When I started eating, I thought I would have to go without wine for 14 days (the duration of my keto experiment). Then, I remembered I had heard the term “keto wines” before. I started wondering if I could find a keto-friendly wine at my local LCBO store or even online so I could eat keto and still drink a glass of wine! In this post, you will learn everything you need to know to decide whether to drink wine on the keto diet. You will also discover some great keto wine options you can buy in-store or online.
Should You Drink Wine When Keto?
It’s not a black-and-white answer. It depends on your health goals and how strict you want to be with your Keto diet. I do want to share two things I experienced as I was drinking my keto wines for this post:
- I craved carbs when I drank wine. It may not be your experience, but I would say a glass of wine made it harder to stay away from carbs. I overcame the cravings by eating goat mozzarella instead. After all, wine and cheese are a traditional pair.
- Even after having a glass of wine after dinner, my ketones kept rising the next day as I experimented with the keto diet. So, it seems evident that a glass of wine will not necessarily harm your progress. However, after a few days in a row, the progress stalled. It’s something you need to consider—everything in moderation.
Another thing to consider is that when you drink any alcohol, regardless of the sugar content, your body will use it as a fuel source. So, if your body is using fat stores to produce ketones, it will be using alcohol instead when you drink it.
Lastly, alcohol consumption comes with various risks. Read all about it in Intermittent Fasting and Alcohol: Should You Stop Drinking?.
Wine and Metabolic Health
Apparently, a moderate consumption of red wine can improve your metabolic health.
For example, a study found that a glass or two of wine a day may lower your risks of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a condition that increases your risks of diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. The results of the study were presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2003 in Vienna, Austria. The researchers found a U-shaped relationship between the amount of frequency of wine drunk and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. The effect seems more pronounced among diabetics, but in simple terms, it means that those who didn’t consume any wine and those who consume the most wine had the highest risk of metabolic syndrome. Moderate consumption yielded the best metabolic health.
Drinking red grape juice or wine in moderation could help you burn fat better according to a 2015 study (the same study also found that wine drinking may also help manage obesity and metabolic disorders). The ellagic acid present in red grapes, in particular, may improve fat burning by boosting the metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells. Hey, maybe you have your answer to the “French paradox.”
What Makes a Wine “Keto-Friendly”
Since you can only have 20 grams of carbs a day on the Keto Diet, it is obvious that the main factor to consider when it comes to drinking wine is the amount of sugar. To pick your perfect keto-friendly wine, you will need to understand the difference between residual sugars and carbs in your wine.
Wines are often classified according to sweetness. You will find many Wine Sweetness Charts Online that will do just that. This particular chart is from the LCBO Website. Wine sweetness varies according to the amount of residual sugar.
What is Residual Sugar?
During fermentation, the yeast eats up the sugars (glucose and fructose) in the grapes and produces ethanol (alcohol) as a by-product. The residual sugar is whatever is left after this process. It is measured in grams of sugar per liter of wine. It is impossible for the yeast to consume all the sugar, so the dryest wines will have anywhere between 0.5 and 2 grams of residual sugar per liter. I discovered that wines with very little residual sugar can still taste sweet. It’s a matter of balancing the acidity with the amount of residual sugar.
Carbs in Wine
The amount of residual sugar in wine is not the same as the number of carbs. I found this helpful chart on winefolly.com.
As you can see, all extra dry ones (according the the LCBO chart), will contain fewer than 2 grams of carbs per glass. When you can only have 20 grams of carbs a day, 2 grams for a glass of wine may still be more than you want. However, you can easily find delicious wines that have 2 grams of residual sugar per liter. These wines will have close to 0 carbs per glass.
So, the answer the question “What makes a wine keto-friendly?”, pretty much all extra dry wines are keto-friendly. However, for the purpose of this post, I will stick to wines that have 2 grams of residual sugar per liter or less.
6 Keto Wines You Can Buy at the LCBO
I decided that I would use the term “keto wines” only for wines that have 2 grams of residual sugar per liter or less. This way, you can have your glass of wine while using up less than 0.5 carbs. I pretty much went to my local LCBO, which is really small (town of around 2,500 people), and grabbed all the wines under $20 and had only 2 grams of sugar. They were all surprisingly delicious! I was expecting them to taste really dry, but many still tasted sweet. As I learned on How Can I Dry Wine Taste Sweet?:
“Some wines can taste sweeter than they really are, with oak, fruit, acidity, and alcohol levels all playing their part in tricking your palate into detecting the presence of residual sugar.”David Glancy MS, of San Francisco Wine School
Red Keto Wines
I am not a sommelier or a even just a real wine connoisseur. I like my wines and I know what wines I don’t like. The amazing thing with this is that I enjoyed all the wines I bought. Usually, when I purchased a bunch of random wines, I would say that I don’t really enjoy about half of them. I never knew that extra dry wines could be so good! I will include the list of wines I bought, so you can check them out, but move on to the next section to learn how you can find your own keto wines online.
Chateau Timberlay, Bordeaux Supérieur (close to $20 a bottle)
I am not going to give you a sommelier-type description of these wines, you can read the back of the bottle if you want to know more. All I can tell you is that theses wines tasted rich. They all had different flavor combinations that were really interesting.
Bourgogne, Pinot noir ($24.95)
I didn’t actually buy this one because I wanted to stick to wines that were less than 20$ a bottle, but I am planning on trying it, and I thought it deserved to be mentioned here.
Beaujolais Supérieur ($12.95)
Terra Vega, Carmenère ($9.95)
As you may have noticed, all the previous wines were from France. This one is a Chilean wine.
Perez Cruz, Cabernet Sauvignon ($14.95)
This one is from Chili as well.
White Keto Wines
As you saw, I found five red keto wines, all from France or Chili. There was actually another one at around $25 that was from Italy, which I didn’t include in this list. You can do as I did and just try whatever wines with only 2 grams of residual sugar are available at your LCBO.
As far as white wines go, I found only one and it was from Ontario! My new favorite white too! I loved it more than any other whites I have had!
Trius, Sauvignon Blanc (Around $15)
Whether you are concerned about the amount of residual sugar or not, let me tell you, this wine does NOT taste dry at all. It’s light and fruity. I really nice treat! I don’t see myself buying any other white from now on.
Buying Keto Wines Online
Apart from just walking into your local LCBO, there are also many options to buy your keto wine online. In this section, I will let you know about some affordable and convenient ways to wine shop online.
Did you know you can purchase from the LCBO online? They even offer some value discovery boxes to help you discover some great wines at a discount. They will not deliver to your home, but you will be able to pick up your package at your local post office. The problem with buying online from the LCBO is that you can’t filter by sugar content, but the info is available when you click on the wines that show in your search results. To get started, you can always use the list of wines I provided above.
What I like about Stocked Cellars is that they have a section specifically for low sugar wines. They have great customer service too. I have contacted other online wine companies with some questions and did not hear back. Meanwhile, Stocked Cellars always responded promptly. However, you won’t really know the exact sugar content in each of the low sugar wines. The Website doesn’t give you this info. What a representative told me is that each glass of low sugar wine would contain between 1 and 3 grams of residual sugar.
With Stocked Cellars, you will find the shipping cost to be quite reasonable. I pretended buying 3 bottles of wine to check it out and I was quoted $15 for shipping.
Secco Wine Club
The wines on the Secco Wine Club are high-quality wines. If you get a membership, you will also get a discount, so it’s a win-win. On the Secco Website, you will find a list of 14 very low carb wines.
The Webstie States:
The wines that are crafted and selected for you at Secco Wine Club and PALO61 come with our promise of 0% ADDED SUGAR, 0% CHEMICALS, 100% DRY FARMED, 100% NON-GMO, 100% VEGAN, 100% GLUTEN FREE, 100% OLD WORLD ORGANIC AND 100% DELICIOUS.
There is a downfall: Shipping will cost you 100 USD. However, depending on how much of a wine connoisseur you are, you may not mind. You can stock up on wine and the shipping cost will still be $100. So even if you order 30 bottles, you will be paying $100 in shipping. You could possibly team up with some friends and save that way.
Keto wines are an excellent way to enjoy your wines on the keto diet. They won’t have much of an impact on your ketone and blood sugar levels unless you overdo it. You can easily purchase keto wines locally, but you might decide to try some online distributors for the convenience of having your wine delivered to your door. Either way, you can make these low carb wines a regular part of your life even if you are keto without worrying about getting out of ketosis.