Real talk: There’s just no substitute for a glass of vino when lounging around after a long workday, having a long-overdue catch-up with friends, or enjoying a date night feast with your SO. But if you’re trying to watch your carb or sugar intake for health or fitness reasons, there’s just one problem—wine companies aren’t required to put a nutrition label on their bottles. Who knows how much sugar you’re consuming! Never fear, though, because a bevy of wineries have developed innovative ways to nearly eliminate the sugar content after alcohol is fermented. This means you can have your wine and drink it, too. The best part? Low-sugar wine is also far less likely to give you a hangover. Cheers to that!
To be clear, some wines are already naturally keto-friendly. Wines that tend to lean dry—such as sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, Italian pinot grigio, brut, Chianti, Bordeaux, tempranillo, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo—usually contain less residual sugar and thus, fewer carbs. Dessert wines, like port and sauternes, and notoriously sweeter varieties, like riesling and shiraz, will have more residual sugar as will cheaper wines.
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A glass of moscato, for example, can pack more than 16 grams of sugar in one glass, which means more than half its calories come from sugar. Ultimately, the sugar content depends a lot on the fermentation period. The longer the wine ferments, the less natural sugar is left over.
Just because you’re trying to cut back on the sweet stuff doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a well-deserved glass of pinot noir or prosecco! All of the following wines contain less than one gram of sugar—which is great news, because trust me, they go down dangerously easy. Enjoy!
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1. Bev Glitz
At first glance, Bev almost seems too good to be true: conveniently canned bubbly with zero sugar and three grams of carbs? Where’s the catch? Remarkably, there are no caveats with this female-founded line—each can comes with a hefty pour (about a glass and a half) and every varietal is equally crush-worthy.
Bev’s lineup of sparkling wines includes a pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, and rosé, but my personal favorite is Glitz, which is on par with an extra-brut champagne taste-wise. While it was introduced as a limited-edition seasonal offering during the holidays, Bev kept it in their year-round rotation due to popular demand and it’s easy to see why. With plenty of fizz and notes of elderflower and pear, it’s the perfect pick for celebratory occasions and Girls’ Night In alike.
2. Vintage Wine Estates
Vintage Wine Estates has an extensive number of wines under its belt, with an emphasis on crafting the finest quality bottles possible in a sustainable manner. You’ll find the brand has wineries throughout the West Coast and beyond, including Napa, Sonoma, California’s Central Coast, Oregon and Washington State.
Its Light & Bright White Wines Bottle Set offers six bottles of dry yet crisp, high quality options; sip on Centerboard Chardonnay 2019, Chateau Saint Gianna Sauvignon Blanc 2020 and Pavone Pinot Grigio 2019 alongside your favorite foods.
3. Cupcake Lighthearted Pinot Grigio
California-based Cupcake Vineyards is well-known for producing award-winning wines from established regions at surprisingly reasonable prices. In 2020, the company introduced Cupcake Lighthearted, a collection of low-calorie, low-carb wines with less than one gram of sugar per five-ounce serving. The collection has a little something for everyone, including chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc and rosé.
For me, the Pinot Grigio was love at first sip. With zesty lemon notes and a clean finish, it’s a food-friendly wine you can enjoy anytime. Better yet, thanks to the modest alcohol volume of 8 percent, you won’t wake up with a headache after downing a couple of glasses.
4. FitVine Cabernet Sauvignon
Many low-carb and low-sugar wines tend to be lower in alcohol, which means they’re typically not as rich in flavor. But FitVine adheres to an extended fermentation process that allows them to naturally lower the sugar content (to under one gram) without sacrificing the alcohol content or the taste. Not only that, but their process extracts more tannins, meaning you’re less likely to get a headache after drinking these wines.
FitVine’s extensive lineup features 13 different vegan varietals—even less common ones, like chenin blanc and albariño—so there’s a little something for everyone. The Cab Sauv is easily one of the company’s most popular wines, which is no surprise given the full body, bold yet balanced flavor profile, smooth finish and eye-opening ABV of 14.1 percent.
5. Le Grande Verre Sauvignon Blanc
The beauty of Le Grand Verre, which just launched in the U.S., is that its diverse collection of wines come in adorable single-serving bottles that contain a 6.3-ounce pour. Not only are they convenient for transporting to picnics, parties and getaways, but it’s also far easier to monitor how much you’re imbibing. And if you’re on the indecisive side, you can sample a few different varietals without having to worry about finishing an entire bottle.
All of Le Grand Verre’s wines are sustainably made with zero pesticides, and they’re naturally low in sugar (with less than 0.1 percent per serving). Fan favorites include the organic-certified 2019 Château Val D’Arenc rosé blend and the 2019 Château Peyredon, a vegan blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. For happy hour sipping, try the 2019 Domaine Prataviera, which comes from a female winemaker. With lip-smacking acidity and flavors of lush tropical fruits, it’s the perfect food-friendly wine to wash down oysters, shrimp cocktail and other apps.
6. Dry Farm Wines
Kristin Cavallari is just one celeb who’s been singing the praises of Dry Farms Wines on social media—in fact, she calls it her “no-hangover wine” and if that’s not a hard sell, I don’t know what is. This 100 percent organic, natural wine subscription service has been endorsed by many of the top ketogenic experts, in part because every single bottle is carb-free and lab-tested to ensure it contains less than one gram of sugar per liter.
There are both monthly and bi-monthly memberships, and you can choose how many bottles you’d like to receive per shipment of red, white, rosé, sparkling, or a mix. Or, just buy a one-time box if you please. IMO, the biggest perk is that you’ll likely never receive the same bottle twice, which allows you to expand your palate and continually discover new favorites.
7. Wonderful Wine Co Malvasia Bianca
The wines in the Wonderful Wine Co collection are just about as healthy as it gets: low-sugar, low-carb, low-sulfite, vegan and made from grapes that are organic and farmed sustainably without pesticides. And, I might add, they come in highly Instagrammable bottles.
The Malvasia Bianca deserves a shoutout, though, and not just because it only has 0.03 grams of sugar — this rare crossbreed is a white wine made in the style of a red, resulting in an unusual orange color. Bolder than a typical white but mellower than your standard red, it’s ultra-versatile. When you can’t choose between a white or red, it’s the best of both worlds: Refreshing enough for a warm summer night, but with enough body and acidity to stand up to a wide variety of foods.
The Wonderful Wine Co’s lineup also includes a rose, Spanish syrah, and French white blend, all of which can be purchased in a three-, six-, or 12-pack. Or, if you’re feeling indecisive, you can try The Starter Pack to sample several.
8. Usual Wines Semi-Sparkling Rosé
The first thing you’ll probably notice about Usual Wines is that they don’t come in the usual 750-ml bottles—the sleek single-serve glass beakers boast convenient twist-off caps, and a generous pour (about 6.3 ounces). That’s not all that sets these wines apart, though: they’re also made in small, sustainably farmed batches with no pesticides and absolutely nothing added to preserve or alter the taste. Did I mention they have zero sugar?
Usual Wines offers a red, rosé, brut, or mixed pack and you can either purchase a one-time box of six, 18, or 24 bottles or sign up for monthly shipments of the wines for a 17 percent discount (with a two-month minimum). The Semi-Sparkling Rosé, a blend of grenache, Vermentino, cinsault, and viognier grapes, is like spring in a bottle, bursting with flavors of strawberry and rhubarb. Usual Wines suggests enjoying it chilled, while barefoot—and I couldn’t agree more.
9. Bellissima Zero Sugar Sparkling White
Even a “dry” prosecco can pack 17-32 grams of sugar per liter, which is almost a teaspoon per glass. But Bellisima, which happens to be legendary supermodel Christie Brinkley’s wine brand, developed a state-of-the-art technique to eliminate all the sugar from their sparkling wine without compromising the taste.
This sparkling wine, which is made from 100 percent glera grapes from the Treviso-Veneto region of Italy, is vegan, organic, carb-free and only 92 calories per serving — yet it’s velvety smooth and perfectly balanced. It’s also frothier and lighter than your typical champagne, thanks to lower pressure used during the carbonation process. Sip it straight or use it as a base for mimosas at brunch.
10. Avaline Rosé
All of the wines produced by Avaline, which was co-founded by Cameron Diaz and entrepreneur Katherine Power, are made from 100 percent organically-farmed grapes, and free from synthetic herbicides, pesticides, GMOs and additives. Better yet, they’re all fermented dry, which means they’re sugar-free.
Avaline’s lineup includes a white and red blend, as well as a sparkling—but it’s the Rosé that won me over. It’s a blend of five different French varietals (grenache, cinsault, caladoc, syrah, and cabernet grapes), and interestingly, Avaline uses pea protein as a vegan, non-allergenic solution to clarify and stabilize it. Soft, mellow and more floral than fruity, this one pairs nicely with a charcuterie spread for a sun-drenched picnic.
11. Pure The Winery Red Blend
Blending traditional and innovative modern techniques in their wine fermentation process, Pure The Winery has found a way to convert all the natural sugars in their wines into alcohol. Every single varietal in their collection is sugar- and carb-free, but you wouldn’t know it since they use grapes sourced from Calamandra, Piamonte, one of Italy’s most prestigious wine-growing regions.
Choose from white, sparkling, rosé and a red—the last of which is a surefire crowd-pleaser. This fruit-forward blend of barbera and merlot has just 81 calories a glass, which is 35 percent less than your standard red wine.
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