Thinking about giving sugar-free wine a try. We like where your head is. But, we should warn you to get ready to have all your ads change from whatever it is now to a ton of sugar-free wines. What can we say? Sugar-free wines are scrappy like that.
Today, Americans' sugar intake is higher than ever. The average American consumes seventeen teaspoons of sugar a day. Consequently, sugar-related illnesses are on the rise and are displaying no signs of slowing down, and more Americans are trying to drink less sugar.
We are assuming that you are reading this because you would like to lower your sugar levels. We are not sure if it is because of health, blood sugar, grams of carbs, or medical reasons, but regardless, we are excited it brought you to us! Now, we have the incredible opportunity to explain that you can still drink wine while keeping your sugar levels down.
Today, we are going to explore the universe of low-sugar wine varietals. We will examine how to find it, some benefits that accompany it, and explain why one should avoid unnaturally sugary wines. Ready or not, sugar-free wine exploration here we come!
Does Sugar Free Wine Exist?
Alright, we'll level with you. Sugar-free wine is a little misleading. All alcohol is derived from glucose, and therefore, sugar is an extremely essential ingredient for the creation of alcohol. During the fermentation of all alcohol, whether it is wine, beer, and spirits, naturally occurring sugars convert into carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol. It is safe to say that there would be no alcohol without sugar, and most importantly, no wine.
Different alcoholic beverages get their sugar from various ingredients. In beer, cereal grains are responsible for the sugar. In rum, sugar cane itself is fermented and distilled. And, can you guess where the sugar in wine comes from? Ding, ding, ding! Sugar from wine comes from grapes! However, it is essential to note that the sugar level drastically ranges based on the type of wine from pinot noir and chardonnay to pinot grigio and riesling. Obviously the driest, extra brut wines will have a different sugar content than a dessert wine, moscato, or a sweet zinfandel, just like wines will have a different alcohol by volume or acidity.
Naturally Occuring Sugar Vs. Added Sugar
Naturally occuring sugar is good, added sugar is bad. We aren't dietitians, but we can tell you why:
Naturally Occurring Sugar
As we said, wine inherently has sugar because it's made out of grapes, which happen to be full of sugar. FYI, one cup of grapes has 15 grams of sugar. The good news is that most sugar in a bottle of wine comes from the grape's natural sugar.
The amount of naturally occurring sugar in wine depends on the winemaking fermentation process turning the grape juice into wine. A winemaker can change the process's length depending on what kind of vino they hope to create. If the winemaker wants to make a sweet wine, they will stop the fermentation process before the yeast eats all of the sugar. The result is a wine with a touch of sweetness due to the residual sugar. Well, it's a touch of sweetness; for others, it's a whole lot of sweetness. Some of these sweet wines can have somewhere between 21-130 grams of sugar per five ounces. On the other hand, if a winemaker wants to make a dry wine, they will let the yeast do its thing, leaving a wine with zero to six grams of sugar per 5-ounce glass.
When making wine, some winemakers use various techniques to achieve their desired flavor profile, including added sugar. Some use sugar to sweeten wine (pretty obvious, we know), and others use sugar during the fermentation process to increase their wine's alcohol content. The latter abv trick is called 'chaptalization' and is most common in colder wine regions where grapes ripen more slowly.
In several regions, chaptalization is illegal. The process has been an extremely contentious issue with a rather violent and fascinating history. In France, the process even led to riots in the early twentieth century. Today, colder climate wine producers are typically the only winemakers allowed to add sugar to wine. However, the process is usually associated with lower-quality winemakers.
Why Drink Sugar Free Wine
While your favorite bottle of wine may only have naturally occurring sugar, there are a plethora of reasons why you should monitor your sugar intake. If you have diabetes, are following a diet, like a keto or low-carb diet, or have chronic hangovers, you may profit from a wine that has little to no sugar. Plus, as many wine lovers know, wine in moderation is good for your health!
High-sugar wines are known for making hangovers worse. Why? Sugar and alcohol are processed through the liver; therefore, studies have revealed that alcoholic drinks with higher sugar content lead to worsened hangovers. Not sure about you, but a regular run-of-the-mill hangover is enough for us.
In case you need more convincing to choose low sugar wines, let's look at the dietary guideline for Americans. These guidelines advocate limiting sugar intake to no more than twenty-five grams a day. An average glass of wine contains small amounts of sugar, around .9 grams of sugar to be exact. If you enjoy one to two glasses of wine a day, then low sugar wines might be your new best friend and a good option for you!
Need help seeking out low-sugar wines? We got you. First tip: avoid cheap, mass-produced wine. These wines are often low-quality and are more likely to contain added sugar and other yucky additives and sulfites. Secondly, opt for wines that have lower alcohol content. As we discussed, alcohol is created from sugar; therefore, the lower the alcohol content, the lower the sugar. Wines that are around 9-12% alcohol is your sweet spot.
If you must enjoy a glass of red wine, reach for dry red wines such as tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon, and Sangiovese. While they will have lower sugar than other red wines, they still won't have as little sugar as an excellent dry white wine. Dry white wines should be your number one option when monitoring your sugar intake!
How Does It Taste?
Low in sugar doesn't mean low quality! Just because you're cutting unnecessary sugar out of your diet doesn't mean you can't enjoy a delicious glass of wine. While all wines do contain some amount of naturally occurring sugars, wines are not created equal. We're saying that high-quality wines that are dry and or low in sugar can be even better than any sweetened wine out there!
Bev: The Sugar-Free Wine You Need to Try
Finally! An opportunity to talk about ourselves! This is an arena where we truly thrive. Bev, oh hey, there that's us, has ZERO sugar! And here's even more good news: wines are different when it comes to their sugar content. The wine with the least sugar content are dry wines, and they have residual sugar levels of about .1-.03%.
Met our girls:
BEV ROSÉ: she's crisp, dry, and a Lil' fizzy with aromatics of fresh strawberry and raspberry, paired with a crisp white peach finish.
BEV BLANC: she's zippy and a Lil' fizzy with aromatics of crisp green apple, white nectarine, and a light, fresh, citrus finish.
BEV GRIS: she's bright and a Lil' fizzy with light and refreshing notes of elderflower, pear, and a zesty grapefruit finish.
BEV NOIR: she's edgy, dry, and a Lil' ﬁzzy - a delicate, coastal pinot, with aromatics of citrus blossoms & fresh pomegranate, paired with a light blackberry ﬁnish.
Do it different. Do it better. Shop delicious, dry wines crafted with love.