If you’re trying to cut back on added sugar, you’ve probably already eliminated candy bars and sugary cocktails from your meal plan.
But what about wine? Because — and we hate to be the bearer of bad news here — there is Sugar in wine.
So which wine has the least sugar and how can you find the best low sugar wine?
Quick Winemaking Lesson: Wine alcohol is a byproduct of fermenting naturally occurring sugars found in wine grapes.
Some of these sugars remain unchanged and are called residual sugars, says Sophia Norton, RD, a dietitian in Los Angeles.
“You can tell the sugar content of wine by its taste,” says Norton.
Dry wines typically have less than 10 grams of residual sugar per liter, which averages out to about 1.5 grams of sugar or less per 5-ounce glass.
Sweet wines, including dessert wines and late harvest wines, have — you guessed it — more residual sugar.
Want to be mindful of your sugar intake while restocking your wine rack? Look for dry styles of these low sugar wines.
1. Sauvignon Blanc
“You can find these dry, white wines grown all over the world,” says Norton.
An average 5-ounce serving contains 3 grams of total carbs, so it’s hard to go wrong with this varietal.
Even better: Try sauvignon blanc from FitVine, a line of low-sugar wines — it has just 0.09 grams of sugar and 114 calories per glass.
Chardonnay is another international grape, and pairs well with almost any dish.
A glass of Chardonnay has about 3.2 grams of total carbohydrates per serving, and about half of that comes from glucose, says Norton.
Wines made with Italy’s most popular grapes contain about 3.8 grams of total carbohydrates per 5-ounce glass.
If you prefer red wine, look for a bone-dry Chianti blend or Brunello di Montalcino.
4. Pinot Noir
This California grape is said to be the world’s most popular light-bodied red wine, Norton says, and a 5-ounce glass contains about 3.4 grams of total carbohydrates.
Try Beringer Founder’s Estate Pinot Noir, an ultra-affordable dry wine that’s superior in taste.
5. Brut Champagne
The sugar content of Champagne can vary widely, but bottles labeled “brut,” extra brut,” or “brut nature” are your best bets when you’re looking to raise a toast with a low-sugar wine.
“The word ‘brut’ here means dry, raw and unrefined,” Norton explains.
Splurge on influencers’ favorite Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Champagne, or try the slightly more budget-friendly Nicolas Feuillatte Reserve Exclusive Brut.
How much sugar is in an average glass of wine?
Finding the sugar content in a particular brand or varietal can be a challenge, as beverage companies are not required to list the nutritional content on the label. When in doubt, the total carbohydrate content can at least help you determine the sugar content.
Generally speaking, here’s how the different types of wine stack up:
Can you drink wine when you’re trying to lose weight?
Yes, but focus on moderation and portion control.
Exceeding your daily calorie needs can lead to weight gain over time, and alcohol calories can certainly contribute to that.
For example, a 5-ounce glass of late harvest wine contains 20 grams of carbohydrates and 172 calories.
Two glasses of wine can dent your calorie intake very quickly, Norton warns.
The calories in wine come from residual sugar and alcohol, Norton explains. And those “liquid calories” may not be as effective at making you feel full.
“In other words, you’ll consume unnecessary calories and still feel hungry,” he adds.
But as long as you’re mindful of your overall calorie intake and your daily activity level, you can still drink wine when you’re trying to lose weight — just skip the dessert wines.
“If you’re trying to keep your sugar or carbohydrate intake low, stick to 1 to 2 servings of dry wine,” says Norton.