residual sugar, as the sugars are mainly fermented into alcohol during winemaking.

So, here are the ten best low-carb red and white wines.

5 Best Low-Carb Red Wines

These five red wines contain the lowest levels of carbohydrates.

  • Gamay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Shiraz/ Syrah

Before going into details of each one, let’s take a look at their nutrients in one serving (5 fl oz.) in the following table [11].

Type of Red WineCarbohydratesSugarCalories
Gamay 3 grams 0.78 grams 110
Pinot Noir 3.4 grams 0.83 grams 121
Merlot 3.7 grams 0.91 grams 122
Cabernet Sauvignon 3.8 grams 0.91 grams 122
Shiraz/Syrah 3.8 grams 0.92 grams 122

Gamay

Gamay red wines have rich fruit flavors, low tannins and high acidity, with about 110 calories and 3 grams of net carbohydrates per serving (5 fl oz.). It is mainly made in Beaujolais, which is located south of the Burgundy region of France.

Since it has low tannins, Gamay wine is easier to drink than other red wine varieties. The process used to make Gamay in Beaujolais is called carbonic maceration.

In this method, whole grape clusters are fermented in a carbon dioxide-rich environment before crushing them to increase the fruity and floral characteristics of the wine.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir wines are known for their nuanced and complex flavor profile, with about 121 calories and 3.4 grams of net carbs per serving (5 fl oz.).

Pinot Noir is generally made in the Burgundy region of France. It can also have earthy floral and even spicy tastes, based on the winemaking method.

Pinot Noir is made using whole-cluster fermentation, where the grapes are not crushed before fermentation to maintain the grape's aromatic qualities. It also has a silky and smooth texture because of its low tannins.

Merlot

Merlot wines are known for their softness, richness, versatility, moderate acidity, and tannins, with about 122 calories and 3.7 grams of net carbs per serving (5 fl oz.).

Merlot wines are mainly made in the Bordeaux region of France. Merlot is a soft wine and a good choice for those who prefer wines with a less astringent mouthfeel.

In addition to Bordeaux, Merlot wines are made in many other regions, including California, Washington State, Italy (Tuscany), Chile, and Australia.

Cabernet Sauvignon

With about 122 calories and 3.8 grams of net carbs per serving (5 fl oz.) Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular tannic wines with rich flavors and excellent aging potential.

Cabernet Sauvignon wines have deep colors and intense flavors with firm tannins, giving them structure and aging potential, which also makes them very astringent. But they taste softer as they age.

Cabernet Sauvignon is mainly produced in the Bordeaux region of France, but it is also made in other regions like Napa Valley and Sonoma County in California, Coonawarra and Margaret River in Australia, and Maipo Valley in Chile.

Shiraz/ Syrah

Shiraz (Syrah) wines have bold flavors, rich textures, and spicy and peppery characteristics, with about 122 calories and 3.8 grams of net carbs per serving (5 fl oz.).

Shiraz wines have firm tannins, giving them grippy or velvety texture and aging potential. Some winemakers produce Syrah using extended maceration and aging in oak barrels, while others may use more modern techniques to emphasize fruitiness.

5 Best Low-Carb White Wines

Here are the five best white wines with low levels of carbohydrates.

  • Pinot Grigio
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Chardonnay
  • Champagne
  • Catarratto

The following table shows the carbohydrate, sugar, and calorie content in these white wines [12].

Type of White WineCarbohydratesSugarCalories
Pinot Grigio 3 grams 0.9 grams 122
Sauvignon Blanc 3 grams 0.91 grams 119
Chardonnay 3.2 grams 1.4 grams 123
Champagne 4 grams 1.5 grams 116
Catarratto 4 grams 1.1 grams 116

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is a mutation of the red grape Pinot Noir and is mainly produced in Italy. Pinot Grigio wines have a light, crisp, and dry profile, with about 122 calories and 3 grams of net carbs per serving (5 fl oz.).

This white wine has high acidity, which gives it refreshing qualities and makes it a good choice for warmer weather. 

Pinot Grigio is often made by stainless steel fermentation and aging to maintain its fresh and crisp characteristics. Some producers allow brief skin contact during fermentation to produce a slightly deeper color and more texture.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc wines have distinctive and intense aromas with about 119 calories and 3 grams of net carbs per serving (5 fl oz.).

Sauvignon Blanc has high acidity levels, making it a fresh option for warm weather. It is mainly produced in the Bordeaux and the Loire Valley in France.

Sauvignon Blanc is usually fermented in stainless steel tanks to maintain fresh fruit flavors and acidity. Some winemakers age it in oak barrels to add complexity and texture to the final product.

Chardonnay

Made mainly in the Burgundy region of France, Chardonnay can have diverse flavor profiles, which depend on climate, soil, and winemaking techniques. Each serving (5 fl oz.) of Chardonnay can contain about 123 calories and 3.2 grams of net carbohydrates.

Its initial flavors include green apple, pear, citrus, melon, and tropical fruit. But it can have butter, vanilla, and toasty notes in secondary and tertiary flavors, especially if it’s aged in oak barrels.

Cool-climate Chardonnays have a higher acidity, while those from warmer climates show a full-bodied profile.

Champagne

Champagne is a sparkling white wine with about 116 calories and 4 grams of net carbs per 5 fl oz serving. 

Champagne is mainly produced in the Champagne region in northeastern France, with special winemaking methods, including a primary fermentation and a secondary fermentation in the bottle, creating bubbles.

Its tasting notes include citrus, green apple, pear, brioche, toast, and mineral undertones.

Champagnes made from Chardonnay are more citrusy and floral, while those with Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier can display richer, red fruit characteristics.

Champagnes can range in sweetness from bone-dry to sweet. The bottle labels describe sweetness using terms like Brut Nature (very dry), Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry (slightly sweet), Sec (medium sweet), Demi-Sec (sweet), and Doux (very sweet).

Cararratto

Made from the Cararratto grapes in Sicily, Italy, Cararratto wines are famous for their freshness and acidity, with about 116 calories and 4 grams of carbs per serving (5 fl oz.).

Its flavor profile has citrusy notes, including lemon and green apple, and even floral and herbal nuances. Cararratto is used to produce a range of white wines, including both varietal wines and blends.

So, you can drink any of these low-carb red and white wines, but it’s better to avoid the following wines.

Wines to Avoid

It’s generally safer to drink low-carb wines as you don’t want to gain extra pounds and deal with inflammation problems. So, it’s better to avoid

  • Dessert wines, such as Moscato, Port, or sweet Rieslings
  • Fortified wines like Sherry
  • Wines with "late-harvest" on the label
  • Wines with dolce, demi-sec, or semi-sec on the label (as they have more residual sugar.)
  • Champagne Doux (It’s the sweetest version with over 50 grams of residual sugar per liter)
  • Grenache
  • Sangria (red or white)
  • Wine coolers and frozen wine pops/ drinks
  • Zinfandel

Also, if you’re on a low-carb diet, like Keto and Carnivore diet, and want to drink alcoholic beverages, you should go for the following options to minimize the side effects of alcohol, especially weight gain and inflammation.

What Is the Best Wine for the Keto and Carnivore Diets?

The best wines for the Keto and Carnivore diets are low-carb, low-calorie options, including

  • Sauvignon Blanc,
  • Pinot Noir,
  • Chardonnay,
  • Dry Champagne,
  • Catarratto,
  • Merlot,
  • Cabernet Sauvignon,
  • Chianti, and
  • Gamay.

Learn More: Can You Drink Alcohol on the Carnivore Diet? The Best and Worst Options

Tips on Low-Carb Wine

  • Drink in moderation, even low-carb wines.
  • Drink plenty of water as alcoholic drinks are dehydrating.
  • Check the calorie content of the low-carb wine because low-carb doesn’t mean low-calorie.
  • Look for dry wines.
  • When buying, always check the nutritional facts of the wine to ensure it doesn’t have high levels of calories and carbohydrates.
  • Champagne and sparking wines labeled Brut, Extra Brut, Brut Nature, or Brut Zero contain the lowest carb content.

Summary

Low-carb wine options are healthier as they contain lower sugars and usually fewer calories. But it’s important to note that drinking alcohol can cause serious health issues, and you need to minimize your consumption, especially if you’re on a specific diet.

Similar posts

Recent Recipes

Prep Time
20 mins
Servings
12

These Carnivore diet deviled eggs are among the easiest and yummiest Carnivore breakfast and brunch ideas. Click here to learn how to make these delicious eggs.

Read more
Prep Time
10 mins
Servings
2

This Carnivore chicken liver recipe gives you a yummy and high-protein dish in only 10 minutes. Click here to learn how to make this delicious and healthy meal.

Read more
Prep Time
20 mins
Servings
3

This Carnivore pork belly recipe gives you crispy cracks suitable for all meals, especially lunch and dinner. Click here to learn how to make this yummy dish.

Read more