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How Many Carbs Are in Red Wine?

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  Published on March 31st, 2023
  Reading time: 4 minutes
  Last modified March 16th, 2023
Pouring a low carb keto red wine

From time to time, it can be nice to indulge in a delicious glass of red wine in the evening or over a romantic dinner. Red wine is a great addition to a meal, but keeping track of the carbs in a glass of wine can stymie many keto enthusiasts dedicated to the lifestyle. To maintain ketosis, you might need to be more careful about how you imbibe. How many carbs are in red wine and which ones should you steer clear of? 

For a quick glance at how many carbs are in a single serving of wine, here is what you need to know. 

Measuring a Serving Size 

First and foremost, it is important to understand that the net carbs in a glass of wine will really depend on what size glass you happen to be pouring. A real serving size of red wine is five ounces, which means that you do not want to pour to the rim of your glass. A full wine glass likely counts as closer to two servings, so be sure to measure your ounces. 

What’s the Carb Count in Sweet Red Wines? 

For the most part, sweet red wines are going to be off-limits if you plan to stay in ketosis. They tend to have higher sugar content, which can impact the net carbs in each glass. If you see a label that recommends a bottle as a dessert wine or a dolce wine, you should steer clear. 

Varieties that claim to be sweeter, while not as common in reds as in whites, will have close to four net grams of carbs per serving. For example, about four grams of carbs is what you can expect in a red Moscato blend or a slightly sweet red wine like a zinfandel, malbec, or shiraz. [1] [2] [3]

To be on the safe side, you will want to stick with a dry red wine with a light body to it. Some wines will have as few as 3 to 3.5 grams of net carbs in a single 5-ounce glass. You might want to try some of these varieties with lower alcohol and sugar content if weight loss is your primary goal. 

Carb Count in Dry Red Wines

Lighter red wines have fewer carbs

Keeping careful track of your macros and sticking with zero carb foods throughout the day may leave you with a little wiggle room to imbibe wine on keto from time to time. However, the keto lifestyle does mean that you will need to plan ahead, particularly if wine is your beverage of choice. Compared to liquors, red wine tends to have higher carb counts due in part to residual sugars from the grapes. 

The best red wines to keep your carb count low will come in between 3.4 and 4 grams of carbs in a single glass. Given that most people try to stick to 20 grams of net carbs per day, this is a significant number and can be challenging to work it in.

Some red grape varieties that tend to make drier wines are:

  • Pinot Noir: 3.4 grams [4]
  • Shiraz: 3.79 grams [5]
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: 3.82 grams [6]
  • Chianti: 3.8 grams [7]

For those who saved up their net carbs for a night when they know they want to have a glass of wine with a bigger body or more sweetness to it, you might be able to afford a different variety of red wine. You can indulge in a little grenache or petit syrah for a total of 4 grams of carbs per glass. Keep in mind that just because a grape variety is generally made into a dry-style wine doesn’t mean that all wines made from that variety are dry. By the same token, not all wines from the same region will have the same carb count. 

Types of red wine that likely have too many carbs per serving to make sense for the keto diet include a more traditional Burgundy which tops the chart at almost 5.5 grams of net carbs per 5-ounce serving. [8] 

Dry rosé wine is a good fit if you love the taste of red wine but want fewer carbs in each serving. A 5-ounce glass of this lighter wine cuts the carbs significantly, especially when compared to a full-bodied red like Burgundy. Instead of coming in at 4 to 5 grams of carbs per serving, it has a more reasonable 2.5 grams of net carbs. This allows you to indulge in an extra glass or to save those macros for something else that you enjoy. 

Managing Carbs in Red Wine

For many people, being able to imbibe from time to time just makes life a little better. A glass of good red wine with a lovely dinner is a must some nights, but you need to know how to drink wisely if you plan to keep keto. Stick with a dry red wine with a lighter body for the best results and consider making the switch to a dry rosé if you really want to watch those macros.

Ashley Simpson is a freelance writer dedicated to helping people improve their lives -- in every way possible. She understands that food and diet are necessary components to a healthy lifestyle and experiments with both. When she isn't typing away, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son.

References

1.

Carbs in Barefoot Wine Red Moscato. Carb Manager. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://www.carbmanager.com/food-detail/nb:5b05735bef2612a01c508227/red-moscato 

2.

United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Alcoholic Beverage, wine, table, red, Zinfandel. FoodData Central. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173192/nutrients 

3.

Calories in Malbec Wine. Nutritionix. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://www.nutritionix.com/food/malbec-wine 

4.

United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Alcoholic Beverage, wine, table, red, Pinot Noir. FoodData Central. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174835/nutrients 

5.

Shiraz wine. Fat Secret Australia. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://www.fatsecret.com.au/calories-nutrition/generic/shiraz-wine

6.

United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Alcoholic Beverage, wine, table, red, Cabernet Sauvignon. FoodData Central. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174833/nutrients 

7.

Carbs in Chianti Red Wine. Carb Manager. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://www.carbmanager.com/food-detail/nl:5db0ad1b4fa1ea485cf166ee112b7e8b/chianti-red-wine 

8.

United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Alcoholic Beverage, wine, table, red, Burgundy. FoodData Central. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173208/nutrients 

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