Each year a fresh set of stories about wine and health is published. While we don’t like to admit it, most of these headlines are taken at face value:
“A glass of wine is worth an hour at the gym.”
“Extra glass of wine a day ‘will shorten your life by 30 minutes.’”
These are actual headlines.
Suddenly, more of us choose to drink wine instead of go to the gym. Or, in the latter example, more of us conclude that wine is a death sentence. Oh my!
Time to hit the brakes. Let’s look at the topic of wine and health and where we stand in 2019.
TLDR: Two new, reputable medical studies on wine and health use big data to show that moderate drinking is best – if you drink.
On Wine vs. Death
In 2019, life still comes with a 100% risk of death. So, the question is more about how much wine increases our basic risk of dropping dead at any moment.
(long awkward pause…)
Two studies came out last year looking at alcohol consumption by crunching many (hundreds) of cohort studies with big data-style statistical analysis.
The reason none of these studies are direct is because asking people to drink wine for science is unethical. (For shame, I tell you!)
The first study showed that if you’re over 40 and routinely drink two or more glasses of wine a day, your risk of death increases by 20%. Oh no!
Oddly enough, the study also showed a bizarre correlation among non-drinkers, ex-drinkers, and moderate drinkers (those drinking just one glass of wine a day). Those who drank one glass of wine a day had a lower risk than a non-drinker and an ex-drinker of dying.
(BTW, there were many possible reasons for this… check this chart image for more detail).
On Wine vs. Disease
The second study showed how drinking increases general risk of disease. It measured outcomes of 23 disease conditions (including things like breast cancer and tuberculosis) and their relationship to alcohol use.
The study is fancy (i.e. it’s very hard to read) and was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In fact, it was one of the most cited studies in 2018. The most damaging thing in the study states:
“Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none.”
But wait! When we look at the absolute risk of this study (shared by British Statistician, David Spiegelhalter) we can see that risk increase is not significant for moderate drinkers:
If you drink zero drinks per day, your absolute risk of developing a health problem is 0.914%.
If you drink one drink per day, your absolute risk of developing a health problem is 0.918% more (0.44% more than non-drinkers).
If you drink two drinks per day, your absolute risk of developing a health problem is 0.977% (7% more than non-drinkers).
If you drink five drinks per day (1 bottle of wine), your absolute risk of developing a health problem is 1.25% (37% more than non-drinkers).
So, the conclusion made in the Bill and Melinda Gates study seems a bit extreme. An increased risk of 0.44% for having one drink per day is insignificant.
That said, if you’re a health-policy maker, the numbers look much scarier at scale. On a country-wide level, you’re dealing with the risk (and cost) of alcohol abusers (those five drink per day-ers), along with everyone else. Let’s not forget drunk drivers and people who cause crimes of aggression while drinking.
(Yep, I know. They’re ruining it for the rest of us!)
The two recent studies using big data analytics showed that moderate drinking (one glass of wine a day–regardless of sex) has an insignificant level of risk associated with it.
We also learned that drinking a bottle of wine by yourself in a day is still a terrible idea.
What was annoying about these studies was that none of them separated wine drinkers from other alcoholic beverage drinkers. This is a problem because wine is often singled out in other studies due to how it performs differently – better – than other alcoholic drinks.
Final conclusion: If you want to be healthier, you might reduce your wine consumption to a glass of wine a day.
Unfortunately, the overall mood in the studies this year was pretty somber. The conclusions are generally negative towards alcohol use – possibly to encourage or justify future policy changes.
One thing is for certain, though. All of this slogging through medical documents has given me a strong thirst…
Have something to add? Check out the sources (if you dare) and leave a comment below!
«Risk thresholds for alcohol consumption: combined analysis of individual-participant data for 599 912 current drinkers in 83 prospective studies.» The Lancet.
«Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016» The Lancet.
We can thank the snarky British statistician named David Spiegelhalter for collecting all the absolute risks for alcohol consumption on the Wine vs. Disease article here.
Let’s hand it to Katherine Ellen Foley and Elijah Wolfson for crunching the data in «Margin of Inebriation» at Qz.com. Some of the data, we’ve re-compiled and visualized for this article.
Learn where wine flavors come from, how to smell them, and what flavors to expect in Cabernet, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Understanding the flavors in wine starts with a seemingly simple question:
Where do wine flavors come from?
Imagine yourself the size of a single atom floating on the surface of a glass of wine. Down at this level, the surface of wine is quite turbulent.
Ethanol molecules lift off from the surface of the liquid during evaporation, carrying with them a slew of other aromatic compounds. These compounds float into our noses and give wine its many flavors.
But this doesn’t explain why Pinot Noir juice smells nothing like Pinot Noir wine.
Wine flavors are created by chemical reactions during fermentation (when yeast turns sugar into alcohol). Fermentation creates hundreds of flavor compounds.
If cherries aren’t an ingredient in wine, then how come some wines smell like cherries?
At the atomic level, aromatic compounds in wine look identical to – or are mirror images of– smells you already know. When you sniff cherry in wine, you are smelling the identical aroma compounds that also waft from a freshly baked cherry pie. (Egads, now I’m hungry!)
Here are common wine flavors by category:
Red wines typically smell like various berries, cherries, and plums.
White wines typically smell like citrus fruits, tree fruits (peaches, apples, pears), and melons.
FLOWER / HERB
Both red and white wines can have subtle (or not-so-subtle) aromas of fresh flowers, roses, green herbs, leaves, green vegetables, and/or stems.
Don’t be surprised if you get whiffs of cheese, bread, milk, butter, bacon fat, petrol, nail polish, potting soil, or petrichor (smells like freshly wetted asphalt in the summer – side note: I’m addicted to this smell…).
AGING / OAK
Some wine smells come specifically from aging wine (or oaking it) and include vanilla, baking spices, pie crust, caramel, Maillard Reaction (the “brown butter” smell), tobacco, cedar, coffee, leather, creosote, and chocolate.
If I smell cherries and you smell pepper, who’s right?
Look at your nose. Now imagine (or look at) someone else’s nose. (Don’t stare!) They look pretty different right?
Differences in our physical attributes, along with how our brains process smells, partially explain why we each pick out different wine flavors and smells.
That said, each wine does have a “base set” of aromas that most people agree upon (who aren’t asnomiacs.)
BTW, if you have trouble picking out wine flavors, I highly recommend watching this video with a glass of Pinot Noir.
NOTE: For those who think their nose blows: I know a Master Sommelier with a below-average sniffer… So, don’t give up on your honker!
Get out and use your snout!
Next time you pick up a glass of wine don’t drink it! (Well, at least not at first). Take your time to pick out 3–5 wine flavors BEFORE you taste it. That’s the secret.
This, my friends, is how you become an amazing taster. Salut!
A Book Full of Wines to Sniff
Stop drinking wine blind. Wine Folly: The Master Guide (Magnum Edition) is your guide to the world of wine. Find out what to taste, how to taste it, and most importantly, where to find wines you’ll love.
Crianza (“kree-ahn-tha”) was formerly where quality started for Rioja wine. The increased aging allows Tempranillo-based wines to develop more complexity. Expect red fruit flavors and subtle spice.
Red wines: Aged for a total of two years with at least one year in oak barrels.
White and rosé wines: Aged for a total of two years with at least six months in barrels.
Reserva is where things start to get serious with Rioja. We suspect this classification will continue to be the benchmark moving forward because it also includes the new sparkler, Espumosos de Calidad de Rioja.
Red wines in this classification typically have fantastic balance between fruit and structure (e.g. tannin and acidity), with subtle aged flavors of baking spice and dried fruit. This is one of those bottles you must try aging in a cellar to see how it evolves!
Red wines: Aged for a total of three years with at least one year in oak barrels and at least six months in bottles.
Sparkling wines: Wines must be aged “en tirage” (on the lees) for no less than 24 months. Vintage-dated espumosos must be hand-harvested.
White and rosé wines: Aged for a total of two years with at least six months in barrels.
Gran Reserva Rioja
Red wines: Aged for a total of five years with at least two years in oak barrels and two years in bottles.
White and rosé wines: Aged for a total of five years with at least six months in barrels.
Gran Añada Rioja
What was once a bygone category has new life, thanks to the creation of Gran Añada bubbly!
We have a sneaking feeling that these wines won’t hit the market until 2020.
Sparkling: Wines must be aged “en tirage” (on the lees) for no less than 36 months. Vintage-dated espumosos must be hand-harvested.
New Regional Labeling for Rioja is Finally Here!
The biggest change to Rioja wines, by far, was the addition of a regional labeling regime.
Of course, there’s still quite a bit of discussion about whether or not this was the right thing to do.
Some argue that the best Rioja wines have traditionally been blends of multiple sites so regional specificity won’t help quality. Others say the new regulations are not stringent enough and Rioja should hold itself to higher standards.
Regardless, if you travel through Rioja, you cannot deny that there are a myriad of soils and microclimates. The idea that you can now officially notate a singular vineyard is going to make forward-thinking producers (and wine collectors) very excited.
You can assume that all wines labeled “Rioja” are a blend of grapes from all over La Rioja.
The largest Zona is Rioja Oriental, followed by Rioja Alta, and then Rioja Alavesa. Most wine books will tell you that Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa make the best wines, but that’s not always true.
In fact, I’d wager to say that if you’re a fan of richer styles of Tempranillo, you’re going to love a few producers in Rioja Oriental (for example, check out Ontañon and Barón de Ley.) The problem with Rioja Oriental is that a sizable proportion of its production is bulk wine.
Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa tend to have more minerality and elegance. Many of these wines are built to age 20 or more years.
Rioja can now label wines after the village or municipal area where they’re grown. If a vineyard straddles two municipalities, it’s allowed to blend up to 15% of the neighboring village’s grapes into the wine.
Viñedo Singular reminds us of lieu-dits (named vineyard sites) of Burgundy. For this classification, the producer must appeal to the Consejo Regulador to recognize a vineyard and allow it to be listed on the label.
On one hand, Viñedo Singular is really cool because we’ll finally get to learn the names of places where special vines are grown. With Viñedo Singular, wineries are encouraged to make single-vineyard wines (something that’s still quite rare in Rioja).
On the other hand, if you know Burgundy, you know there are well over one thousand lieu-dits. Thousands of Viñedo Singular will make this region more complex and difficult to understand.
Regardless, Rioja’s move towards site-specificity has inspired positive change to a slow-moving industry.
Cabernet Franc may call France its home, but can we make great wines elsewhere? Let’s dig into the dirt on Cabernet Franc and find out where it grows best.
Cabernet Franc is a very different animal.
Though, if you were the parent of such star-studded children as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, you’d be a bit eccentric too. After all, you learned how to survive – and thrive – just about anywhere.
The thing about Cabernet Franc that makes it unique is that it can’t hide its nature. It’s always been a bit more peppery and lean compared to its pedigree children. And for this reason, most winemakers use it sparingly in blends (like with Merlot in right-bank Bordeaux or with Malbec in Argentina.)
In a blend, Cab Franc is like MSG. It transforms what might have been a boring fruit-bomb wine into something that makes us go,
So, let’s dive into this grape, why it’s worth your time, and figure out where you should be looking for your favorite Francs.
Why Is Cabernet Franc So Awesome?
First, it’s a classic. It’s the “papa bear” grape of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carménère (and thus, it’s older than all three).
Second, it’s cellar-worthy. Well-made Cabernet Franc wines have been noted to age well for 30+ years.
Finally, there’s something for everyone. Because Cabernet Franc grows just about anywhere, it’s capable of making wines that appeal to crowds and geeks alike.
New World vs. Old World Cabernet Franc
There are two distinct styles of Cabernet Franc that have emerged based on the climate, soil, and winemaking tradition. We call them “New World” and “Old World” for simplicity’s sake, but you’ll find that some wines don’t fit the mold.
“New World Style”
Bold, Fruit-Forward Cabernet Franc
In warmer places, Cabernet Franc produces a much richer wine. It’s not just the heat and sunlight hours that produce full-bodied, higher alcohol wines. Many of the most popular warm-climate Cabernet Franc regions have clay-based soils, which result in grapes with increased tannin.
With higher intensity, warm climate Cab Franc wines are often aged in oak. The oak adds baking spice and cedar flavors, with smokiness on the finish.
Overall, this style is a crowd-pleaser that appeals to *nearly* all wine drinkers. Of course generally speaking, you might find this style won’t age quite as long – it usually doesn’t have a low enough pH.
Where To Look
Danube Plains (Bulgaria)
“Old World Style”
Lean, Herb-Driven Cabernet Franc
In cooler climates, Cabernet Franc produces a much leaner, more savory wine. In the Loire Valley where this style is prevalent, the lightest and most aromatic styles (with the least color) are grown in sandy soils.
It’s rare to find heavy-handed oak in these cooler climates because it overwhelms the wine.
This style is a bit less of a crowd-pleaser because many drinkers tend to shy away from bitterness and herbal notes in wines. Still, it’s useful to note that the “old world” style tends to age longer because of its increased acidity.
Why? Well, it’s the only holiday with a savory feast that happens right after the grape harvest. Not to mention the fall flavors pair perfectly with many great wines. So, let’s find out which Thanksgiving wines to add to the table this year.
In This Article
Break the ice with something refreshing and celebratory like sparkling rosé.
Bask in the glory of at least one special occasion wine (dessert wine or something stranger).
There’s nothing better than arriving to a party and being handed a glass of something sparkly. It even works on little kids (but perhaps a shiny tumbler of Martinelli’s instead?).
Sparkling rosé pays tribute to the changing seasons with its pinkish hue and the red fruit core that forecasts incoming cranberries for the holidays.
Here are a few sparkling rosé wine styles you deserve to taste at least once in your life:
Lambrusco Rosé – This wine is often made with Lambrusco di Sorbara – the most delicate of the Lambrusco varieties. Expect delightful, fruit-forward aromas of pink grapefruit, watermelon, and rose candy.
Cava Rosé – A lean and dry style from Spain that usually includes varieties like Garnacha, Monastrell, Pinot Noir, and the rare Trepat. On the nose, expect forest berries, raspberry bramble, and wet stones. Bottles labeled “Reserva” will have been aged on the lees for a longer amount of time.
Italian Metodo Classico – Two regions in Italy rival Champagne: Franciacorta in Lombardy, and Trento in Trentino-Alto Adige. These wines are quite fine (and priced accordingly). Expect tiny, creamy bubbles and cherry driven aromas.
Bugey Cerdon Rosé – One for the wine geeks! A richer, darker rosé from the foothills of the French Alps and made using a very ancient sparkling wine method. You’ll find the local varieties of Poulsard and Gamay are often used and deliver aromas of peonies and forest berries.
Tasmanian Rosé – The rare and exciting sparkling wines of Tasmania are finding their way into US stores. The producer we found (Jansz) had super compelling aromas of bitter-sweet red fruits and subtle smoky, yeasty notes. Easy on the palate.
FUN FACT:Wine sales for Thanksgiving are the highest of any single holiday.
If you’re looking to pair wine with poultry, it’s important to think about intensity. Sure, you could blow down the house with a big, bold-faced Bordeaux, but it’s not going to do your beautiful bird any justice.
Fortunately, there’s a segment of red wines with more juicy fruit and brown spice subtleties. The following medium-bodied reds pair really well with turkey, gravy, and roasted winter vegetables:
Carignan – Loaded with cherry fruit and spiced tobacco flavors, Carignan is meant for turkey. Seek out old vine wines from places like California, Chile, and Languedoc-Roussillon France.
Zinfandel – With tasting notes akin to cranberry sauce (e.g. “spiced red fruits”), Zinfandel will moisten even the driest slice of turkey. We’re really delighted by the subtle white pepper, sage, and volcanic subtleties that Zin delivers from Napa Valley. (It might be Napa’s best value!)
Garnacha – So juicy and pure, Garnacha from Spain delivers sweet red fruit and citrus notes on top of dusty minerality. The best part is that you’ll find many of the buying options to be shockingly affordable. If you want to bump it up a notch (and taste some serious versions), look for Garnacha from the Vinos de Madrid area.
Pinot Noir – The classic go-to red for Thanksgiving. Honestly, it’s hard not to have a bottle or two of these lying around. No pressure, but you might want to stock up on value 2015 Bourgogne Rouge before they sell out!
Blaufränkisch – It’s hard to stumble upon greatness for under $20 if you’re perusing the usual suspects. Instead, look for something like the lesser known Blaufränkisch. The Austrians obsess over this red because it delivers rich, black fruit flavors, spice, and food-friendly acidity. This is a great choice for dark meat and wild rice stuffing.
Beaujolais – We’re sure to be roasted on a spit if we forget to mention the classic Francophile-Thanksgiving favorite: Beaujolais. Long ago, the Beaujolais grape (Gamay) was banned in Burgundy, but that didn’t stop it from existing – and thriving – in neighboring Beaujolais. Wines are beautifully floral (think violets and peonies) with soft, luscious, berry-driven fruit, and a subtle bitter note on the finish. Look for a Beaujolais Cru for superior quality.
Mencía – When people finally figure out how exceptional Mencía wine is, we’ll no longer be able to get is so cheap! Imagine a wine with the dark fruit of Malbec paired with the delicacy and complexity of high-end (high tannin) Pinot Noir.
There’s no better time to share something rare and unique than during the holidays. Some wines are just too much a delicacy to hoard alone. Here are a few special wines to consider:
Sercial Madeira – This very rare single-varietal Madeira wine can be served chilled and makes for an amazing match with pumpkin pie. It’s not too sweet and exudes toasted walnut, burnt caramel, and peach notes.
Pedro Ximinez – Forget dessert when you can drink something so sweet and rare as a 90-year old Solera dessert wine from the Montilla-Moriles region in southern Spain. This very sweet wine offers fig, molasses, and nutty-coffee notes. We’re honestly shocked that it’s so nicely priced.
Vin Jaune – Truly golden-yellow in color, you’ve never had anything like Vin Jaune before. Vin Jaune is a true geek wine with arresting flavors of linseed oil, pear, and preserved lemon. Despite its bizarre aromatic structure and saline taste, it pairs fantastically well with pumpkin pie.
We tested five of the world’s best wine glasses to figure out what separates a $5 glass from a $50 one.
If you’re skeptical of those articles that claim to have the “Best Wine Glasses for 2018,” then this deep dive is for you. You’re right to suspect there’s more to glassware than good Amazon reviews.
In This Article
What are the best wine glasses and why? (And, how much should you expect to spend?)
What aspects should you pay attention to when buying wine glasses, regardless of price?
If you prefer red (or white) wines, what glass traits should you look for?
We Tested the World’s Best Wine Glasses
… and here’s what you need to know
Wine Glass Selection
We held off on making this video for several years because of the selection process. Why? Learning how to assess glasses takes a lot of experience. Over the years I’ve tested close to a hundred wine glasses and have about a dozen or so favorites.
I chose these glasses because they represent the best of the best. Additionally, they are universal glasses, as in, they can be used for any style of wine (red, white, rosé, or sparkling). Finally, despite their fragile appearance, they are all dependable and should hold up to everyday use.
While collecting glasses we were delighted to get our hands on the newly launched Jancis Robinson + Richard Brendon “1” collaboration. If you don’t know her, Jancis Robinson is one of the world’s foremost wine critics. So, this particular glass comes with a lot of built-in street credit!
Which Glass Won?
Naturally, it was impossible to pick just one. We chose two!
When you watch the video, you’ll note I was very skeptical of this glass because it comes with so much hype. That said, I was truly impressed with Zalto, especially for what it does with red wines.
Why: I felt compelled to choose Zalto because it delivered the sauciest fruit flavors, while still maintaining a balanced palate. Since so many wine connoisseurs prefer red wines, I think the fruit-focus in this glass is highly desirable.
I was shocked at how well this machine made glass did alongside glasses that sell for over two times the price. Besides the taste test, I’ve personally watched a tasting room attendant drop one on the floor and it didn’t break–it bounced!
Why: What I liked about this glass was how it delivers flavors in a sequential manner. This trait makes Gabriel-Glas glass fantastic for blind tasting and for improving your palate. The fruit delivery was equal to Zalto, but more fresh in style.
The Endless Pursuit of Better Wine
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In the video I mention a few key things to pay attention to:
Crystal vs Glass: I’ve seen wine glasses available in glass, crystal glass, and borosilicate glass. Unless you’re buying affordable glasses (under $9 a stem), then you’re best bet is crystal (mineralized glass). Crystal glass comes in variable quality levels and types.
Opening Diameter: This trait really affects the aroma presence of wine. In the video I had some quips about smaller diameter openings for red wines because of how much it shoveled the aromas into my nose (the burn!). 2.25 inches was tight for reds but ideal for whites. 2.5 inches was about right (both Zalto and Gabriel-Glass were around 2.5). Finally, my “old standby” restaurant series Riedel Vinum Extreme Cabernets have a diameter of 2.75.
Rim Thickness: Less material is generally considered better. Some value manufacturers just cut the lip and file it smooth. Avoid these. We’ve been very impressed with the quality Riedel puts out and use it as a good baseline.
Multi-Piece: Most glasses are made with multiple pieces. The high end models are not, which is why they are so much more durable despite how fragile they look and feel. Still, there’s nothing wrong with being multi-piece, just make sure they get the seams off. (You can feel the seam on the stem.)
Bowl Clarity: One thing I noticed on all the hand blown models was the amazing clarity. Many machine made glasses will have slight ribbing on the bowl and it distorts light. It doesn’t affect the taste, but it’s one of those things you notice when looking at quality.
What to Expect to Spend
It’s hard to find exceptional glassware for under $20 a stem.
Under $20 a stem, you’ll do best with larger glass manufacturers such as Stolzle or Schott Zweisel. You’ll notice these glasses are all multi-piece, with beaded lips, ribbing, and seams on the stem, but they do have the right shape!
I’ve been consistently impressed with Riedel. In fact, the Veritas “New World Pinot Noir” (~$23 a stem) are fantastic. The downside is these glasses aren’t universal.
This was why I was so tickled pink with the Gabriel-Glass “Stand’Art” Edition glasses (~$29 a stem). These glasses offer great value and would work well as a universal glass.
Then, at the top-end of wine glasses there are many options. We loved Zalto and Gabriel-Glas, as we mentioned above, but could come up with reasons to love each of the glasses we tested.
NOTE: When speaking to glass manufacturers I was surprised to learn that hand blown glasses take substantially longer to produce. A production facility can whip out 30,000 machine made glasses in a week compared to just 5,000 hand blown glasses.
Before grapes ferment into wine, they are sugary. Little yeasts, including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, gobble up grape sugar and produce alcohol. Sometimes though, the winemaker stops the yeast from eating all the sugar.
You might wonder,
“Why would they do such a thing?!”
As it happens, leaving some residual sugar in dry wine can increase the “likeability factor.” Many wines marketed as “dry” have anywhere from 0–30 grams per liter of residual sugar. Surprisingly, they taste dry.
Here are a few examples:
Franciscan Estate | Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon | 2014 This wine has 109 calories and 0.45g of carbs per 150ml/~5 oz serving.
Cupcake Vineyards | 2016 California Chardonnay This wine has 112 calories and 0.9g of carbs per 150ml/~5 oz serving.
Dr. Loosen | Mosel Valley “Ürziger Würzgarten” Dry Riesling | 2016 This wine has 105 calories and 1g of carbs per 150ml/~5 oz serving.
Tsantali | Naoussa Greece Xinomavro | 2016 This wine has 99 calories and 0.28g of carbs per 150ml/~5 oz serving.
What We Learned On Our Hunt for Keto Wines
Bad News: you’re not going to see RS listed on the label.
The US has no labeling requirements for nutrition, so no one adds it. Additionally, we found searching for this information online very difficult.
In fact, it took me multiple back-and-forth emails to squeeze this information out of one producer. (Their wine had 32 g/L RS – perhaps this was why?)
Good News: Many wines will fit the bill! On our searches, we discovered a few key clues:
Value-driven dry wines tend to have more residual sugar to improve taste. We’ve seen value wines range from about 5–30 g/L of residual sugar.
Generally speaking, white and rosé wines often feature some level of residual sugar. Sweetness in white and rosé wines helps counterbalance acidity. So, to be safe you can anticipate 10 g/L or 1.5 g carbs per serving.
Sparkling wines that are marked with “Brut,” “Extra Brut,” or “Brut Nature” typically have the lowest amounts of residual sugar. Expect 1.5g carbs per glass or less. Here’s a fun article about Champagne sweetness levels for more information.
Use search terms like “fact sheet,” “tech sheet,” “rs,” or even “pH” to quickly search for a specific wine’s technical information.
What Wines To Avoid
Wines with higher alcohol levels include varieties like Shiraz, Pinotage, Zinfandel, and Grenache. You can’t really blame them for it though, they’re naturally high in sugar.
What’s more important to avoid is wines with higher sweetness levels (anything above 30 g/L RS or 4.5g carbs). Sweet wines include Moscato, Port, and other dessert wines.
How Much Should We Drink on Keto?
Most short-term, in-depth keto diets do not recommend drinking alcohol at all.
That said, if you’re working on a longer term nutrition lifestyle change, your best bet is likely the moderation model:
No more than 2 drinks per day for men*
No more than 1 drink per day for women*
The funny thing about alcohol is that we digest it very differently than other calories. Part of the effort happens with these handy little enzymes called alcohol dehydrogenase. Enzymes help chemically process alcohol calories through our liver, stomach, and kidneys. So, we’re still not sure if we actually burn alcohol calories as efficiently as other calories.
In case you’re wondering: The reason why women can’t drink as much is because women have less alcohol-digesting enzymes than men. It’s a shame, but also a fact.
*As we all well know, everyone’s physiology is different and some lineages ought to moderate more! Talk to a doctor or nutritionist about your unique situation.
Last Word: Drink Wine… Even If It’s Folly
If you’re seriously committing to the keto thing, you might want to stop drinking altogether while your body adjusts. After this process, you might be able to start adding dry wines back into your diet.
What’s life without living a little?
After taking a deep dive into the keto diet and learning from others, we did notice a trend: the people who stick to a diet and exercise regime are the ones who get results. So, if we learned anything from this whole process, it’s that doing the work will get you the results you want.
You can do it. Salut!
Do The Math Yourself
Carbs: Take residual sugar level in grams per liter (g/L) x 0.15 = grams of carbs per 150 ml serving.
For alcohol calories, take ethanol calories per milliliter (5.37) x serving size (150 ml) x alcohol by volume (0.135 or 13.5%) = 108 calories per 150 ml serving.
For sugar calories, take sugar carbs per serving x 4 (there are 4 calories per gram of sugar)
alcohol calories + sugar calories = total calories per serving.
Alcohol calories math:
There are 7.1 calories per gram of pure ethanol
Convert grams to ounces by a multiplier of 28.3495
Factor in the density of ethanol at 0.789 g/cm3
Calculation: 7.1 x 28.3495 x 0.789 = 158.81 calories per ounce (oz) of pure ethanol or 5.37 calories per milliliter (ml)
Dr. Loosen GG Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling 2016 vintage fact sheet
Tsantali Naoussa 2016 vintage fact sheet
Cupcake Vineyards 2016 vintage fact sheet
Other wine data may be inaccurate because it was pulled from lcbo.com