Food

The 7 Best Low Carb Keto Wines for All Occasions

The 7 Best Low Carb Keto Wines for All Occasions

Is it safe to drink wine on keto? Will it interfere with ketosis? Keep reading to get a crash course in what you need to know about drinking alcohol on the keto diet. We’re also going to share what we think are some of the best keto wines to try.


Can I Drink Wine on Keto?

The short answer is yes, you can drink wine on a keto diet. Some types of alcohol like wines and pure spirits are relatively low-carb and keto-friendly.

However, there are a few factors you should keep in mind when deciding to drink wine on keto.


Quicker intoxication

You can get drunk faster on a low-carb diet than you might be used to. Two glasses of wine can make you feel and act like you drank four glasses or the whole bottle. From a purely financial perspective, this is great news - a cheaper bar tab or liquor store bill!

However, this metabolic change can be both a blessing and a curse. When you cut down on carbs, your body uses up stored glucose (glycogen) for fuel first. When glycogen storage becomes insufficient to meet your body’s needs, it will start using fat (in the form of ketones) for fuel.

Although the body prioritizes alcohol metabolism above all other nutrients in any diet, the presence of high-carbohydrate food tends to help slow the absorption of alcohol, which is why you’ll need more than a couple of glasses to get drunk after eating a plate of rice. This is also why you’ve probably heard the advice to avoid drinking on an empty stomach. On keto, however, alcohol is absorbed much more rapidly, causing you to become intoxicated after a few drinks.


Driving

For the same reason as above, if you’re on the keto diet, it’s not a good idea to drive after you’ve been drinking. Quicker intoxication can lead to impaired judgment and poor decisions behind the wheel, and you could be putting your life and the lives of others in jeopardy. If you really need to get somewhere after enjoying a few glasses of wine, be smart about it. Call a friend, take public transportation, or order yourself an Uber or Lyft to get to where you need to be. Trust us on this one.


Addiction transfer

Addiction transfer is when your brain’s reward system causes you to replace one addiction with another. For example, let’s say you’ve recently recovered from years of sugar addiction after starting the ketogenic diet, and you decide to drink a glass or two of wine every other night to relax because you’re happy about your progress so far. Seems innocent enough, right?

One or two glasses every other night could quickly become every day, and the number of drinks could also increase. You may eventually become addicted to alcohol to replace the sugar addiction (or you might just go back to the sugar again).

Of course, we’re not saying this will happen to everyone, but if you’ve struggled with addiction of any kind in the past, be honest with yourself and recognize when you start going down a rabbit hole. It might also be a good idea to enlist a trusted friend to keep you accountable and make sure you’re not slipping into your old behaviors.


Weight loss stall

Drinking alcohol on the ketogenic diet may go well in the beginning, but it often eventually sabotages weight loss. Bear in mind that wine can be fairly high-calorie, and it quickly increases your daily calorie intake. For example, a glass of red wine contains approximately 125 calories. Once you get a few glasses deep, the calories and carbs will start to add up, no matter how low-carb a wine you select.

Another reason your weight loss may slow down is that your body will try to process the alcohol first and get it out of your system. If you drink wine frequently and find it harder to stop after a few glasses, your body may start using alcohol calories for fuel instead of ketones, and this can lead to nutrient deficiencies among other problems.

If weight loss is your primary goal, you might want to avoid alcohol until you’ve reached your goal weight.


Fatty liver disease

If you’re recovering from fatty liver disease, it’s best to avoid alcohol until you recover, regardless of the circumstances. You may also want to double check with your doctor if you’d like to add some wine back into your diet once you’re given a clean bill of health.


Self-Control

Ask yourself this question: “Can I stop drinking wine after one glass without a problem? Two glasses?” If your answer is no, then you should probably avoid wine (or any type of alcohol) on keto.


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Wine Health Benefits

Most of the health benefits of wine are credited to red wine, but if you prefer white wines, they can also be beneficial. Here are some health benefits of wine consumption in moderation.


Rich in resveratrol

Resveratrol is one of the powerful antioxidants present in red wine, affording it many health benefits. Resveratrol can fight bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens. Resveratrol has also been reported to have anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective properties [1].


May reduce the risk of heart disease

Moderate wine consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing heart disease [2]. Antioxidants such as resveratrol and quercetin may be cardioprotective.

Inflammation is one of the key contributors to the development of atherosclerosis, a result of oxidative damage and a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Red wine can also contribute to better heart health by improving your cholesterol profile and reducing systemic inflammation.

Red wine may also decrease fibrinogen levels, an inflammatory marker associated with heart disease [2].

Moderate consumption of red wine is also associated with increased circulating omega-3 fatty acids, which can protect against heart disease [3].


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7 Best Keto Wines Perfect for Any Occasion

Dry wines are best for keto because they have fewer carbs than fruity wines. Dry wines are usually made from grapes that are not fully ripe, which means they contain less residual sugar from the fermentation process.

Some wines are naturally sweet when the yeast hasn’t fully finished feeding. Naturally dry, sweet wines tend to be a better choice on keto, as wines with added sugar contain more carbs.

The tannins in wine are what give the “dry” feeling in your mouth when you drink it, so if you appreciate a good dry wine, make sure to select one with a decent amount of tannins.

Here are some of our top-rated wines to pair with keto.


1. Cabernet sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon has a healthy level of tannins and a rich flavor with medium acidity. It’s a great wine to pair with just about any food, so you can enjoy it with your grilled steak or chicken and veggies. Some tasty and affordable Cabernet Sauvignon wines include Benziger Sonoma, MT Monster, and Liberte.


Per 5 fl oz

Calories: 122 Net Carbs: 3.8 g


2. Merlot

Merlot wines produced in cold climates tend to have a vibrant blend of tannins and earthy flavors like tobacco and tar. Merlot stands in the middle of the red wine spectrum, which makes it perfect to pair with a variety of foods. Some keto-friendly Merlot wines include Markham Vineyards and Elicio Grenache.


Per 5 fl oz

Calories: 122 Net Carbs: 3.7 g


3. Pinot noir

World-famous Pinot Noir wine offers an aroma of beautiful red fruit, flowers, and spices and an earthy, floral taste. This wine also has a medium level of tannins and a medium-high level of acidity. Pinot Noir is excellent to pair with savory foods such as duck, pork, and mushrooms. Some great yet affordable Pinot Noir wines include Garnet, Wild Oats, and La Follette.


Per 5 fl oz

Calories: 121 Net Carbs: 3.4 g


4. Syrah

Syrah (Shiraz) is known as a vibrant and meaty red wine. The primary flavors of Syrah include blueberry, black rum, tobacco, milk chocolate, and green peppercorn. Syrah is a dry wine with a medium-high level of tannins and medium acidity. Syrah wine tastes great with darker meats and spices.


Per 5 fl oz

Calories: 122 Net Carbs: 3.8 g


5. Zinfandel

Zinfandel is known for its bold fruit flavors and exotic spice notes. The primary flavors of Zinfandel are strawberry, blackberry, cinnamon, tobacco, and peach. It has a healthy tannin level and medium to low acidity. Any meat, seafood, or cheese will taste great with Zinfandel wine.


Per 5 fl oz

Calories: 129 Net Carbs: 4.2 g


6. Albarino

Albarino is a refreshing white wine with primary flavors such as lemon zest, grapefruit, and nectarine. It’s a dry wine with low tannins and high acidity. Albarino has a slightly salty taste that pairs nicely with seafood, meat, and leafy vegetables. Some of our favorite Albarino wines include Fillaboa and Paco & Lola.


Per 5 fl oz

Calories: 143 Net Carbs: 3.5 g


7. Pinot blanc

Pinot Blanc is often referred to as the white version of Pinot Noir. Its primary flavors are pear, peach, lemon zest, and green almond. Pinot Blanc has a low tannin level and medium acidity level which makes it a great choice for foods with subtle flavors. Some foods to try with Pinot Blanc are creamy salads, soft cheeses, and flaky fish.


Per 5 fl oz

Calories: 119 Net Carbs: 2.9 g


Conclusion

If you know how to drink in moderation, you can certainly enjoy wine on keto. Dry wines tend to be a keto favorite because they have fewer carbs compared to other wines.


Takeaways

  • If you want to, you can certainly drink wine on the keto diet, and dry wines are ideal.
  • If you know you will not be able to stop after one or two glasses of wine, it’s best to simply avoid alcohol.
  • Keep in mind that you can get intoxicated faster, so pace yourself, avoid drinking wine on an empty stomach, and do not drive after drinking.

References

  1. Salehi B et al. Resveratrol: A Double-Edged Sword in Health Benefits. 2018 September 9 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164842/
  2. Lippi G et al. Moderate red wine consumption and cardiovascular disease risk: beyond the "French paradox". 2010 April 13 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20391297
  3. Catholic University. A Little Wine Boosts Omega-3 In The Body: Novel Mechanism For A Healthier Heart Found. 2008 December 5 - https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081204133610.htm

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