Lately, it feels like the only sugar we're craving is the kind Harry Styles sings about in "Watermelon Sugar." Unfortunately, Harry hasn't responded to any of our calls or texts, so it appears we're stuck with all of the other kinds of sugar, which are a little more carb-rich than the one Harry has to offer. At least we can have wine...
So, we'll cut to the chase and take a page out of our go-getter sales team's book. If you're avoiding excess sugar, the blunt truth is: wine has sugar. But we've got good news! 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%.
So here we go, we promised a blog on all wines and sugar, so we'll do what we promised and dive right in!
How Much Sugar Does Wine Have?
Wine inherently has sugar because it's made out of grapes, which are full of sugar. FYI, one cup of grapes has 15 grams of sugar. You know what else has 15 grams of sugar? Capri Sun. We're suddenly craving but let's be honest; we don't exactly think of Capri Sun as the drink for dieters. We learned that grapes were ridden with sugar the hard way when we thought we were eating healthy by eating, you guessed it, a ton of grapes. (Well, we're guessing the late-night pizza and Taco Bell CrunchWrap Supremes also didn't help….but that's neither here nor there...) The good news is that the majority of sugar in a bottle of wine comes from the grape's natural sugar.
So here's the sitch about wine and sugar. We don't want to get too into science, but the amount of sugar (and therefore the number of grams of carbs) in wine depends on the fermentation process. Fermentation is the process where grape juice has a beautiful glow up and transforms into an alcoholic beverage. Essentially, yeast eats all of the sugar and turns it into wine. Honestly, wishing we had yeast's metabolism right about now.
Here is why the amount of sugar depends on the fermentation process: 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, for some of the wines, 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.
But we're sure you're wondering, what has more sugar: red or white wine? The real difference between red and white wine is how they are created. White wines are made from white grapes or sometimes even black grapes. The grape juice is then separated from the grape's seeds, and skin and only the juice is used to make the wine. In contrast, red wine is created from both red and black grapes instead of white grapes. Plus, the grapes' seeds and skins are not removed as they are in white wine. Instead, they are kept inside with the juice during fermentation. It is the skin and seeds that create the color and richer flavor in red wines. So all this to say, the sugar content does not change between red and white wine; the sugar content only changes due to changes in fermentation.
Going back to us, since we're in influencer mode and making excuses to talk about ourselves, we'll casually remind you that Bev is sugar free. So we see you, traditional dry white wines, and raise you 0 grams of sugar for the win. Yea, we're bad-ass girls who take no prisoners!
Is Sugar Added to Wine?
Unfortunately, for some wines, yes, but they're incredibly sweet wines. They are an acquired taste or consumed with dessert in small glasses by wine lovers. 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.
Below, we go through the kinds of wines you should sip on if you're avoiding sugar intake and the ones you're not going to want to be pouring if you're on the Keto diet. When in doubt, grab a Bev, because not sure if it's been mentioned, but it has zero sugar!
Again, if you're pouring white wine, your best bet is to stick with us, Bev girls. We have your back, always! But, you're sassy and want to learn more so your other new best friends with not as much sugar, guess we can help you out. As we said, these wines are the dry wines and specifically consist of Sauvignon Blanc, Italian Pinot Grigio, Viognier, and Chardonnay.
If you're hoping to keep your sugar low, you're going to want to avoid these sugar-ridden whites and dessert wines like COVID- 19: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Chenin Blanc. Unless, as we said, you're having a celebration. Then we want to remind you to do you!
So you're in the mood for red? We get it, happens to even us sometimes. Drink up on the dry reds that include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah/Shiraz
But, watch out for these guys who have higher sugar content, Cabernet, Zinfandel, and Grenache.
Despite people calling rose the drink of basic girls everywhere (a description we don't stand for, for the record), Rosé wine is a little more complicated than white and red wine. This is because rosé is produced through grape skin contact. In this case, look at the original variety of grape to make an educated guess on the amount of sugar.
For more low carb choices, stick to rosé that includes keywords like Dry (or extra dry!) and Pinot Noir and avoid wines with the words sweet and Moscato.
Pop the bubbly because sparkling wines are pretty low in sugar. In general, sparkling wine like Prosecco has less sugar compared to her friends. But if you're set on watching your sugar content, stick to Brut Natural and Brut Zero.
Do it different. Do it better. Shop delicious, dry wines crafted with love.