Some people prefer sweet-tasting and flavorful wines. However, many like wines with less sugar. If this sounds like you, you’re lucky to be on the right page! This page tackles everything you need to know about sugar and wine, like the famous question for a wine novice: what wine has the least sugar?
Do all wines have sugar?
There is no direct answer to this question. For this, we’ll have two answers – yes and no. Winemakers adopt different techniques and technology to produce wine. They also use various additives and ingredients to achieve their desired properties and flavors.
One of the ingredients is sugar. Sugar is used to make wine. It is an indispensable and essential ingredient to viticulture. Sugar is what makes winemaking possible. It is from the wine grapes and is useful for making food for the yeast in fermentation.
While some wines have “no sugar,” some contain so much – even twice as much as a sweet soda.
Wine Sugar Content
If you’re curious about what wine has the least sugar, let’s start with the basics. Here’s a table to help you be familiar with the types of wine and their sugar content. Understanding the sugar content of wines can help you decide whether or not you can add more sugar to your wine (so you don’t put too much!).
This brief table also helps you choose the perfect pairing and food combinations to serve with your wine. This table is also useful for people monitoring their sugar levels, like individuals with diabetes.
|Type of Wine||Sugar Content|
|Bone Dry||0 cal (<1 g/L residual sugar)|
|Dry||0 to 6 cal (1 to 10 g/L residual sugar)|
|Off-dry||6 to 21 cal (10 to 35 g/L residual sugar)|
|Sweet||21 to 72 cal (35 to 120 g/L residual sugar)|
|Very Sweet||72 to 130 (120 to 220 g/L residual sugar)|
What Wine Has The Least Sugar?
There are many wines with less sugar. If you’re looking for wines with the least sugar content, here is a quick guide to some of them.
For these types of dry wines, expect to have about 1 to 3 grams of sugar per pour containing about 5 ounces of booze:
|Red wines||White wines||Sparkling wines|
|Merlot||Sauvignon Blanc||Brut Champagne|
|Pinot Noir||Pinot Grigio|
These wines have low sugar content, so if you feel like adding sweeteners to them, feel free to do so! These wines can go well with sugar if you prefer them sweet and tastier.
1. Red Wines
Red wines have lower sugar content than whites and roses. Among all types, reds provide the most health benefits, especially for people with diabetes. Besides having low sugar content, reds have high antioxidant properties. Below are the most well-known red wines and their sugar level:
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the classics worldwide. It is one of the most famous red wines produced in almost every wine-growing country.
Cabernet Sauvignon generally tastes dark and fruity, with rich flavors and high tannins. This red wine variant is perfect for pairing with grilled meats, smoked dishes, and sauces. This type of wine contains about 1.12 grams of sugar every 6 oz pour.
Merlot is another type of wine with low residual sugar content. It is a fruity French wine with no tannins. The average sugar content of Merlot is about 0.91 grams per pour in a 5-ounce glass.
Pinot Noir is a famous red wine from the grape Vitis vinifera. It is a dry, light-bodied wine with silky tannins. Compared to other wines, Pinot Noir has a low level of sweetness. It averages about 1 gram of residual sugar per pour.
Syrah or Shiraz is one of the full-bodied red wines known worldwide. It is a classic red, giving off a sweet, savory black olive taste. Syrah is a rich red wine with strong, dark flavors. A 5oz glass of Syrah contains about 0.06 grams of residual sugar, making it one of the best reds for diabetic individuals.
2. White Wines
While slightly higher than most reds, white wines may have low sugar content too. These include the following:
This white wine is produced as a dry white wine. It contains about 0.9 to 1.4 grams of residual sugar per serving. While it has low sugar content, it does not mean Chardonnay does not have a hint of sweetness at all!
From France’s Bordeaux region is a dry white wine with an herbal taste: Sauvignon Blanc. It is from a green wine grape variety that brings fruity, fresh flavors. Sauvignon Blanc’s sugar content is about 0.75 grams per serving.
Viognier is a full-bodied, mouthwatering white wine from Southern France. This wine has a rich, peachy taste, floral aroma, and fruity flavors. Viognier is another type of white wine with low sugar, amounting to about 1.5 grams per serving.
3. Sparkling Wines
If you love sparkling wines, you might be happy to know that they contain fewer calories than reds and whites. Sparkling wines generally have low sugar levels, and they’re extra dry!
Prosecco is a sparkling drink from Italy. It has fruity flavors of pear, honeysuckle, and green apple.
While all this sounds like sparks of sweetness, this wine is known to have low calories amounting to about 80 cal in every glass. This content equals approximately 1.5 grams of sugar per pour or ¼ teaspoon.
“Brut” means dry, unrefined, or raw. It is a style of sparkling wine according to its sugar level, making Brut Champagne the most popular choice for the drink. Fans of this wine say it doesn’t take so many grams of sugar to give this wine a deliciously sweet taste. Brut Champagne contains less than 2 grams per 5 ounces of serving.
Can you mix sugar and wine?
Yes, you can mix sugar and wine. If your bottle of wine isn’t sweet enough for you, adding sugar to sweeten can be an excellent idea.
Reminder: Make sure to add just a little amount – perhaps a pinch – at a time. Stir, taste, and add more according to your liking. Ensure stirring after every addition of the sweetener.
But keep in mind that mixing sugar and wine is not recommended in drinks. Some wines can still have active yeast cells. If you mix sugar and active yeast, sugar will be fermented by these cells. Sugar makes food to be “eaten” by yeast for fermentation. Hence, this interaction can result in carbonation issues with your bottle of wine.
However, some wines can also tolerate the addition of sugar. One of the keys to preventing carbonation issues is to store your wine after bottling properly.
Desserts to pair with low-sugar wine
If you love pairing your low-sugar wine with something sweet, we got you!
Below is a short list of desserts you can serve with your glass of low-sugar wine:
- Vanilla cake
- Strawberry shortcake
- Figs, cheese, and honey
- Lemon bars
- Berry crisp
- Carrot cake
- Chocolate mousse
- Apple pie
- Moscato truffles
- Hot chocolate
- Ice cream
- White chocolate
- Pound cake
- Panna cotta
Wines and Sugar Content Facts
Now that you know the ins and outs of wines and their sugar content, here are some exciting facts you might not know yet!
1. The type with the least sugar content is red wine
Reds contain about 0.9 grams per 175 ml glass of wine. If you like wines that aren’t too sweet, red wines might be your go-to.
Reds can be the perfect choice for those who closely watch their sugar level, including people with diabetes who love wine.
2. Dessert wine has the same amount of sugar as soda
You read that right! A 7-gram serving of dessert wine contains the same sugar level as a glass of Coke. This should be on top of your head when picking wines with low sugar content. This factor also reminds you not to mix sugar with this high-sugar wine.
3. Sugar in wine is called residual sugar
When wine labels say the drink has sugar, it does not necessarily mean that sugar has been added to it. Residual sugar is naturally-occurring sugar in wine grapes that are essential for fermentation. It is a by-product of the wine-making process.
Topics about wine and sugar bring insightful discussions in forums. So, what wine has the least sugar, really?
On top of our list are the red wines, which contain less than a gram of residual sugar per pour. Reds are found to have the highest health benefits among all kinds of wine, thanks to their high antioxidant properties and low sugar level.
But if you think your wine isn’t as sweet as your liking, feel free to add a pinch of sugar to it. You can also pair it with sweet desserts like cakes, ice cream, and brownies. Your wine, your rules!
1 thought on “10 Wines That Have The Least Sugar”
Excellent source of information!
I’d love to know more, like what brands you’d recommend in some of the drier red wines.