Wine is one of life’s greatest luxuries, and we can all agree that sticking to a restricted diet is hard enough without having to banish this indulgence from your life. Well, luckily for all of us pursuing a keto lifestyle, you don’t have to give up wine if you follow this comprehensive guide.
Whether you are enjoying a quiet glass alone after work or maybe indulging in a bottle on a night out, there are different wines for every occasion. Whether you enjoy a red, white, rose, sparkling or dessert wine, there are various keto-friendly options on the market for wine lovers on the keto diet! And thankfully, there are also other wines available for varying nutritional needs.
People all over Australia love to enjoy a glass of wine or two with dinner, and it’s easy to forget that just like any type of food or beverage, it has its own nutritional value and that we may be consuming more than we think. If you’re following a strict keto diet, it is essential to understand the nutritional content of your wine.
So, where can you buy keto-friendly wine in Australia? Read on, connoisseur! I’ve come up with a few suggestions for you.
Is Wine Keto Friendly?
The amount of sugar, specifically residual sugar, found in wine determines if it is keto-friendly or not. Sugar is a form of carbohydrates, so when you are aiming for a low carb diet, the less sugar there is in your wine, the better.
Residual sugar comes from sugar that was intentionally left unfermented to give the wine its flavour. During the process of fermentation, yeast converts the sugar in grapes into alcohol. The more fermented the wine, the less sugar there is left, making the wine ‘dry.’
A wine is generally considered low carb if it contains 10 g or fewer carbohydrates per litre. That’s around 1.5 g of carbs per glass. However, the definition of ‘low carb’ is always subjective, and doesn’t necessarily measure up to keto standards. For instance, the cutoff point chosen by The Only Keto Wines Co is a much lower 0.25 g of sugar (and carbs) per glass, or 1.7 g per litre.
Another thing to consider is the wine’s alcohol content (alcohol by volume or ABV). Generally, higher alcohol content means less sugar, as more of the grapes’ original sugar content has fermented into alcohol. The key number to consider is 13% ABV or more.
Why Is It Hard to Find Low Carb Wine in Australia?
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as looking at the nutritional label to determine the nutritional information of your chosen wine.
You see, while most food products have nutrition information on their labels or packaging, wines do not. It’s because winemakers are not required by law to share nutritional information in Australia (and only a handful have done so voluntarily).
Even those winemakers who share nutritional figures may not be lab testing their wine, and the macronutrient split can vary from batch to batch.
However, there are still ways to gauge if a given wine is low carb or not. It all depends on what type of wine it is – certain varieties tend to be much lower in carbs than others, but it’s not an exact method and it can be easy to make the wrong choices based on assumptions.
Tip: dedicated sellers such as The Only Keto Wines Co carry out independent lab testing to confirm the carb count of all wines they stock. If you want real certainty about the macros in your wine, this online store is a great choice – and you can use the code ‘KETOLICIOUS’ to get $20 off a 6 or 12 pack.
What Kind of Wine Is Lowest in Carbs?
Tip: the fruitier the wine, the more sugar it contains! Dry wines are therefore the lowest in sugar (and carbs).
Wines have five general types: red, white, rosé, sparkling, and dessert. Red and white wines come in ‘varietals,’ which refer to wines made from the same grape variety.
On the other hand, roses and sparkling wines are labelled according to their sweetness. They range from dry (Brut/Extra Brut) to sweet (Demi-Sec or Doux). Like roses and sparkling wines, dessert wines are also labelled according to their sweetness. The sweeter varieties are labelled Dolce, Dulce, Doux, and Moelleux.
If you’re on a keto diet and unsure what wine to buy, go with champagnes and sparkling wines. These wines are labelled according to sweetness, so you’ll know which ones are likely to have more residual sugar. The safest bets are those labelled ‘Brut,’ ‘Extra Brut,’ or ‘Brut Nature.’ Brut is another term for ‘dry,’ which means the wine contains the least amount of residual sugar compared with other wine types.
Champagne labelled ‘Brut’ has less than 12 g residual sugar per litre, while one that is labelled Extra Brut contains 0–6 g per litre. Champagne labelled Brut Nature, or Brut Zero is the driest type, with 0–3 g residual sugar per litre. To give you a better idea, a glass of Extra Brut Champagne contains only 1 g or less of residual sugar.
On the other hand, roses and sparkling wines are labelled according to their sweetness. For the less sweet ones, they are labelled Amanile, Semi-Dry, Demi-Sec, and Semi-Seco.
Now that you know about residual sugar and the different types of wine, it’s time to see some of your choices for lower carb wine.
Red wine: Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz, Sangiovese
White wine: Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc
Sparkling wine: Champagne, Brut Champagne, Chenin Blanc, Riesling
Rose: Dry rose
On the other hand, the following are the types of wines you should avoid because they are high in sugar: Zinfandel, Pinotage, Grenache, Moscato, Port, Madeira, Sauternes, Sherry, and blush wines.
How Much Wine Can I Drink on Keto?
Even if the wine is low carb, drink it in moderation – it still contains alcohol. The liver is responsible for metabolising alcohol, glucose, and fat, but it can only metabolise one at a time. So, if you drink liquor, your body will stop metabolising glucose and fat to process the alcohol. This means alcohol doesn’t kick you out of ketosis, but it does delay fat-burning for a while.
You may also notice that when you’re enjoying a few glasses of wine, you tend to reach for the nibbles over and over. Alcohol can make you more likely to indulge in carb-heavy foods as it reduces inhibitions and can spark cravings, so make sure you have some keto-friendly snacks on hand.
You may also find your hangovers are worse on keto – though many reviews at The Only Keto Wine Co report that a low-sulphur, low-sugar wine leaves them feeling much better the next day. Alternating glasses with a low carb electrolyte drink can also help minimise the after-effects of alcohol.
Can You Buy Low Carb Wine in Australia?
Winemakers are not legally required to provide nutrition information in Australia, making it challenging for people on a keto diet to keep track of what and how much they’re consuming. Fortunately, there are now low carb wine brands in Australia that voluntarily provide such information to consumers, making it much easier for them to choose.
The most reliable option is to purchase dedicated (and lab tested) keto wines online. With a more varied selection available, there is more chance you’ll be able to find something you’ll truly enjoy.
Keto Low Carb Wines Online
This is a one-stop-shop for those on a keto diet who also love their wines, and my number one choice! The company offers a wide selection of organic, keto-friendly wines made by small wineries in Australia and New Zealand. They provide their customers with pure organic wines, which are healthier, more sustainable and support local winemakers.
Better yet, all wines are independently lab tested at NATA Accredited Omic Laboratory to get precise nutrition information, so that you know exactly what’s in your drink – and every batch is tested to take natural variation into consideration.
The company’s curated wines contain less than 0.25 g of sugar per glass and are also low in sulphur (under 95 ppm/l), providing a better alternative for people with sulphur allergies, asthma, rosacea and more. Their alcohol content is also on the low end, with ABV ranging from 10–15%.
To purchase, all you need to do is choose from the list of available wines in the drop-down menu and click 3, 6, or 12 bottles for your box collection. As a bonus, you can enter the code ‘KETOLICIOUS’ to get $20 off a 6 or 12 bottle delivery.
This is the first winery to offer zero sugar wine as a response to consumers’ growing demand for healthier food alternatives. The fact that wineries are not required by law to put their wines’ nutrition information on their labels has also contributed to misinformation around alcohol consumption.
So, the folks at Pure The Winery have made it their goal to expose the hidden sugar in wine and provide a healthier alternative, giving way to the first-ever zero sugar wine. According to them, wine doesn’t need residual sugar to give it flavour. They must be onto something because their Zero Sugar wine won two Sommeliers Choice Awards in 2020, the first zero sugar wine to have done so.
So, how is their Zero Sugar wine made? A lot of work went into learning the growing process of the grapes used in making the wine and testing their sugar maturity. To ensure that all residual sugars are consumed, specially cultivated yeasts are added during fermentation. This means that the flavour and aroma you’re enjoying while drinking the zero sugar wine come from the grapes themselves and not from residual sugars.
The Wine Experience comprises a dedicated team of quality wine merchants curating a collection of ‘pure’ wines (referring to solely grape-based wines) directly sourced from different wineries all over Australia. The wines that passed the company’s rigorous selection process are awarded the Wine Experience label to prove their quality. If you’re on a keto diet, they also offer low sugar choices for their red wine, white wine, and rosé.
Note that while these wines have been categorised as ‘low sugar’, not all listings specify the total sugar (or carbs) contained.
Feravina is a wine service company curating natural, quality, additive-free wines from all over the world. All wines listed on the site contain less than 0.5 g net carbs per glass, as well as being organic/biodynamic, additive-free, and vegan friendly. They also contain higher oxidants, low sulphur (less than 50 ppm total sulphites) and lower alcohol (13.5% ABV or less) as well. Feravina’s wines are sourced from grape growers and independent winemakers whose passion is to create natural, high quality, and sustainably made products.
Low Carb Wine at BWS
If you’re not eager to purchase your wines online, you may be wondering what the best low-sugar wine options are at your local bottle shop.
Below is a list of some lower-sugar and lower-carb which are available at BWS. It is uncommon for wines to list their nutritional details, but there are even a few on this list that have published their carb count.
This is a medium-bodied, low carb white wine from New Zealand. It has distinctive tropical flavours (gooseberry, passion fruit, lime) that are more tangy and refreshing than sweet and heavy, so it doesn’t overwhelm your taste buds. Its ABV is 9%, within the range of the recommended ABV of 13% or less. It also contains fewer calories (70 cal), carbs (1 g), and sugar (1 g) per 100 g.
Great with: Herbed dishes, green vegetables, goat cheese, chicken, fish, seafood, tofu
This wine is made in Piedmont, Italy. It is a combination of Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes that leaves a mildly sour aftertaste. It contains zero sugar (the first of its kind) and zero carbohydrates but has the same alcohol content as regular wine at 10.5% ABV. Even with its fruity, full-bodied taste, a 100 mL serving only contains 55 calories. Not only is this wine keto-friendly, but it is also vegan!
Great with: Fried food, salty food, brie cheese, fish, seafood, egg dishes, vegetables, desserts (fruits, honey, or butter)
This sparkling wine is a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varietal made in Australia. It is a dry style sparkling wine that gives a light, clean, crisp flavour. It has lower alcohol content (7.5% ABV) and fewer calories and carbohydrates (48 cal and 2 g carbs per 100 g) compared with other wines.
Great with: Fried chicken, steak, fried potatoes with onions, caviar, oysters, creamy soup, macaroni and cheese
This is another keto and vegan-friendly wine. It is made in Piedmont, Italy, from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes. It has zero sugar and zero carbohydrates and contains only 55 calories per 100 mL serving. Its 10.5% ABV is also within the ideal amount. It is light and refreshing with hints of citrus, young red fruits, and red flowers.
Great with: Pizza, quesadillas, steak, duck, spicy food, fish, cured meat, soft cheese, lamb, charcuterie, sushi
This white wine is made from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes in Piedmont, Italy. Like the other Pure the Winery varieties, this one also has zero sugar and zero carbohydrates and contains only 55 calories per 100 mL serving. It also has the same ABV (10.5%). In terms of flavour, it is full-bodied and fresh, lightly floral and fruity with a nice hint of acidic aftertaste.
Great with: Fish, chicken, shellfish, vegetables, grilled lobster, creamy pasta dishes, grilled vegetables, sushi, soft cheese
This sauvignon blanc is a product of Marlborough, New Zealand. It is a dry, medium-bodied white wine with tropical fruit and a lemongrass aroma. Its flavour can be described as clean, fresh, and fruity, with a pleasant lingering taste of citrus and pineapple. Its ABV is 9.5%.
Great with: Spicy dishes, herbed dishes, white meat, spring vegetables, shellfish, fresh salad with vinaigrette, pasta, cheese (goat and feta), Thai green curry
This is a full-bodied white wine from New Zealand. It has won the Gold Medal in the New Zealand Organic Wine Awards. It is not only keto-friendly and vegan but also certified organic. It is both aromatic and flavourful. It gives off a refreshing blend of citrusy, fruity scents reflected in the wine’s refreshing, natural taste. Its ABV is 13%.
Great with: Fresh shellfish, grilled fish, prawns, squid, Mexican and Greek food, feta cheese
Low Carb Wine at Liquorland
This SSB is a refreshing blend of fruity, citrusy, grassy flavours. Compared with other wines of the same style, it is lighter in alcohol (8.5% ABV) and calories (73 cal in a 150 mL serving). This dry, light-bodied wine is a product of South-Eastern Australia.
Great with: Seafood, chicken, seafood or summer salads, Thai green curry, young goat cheese, sashimi, spring vegetables
This wine is a pale straw-coloured wine made in Victoria, Australia, that offers the zestiness of citrus and the juiciness of apple and pear. Its crisp, fruity flavour is preserved in the wine by harvesting the fruit at night when the temperature is coolest. At 9% ABV and fewer calories, you can enjoy this lighter Pinot Grigio with your favourite food pairing.
Great with: Seafood, fish, salads, light pasta, risottos, cheeses (brie, mozzarella, ricotta, gruyere), chips with mild salsa dips, sushi, ham
With its pale straw colour tinged with green, this wine gives a taste of tropical passionfruit, lemongrass, and green apple, and the aroma of lemon and passionfruit. To get this fruity, zesty blend, the fruit is harvested at night, and the wine bottled early to preserve the fresh fruit flavour. With 9% ABV, it makes for a light, refreshing drink on its own or paired with food.
Great with: Fish, green vegetables, goat cheese, fresh herbs, pesto, oysters, grilled or roasted lamb, smoked seafood, fruit tarts
Low Carb Wine at Dan Murphy’s
This option is one of the driest types of wine available. It is made in the famous wine region of Champagne, France, from a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay grape varieties. It is an ideal keto wine because it contains less than 1.5 grams of residual sugar per 150 mL serving and 12% ABV. It is defined by a blend of crisp flavours of citrus and white fruits, grapes, apples, and almonds in terms of taste. There is also a lingering taste of fruitcake mixed in with a nutty and sweet aftertaste.
Great with: Fish, shellfish, cheese (parmesan, gouda), risotto, pasta, mushroom dishes
This is a light-bodied, extra dry style sparkling wine made in Catalonia, Spain, from a blend of Xarel, Macabeo, Parellada, and Chardonnay grape varieties. This unique blend gives the wine an intense, complex flavour that offers a warm, pleasant sensation in the palate and a smooth aftertaste. Because it is Extra Brut, it is keto-friendly, with less than 1.5 g per 150 mL serving and an ABV of 11.5%.
Great with: Seafood, salads with fruits or nuts, traditional Spanish tapas, cheddar cheese, chicken or any white meat, oysters, ham, croquettes, tempura, canapes
What Wine Has the Least Carbs?
Wines with the least amount of carbs are dry wines such as Champagne and sparkling wines, especially those labelled as Brut, Extra Brut, Brut Nature/Brut Zero. They contain the least amount of residual sugar (0 g to less than 12 g residual sugar per litre).
Can I Drink Wine on Keto?
It’s possible to enjoy wine on a keto diet if you’re careful to choose the right varieties and not exceed your daily carb limit. There is now a wide selection of high-quality, low carb/low sugar wines available commercially. The safest option is to order from a curator who independently lab-tests their wine, such as The Only Keto Wines Co.
Which Red Wine Has the Least Carbs?
The red wine with the least carbs is Pinot Noir, which contains 3.4 g per 125 ml glass. Merlot follows this with 3.7 g and Cabernet Sauvignon with 3.82 g.
Can I Drink White Wine on Keto?
Yes, you can drink white wine on keto. White wines like Champagne and sparkling wines have lower levels of carbs (found in residual sugar) than other wine types, so a dry white wine is the best option for a keto diet.
What Has More Carbs Red or White Wine?
Red wine has more carbs than white wine, which is why those who are watching their carb intake tend to drink white wine.