To quote Regina George: is wine a carb? Alright, we know that isn’t the actual quote, but any excuse to reference “Mean Girls,” we’ll take because it is truly the gift that keeps on giving. As Cady Heron would explain, wine isn't a carb, but it has carbs.
But time to get serious. We're guessing if you're reading this, you're a wine lover who wants more information on carb counts and wine. You’re in the right place because we love talking about all things wine. So, please, be our guest and join us as we walk you through the world of sugar, alcoholic drinks, and carbs!
Sugar, Wine, and Carbs
Sugar, wine, and carbs, oh my? Oops, did we get that wrong? Pretty sure those weren't the lyrics in the OG "Wizard of Oz," but perhaps in a modern rendition, we'll update the songs to things people are scared of. *Writes that down*
Here's the 411 on sugar, wine, and carb intake. Wine is made out of grapes. Grapes are made out of sugar. And sugar has carbohydrates. So unless you've popped open a nice low-carb wine like Bev because you have undeniably great taste and are all around an exceptional human being, you can almost guarantee whatever wine you're drinking has carbs...and plenty of grams of sugar.
But here’s the thing about wine: the type of wine you drink does vary in sugar amount and therefore, varies in carbs. The amount of sugar in wine mainly depends on what went down in its fermentation process. Okay, so not to sound like our boring 7th grade science teacher who wore the same outfit every day, but fermentation is the process where wine juice is turned into an alcoholic beverage because yeast eats the juice’s sugars. In more sugary wines, the winemaker will stop the fermentation process before the yeast eats all of the sugar, leaving some residual sugar. In contrast, a dry wine eats all of the sugar and therefore, it is dry. So because dry wines have less sugars, you can count on those wines having less carbs.
Here’s another thing you need to look out for: added sugar. Ah, yes, unfortunately people, this is a THING. Some winemakers do in fact add sugar to their wine during the fermentation process, but there is a catch! In traditional winemaking, winemakers typically do not add extra sugar or artificial sweeteners to wine as they ferment. However, some people in the wine industry apparently have gotten a little bit lazy and aren’t as patient. In order to speed up the fermentation process, some mass-produced brands often add or alter flavors. This is called ‘chaptalization’ and it’s only legal in certain states.
How Many Carbs Are In a Glass of Wine?
So, as we discussed different kinds of wines are going to have different amounts of sugar and therefore, varying amounts of carbs. We’re guessing if you’re interested in this article, you’re going to want to stick to the dry wines. Both dry red and dry white wines contain 2 grams of net carbs. As for ‘traditional’ wines, there are just under 4 grams of carbohydrates per 5-ounce serving in both red wines and white wines.
Sugar? She doesn’t even go here. (Sorry, went back to our “Mean Girls” referencing) Because Bev, the best wine in all of the land, has no sugar, we are also pretty low on carbs. Bev only has 3 grams in a glass and a half, and 1.5 grams in a five ounce glass, so you can see how being humble is quite difficult for them.
How Many Carbs Are In a Bottle Of Wine?
If you're still reading, we're assuming you're into macro counting, you're aiming for weight loss, are on a low-carb diet, you're watching your blood sugar, or you're overall just really, really, healthy. Congratulations, we can safely assume you have much more self-control than us and likely, are in much better shape. We probably even follow you on IG because you motivate us. Good for you! Clearly, you’ve earned it!
Phew. Now that compliments are out of the way and we’re done being the self-deprecating and kind winemakers that we are, traditional red and white wine provide the same amount of carbohydrates at around 20 grams of carbs per 750-milliliter bottle.
If you’re trying to visualize what 20 grams of carbs look like in popular carbohydrates, don’t worry, we were also curious. Apparently, a potato is 20 grams of carbs. If you prefer pasta, 20 grams is about a half a cup of pasta. So while the entire bottle of wine is 20 grams, it does start cutting into higher territory when you remember that you’re probably going to have more than one glass of that delish cabernet sauvignon. FYI if you need us, we’ll be drinking Bev and eating our carbs in the form of a potato…. More specifically, french fries.
Because wine bottles don’t have nutrition labels on them, here is a pro tip: the higher the alcohol by volume, the higher the carbs. Another more obvious pro tip that is worth mentioning: the sweeter the wine, the higher the carbs, so maybe skip those dessert wines.
Which Types of Wine Have The Least Amount of Carbs?
Can we get a round of applause for dry wines everywhere? Yes, dry wines have less sugar than sweet wines. As we explained above, dry wines let the fermentation process run its course so the yeast ate up all the sugar!
Alright, so now you want to get specific. We can do that. Below, we’ve outlined exactly how many net carbs you can expect in a 5-ounce pour of wine:
Extra Brut Champagne: this celebratory sparkling wine gives you another reason to celebrate when you realize it only has 1 gram of carbs! Pop the bubbly!
Shout out to ourselves, ALL BEV WINES: 1.5 grams (or 3 grams per can) Get out a can and drink in the taste of a female-lead company that knows what’s up!
Sauvignon blanc: Still on the lower end of carbs, you can drink up a glass of Sauvignon blanc or Pinot Gris and only clock in at 3 grams of carbs.
Chardonnay: Anyone else flashback to the YouTube video that went viral in 2016 after a family created a mash-up of Adele's "Hello," Drake's "Hotline Bling," and Silento's "Watch Me (Whip/Nae)"? If not, watch it here and know that while you sip and Chardonnay-Nay you’re clocking in 3.2 grams of carbs.
Pinot noir: If you’re into red wine and not even the red wine teeth will stop you, we’re sure you’re not going to be bothered that Pinot Noir has 3.4 grams of carbs.
Gamay: Slightly outdoing Pinot Noir, Gamay comes in at 3.5 grams of carbs.
Can You Drink Wine On The Keto Diet?
We're not Keto Diet experts, but we did watch "Jersey Shore Family Vacation," so we know that the Keto Guido, Vinny Guadagnino, does drink a large variety of alcoholic beverages on his strict diet. But although we're not experts on the ketogenic diet and its health benefits, we know if you budget your carbs correctly and keep an eye out for the lowest carb wine (cough, Bev, cough), you can handle alcohol consumption on your keto diet. You may not want to start slamming the tequila, but it can be done. Remember: dry wines are your friends and are here for you!
Unfortunately, there's no miracle wine with zero carbs, although we do think we’re pretty darn close. Still, stick to the Bevs of the drinking world that are low in carbs and sugar content and watch your serving size, and if you do, we think you'll be lookin' so good, you'll be ready to take over Vinny's residency at Chippendales. Just do us a favor and let us know when we need to buy tickets, okay?
Do it different. Do it better. Shop delicious, dry wines crafted with love.