There are many reasons to choose sugar free wines, including the hope for fewer headaches and less weight gain. We’ve got the lowdown on the role sugar plays in wine and a list of our top “sugar free” wines. Whether you’re looking to simply feel better the next day, or on a mission to lose weight while still enjoying a few glasses of wine each week, choosing sugar free wines may be the answer.
Will Drinking Sugar Free Wines Prevent Hangovers?
There are many theories about what really causes a hangover, and those reasons are different for everyone based on factors including body type, gender, age, lifestyle, food consumed or not while drinking and more. While we know that consuming too much of any alcoholic beverage can cause a miserable hangover headache, the specific sugar content in a wine could also be to blame. What is it about certain wines that make the next morning miserable? One thing that may be a contributing factor is the level of residual sugar.
Drinking wines with a higher concentration of natural or added sugars before bedtime can be problematic for some, especially if enough water is not consumed at the same time. As our bodies try to flush out both the alcohol and sugar as we sleep, it pulls water from throughout our bodies, including our head. This dehydration is what causes a pounding headache. According to WebMD: “Alcohol makes you dehydrated and makes blood vessels in your body and brain expand. That gives you your headache.” “For every alcoholic drink you have, your body can expel up to four times as much liquid. The diuretic effect of alcohol and the dehydration it causes contribute to the discomfort of a hangover,’ explains Jim Woodford, PhD, a forensic chemist specializing in drugs and alcohol.
What is Residual Sugar and Why is it in Wine?
Wine is a fermented beverage and begins of course with a base of grapes, which are naturally high in carbohydrates due to their sugar content (glucose and fructose). During the fermentation process, the yeast eats the sugar, and produces alcohol, heat and CO2 (bubbles). Any leftover natural sugar (residual sugar or RS) creates the overall carbohydrate content of the wine. Sweet wines, such as Port or dessert wines, have a high carbohydrate content. The sweeter the wine (or other type of alcohol), the higher the carbohydrates. But dry wines, with little or no residual sugar, have lower carbs. These wines that are “fully fermented,” where virtually all sugars are consumed, have the lowest carbohydrate count. There are some sweet wines that have added sugar, or dosage that causes secondary fermentation in the bottle such as in a sparkling wine, but most of the sugar content in a wine is residual sugar. For the driest sparkling wine options, look for wines that are marked brut or extra brut.
Can Sugar Free Wines be Part of a Low Carb Diet?
With the continuing popularity of the Keto (short for ketogenic) diet, and other diet plans. Those watching their weight with this and other low-carb diets want to know how many carbs are in that glass of wine, and will one or two glasses ruin my progress?
According to WebMD: “Ketogenic” is a term for a low-carb diet (like the Atkins diet). The idea is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. When you eat less than 50 grams of carbs a day, your body eventually runs out of fuel (blood sugar) it can use quickly. This typically takes 3 to 4 days. Then you’ll start to break down protein and fat for energy, which can make you lose weight. This is called ketosis.
Will Drinking a Glass of Wine Take You Out of Ketosis?
From an article in Elite Daily: According to Atkins nutritionist Colette Heimowitz, drinking alcohol isn’t going to stop ketosis altogether: “The liver can make ketones out of alcohol,” she tells Elite Daily. “So technically, when you drink, you’ll continue to produce ketones and [thus] will remain in ketosis. In other words, having one glass of wine isn’t going to erase all the progress your body’s made in its transition. It will, however, take things down a notch.”
So what’s a Keto wine lover to do? Drink dry wine that is fully fermented, with little to no residual sugar. The standard definition of “sugar free” wine is anything that is statistically sugar free, at 1 g/l or less residual sugar. Our sugar free wines have anywhere from .1-1 g/l residual sugar and .015-.15 carbs per 5oz serving. While saying they are “carb free” is pushing the definition, these come as close as you can get.
We use the following calculation to find the amount of carbs in a glass of wine:
Sugar Content (g/L) X Volume (750ml in a bottle) / 1000 / 5 = Grams of Carbohydrate in a 5 oz glass of wine.
Calculating calories in wine
We use the following calculation from Decanter to calculate the number of grams of alcohol in a bottle or glass of wine, use this formula:
volume (ml) x alcohol (ABV %) x 8
Multiplying this answer by seven will give you the approximate calorie content of a bottle of wine; divide that number by 5 to find the amount in a 5 oz. glass.
Using this model, a standard bottle of wine at 750ml with an Alcohol by Volume (ABV) of 12.5% would have approximately 525 calories. With approximately 5, 5oz servings of wine per 750ml bottle, that means there would be an estimated 105 calories per glass. We used this calculation to determine the calories in each of our sugar free wines.
Another important observation brought up by Decanter regarding residual sugar vs. calories:
Our Organic Sugar Free Wines
France-Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon-a delicious, packed with apricot, apple and pear fruits, tangy & freshly fruity. Enjoy with Vegetable Platters, Oysters, Seafood, Fish, Appetizers, Grilled Salmon, Crottin de Chavignol (Mild goat) cheese.
France-Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc-Attractive structured tannins and red fruits with acidity, dusty structure and perfumed finish. Pair with blue, washed rind cheeses, red meat, poultry, pasta dishes.
France-Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec-Aromas of fresh sliced red pepper, ash, and cherry cola with an crisp, dryish light-to-medium body. Pair with BQ, appetizers, spicy dishes, poultry, grilled fish.
France-100% Malbec-Fresh and open-knit, with raspberry and cherry preserve flavors laced with a hint of white pepper and a flash of bramble. Enjoy with Crudités, your favorite cheese or beef dishes.
France-95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec-50-year-old parcel of Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in large wooden barrels for two years. Black currants, crisp acidity and firm tannins. Pair with BBQ, Red meat, & cheese.
France-Sauvignon Blanc and Semmillon-A bouquet of flowers and ripe fruits, along with honey and brioche. The mouth is round and silky, underlined by a nice fresh finale. Enjoy with Salmon, goat cheese salad, crab & grilled fish.
France-Costieres de Nimes-Syrah, Grenache, Marselan-Pleasant nose of blackcurrant, blackberry, liquorice. On the palate, the wine has soft tannins with aromas of red fruits, liquorice, flowers and spices. A tasty and supple wine.
France-Costieres de Nimes-Biodynamic-Roussane, Grenache, Viognier, Rolle-Nose of white flower and lemon. A refreshing and acidulous mouthfeel with notes of citrus and white pepper with a salty, iodine finish. A fresh and crisp wine.
France-Costieres de Nimes-Biodynamic-Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault-Fine nose of peach, raspberries, redcurrants, grapefruit and exotic fruits. Lively and full on the palate with aromas of red fruits. An expressive rose wine, refreshing and crisp.
Austria-Pinot Noir & Zweigelt-Deep ruby color. Crushed raspberry & graphite aromas, soft, satiny entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with a delicate touch of spice and crabapple. Pair with spicy fish, noodles, rice, poultry and meat.
Austria-100% Zweigelt-Appetizing notions of strawberry and ripe pear appear immediately in this wine. The light, dry palate follows suit with equally joyful, fruity exuberance. Enjoy with Seafood, fish, noodles, poultry & light meat dishes.
Chile-100% Sauvignon Blanc-Starts with tangy freshness. Flavors of lemon peel, white peach & powdered ginger. Well balanced, with mineral acidity. Delightful with oysters, fresh crab, grilled fish, sushi & sashimi.
Spain-100% Bobal-Dark cherry color. Fragrant aromas of black cherries with chocolate notes. Pleasantly acid and tannic. Rich and concentrated, but very fresh. Pair with Spanish cured ham & cheeses, roasted meats and meat stews.
Spain-100% Bobal-Very vibrant raspberry pink color. Elegant aromas of strawberry and floral notes. On the palate it is well structured, fresh and fruity. Enjoy with salads, seafood and rice dishes, pasta and white meat.
Learn More About Sugar Free Wine In Under Two Minutes
All wines are made with 100% organic grapes, Vegan and Non-GMO Project Verified. Available at fine retailers and restaurants nationwide.