Sparkling Wine in a Low-Sugar Diet: Is it a Good Idea?

30th September 2021

Sugar Levels in Champagne

Is your everyday meal incomplete without a glass of wine? Then giving it up would be painful. We believe you’re here looking for an effective way to have some wine in your low-sugar diet. And the first thought that came to your mind is, “Would sparkling wine be a good idea?”

Well, you must have heard that sparkling wine is better for you than regular wine. And if it is true, then it might be a good option for low-sugar diets as well. Let’s find out!

What Makes Sparkling Wine Different from Regular Wine?

The biggest and most evident difference between sparkling wine and regular wine is that sparkling wine is carbonated and so it is sparkling while regular or still wine is not. Sparkling wine has a specific level of carbon dioxide dissolved in it that makes it bubbly.

Sparkling wine uses almost the same making process as regular wine. The difference within the processes takes place during the second fermentation. This is when the mixture of still wine gets two additional ingredients: yeast and sugar. These two ingredients are the main agents behind the formation of bubbles in sparkling wine.

Both sparkling and still wines are available in different flavors depending on the fruit used in their preparation. Though grapes are the signature fruit for wines, other fruits such as apple, strawberry, citrus, and pears are also used as alternatives to grapes to achieve variations in taste.

Is Sparkling Wine Sugar-Free?

Wine is derived from natural sugar; in fact, all types of alcohol are. Sugar is an inevitable ingredient in the production of alcoholic drinks. In both sparkling and still wine, the sugar comes from the key fruit, which is usually grape.

The natural sugar in the grape or other fruits is converted into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide during the production of sparkling wine. However, the artificially added sugar content exceeds the natural sugar in sparkling wine depending on the type and brand.

Therefore, it is apparent that sparkling wine is not sugar-free. Though the sugar content varies with the type and brand, wine can’t be completely sugar-free.

How Much Sugar Does a Glass of Sparkling Wine Have?

If you’re concerned about calorie intake, we have some good news for you. Sparkling wine has fewer calorie intake than still wine. However, if your concern is only the sugar intake, it varies with the type of sparkling wine.

First things first: You must avoid sweet sparkling wine if you want to cut down your sugar intake. Go for the driest options for the least sugar content. For your convenience, we will list below some of the driest options of sparkling wine along with their sugar level per 5 oz.

Brut Nature Sparkling Wine

It is the driest sparkling wine type with the least sweet bubbly. Five ounces of brut nature sparkling wine will have about half a gram of sugar. It is the least sugar content you will find in a glass of sparkling wine.

Brut Sparkling Wine

This is undeniably the most common sparkling wine type. A brut sparkling wine will have less than 2 grams of sugar per 5 oz, which is equal to about half a teaspoon. Therefore, it is not less in sugar than the brut nature sparkling wine but is still less than most other sparkling wine types.

Dry Sparkling Wine

You might get conned by the name of dry sparkling wine, assuming it is the driest. But that’s not true. Five ounces of dry sparkling wine has about 5 grams of sugar, that is, about a teaspoon or even a bit more. That’s why it’s not the best choice for pairing with a low-sugar diet.

Factors Affecting the Sugar Level in Sparkling Wine

Apart from the type and brand of sparkling wine, several other factors contribute to the level of sugar it contains. Such as the natural sugar content of the fruit through which the wine is produced. Moreover, the time of the year the fruit is harvested for wine production also plays a role here.

Because the riper the fruit, the more the sugar content. That is, grapes that are harvested later in the season are riper, sweeter, and more resinated than the ones that are harvested earlier. Riper fruits have more concentrated sweetness, and so the wine from them will be higher in residual sugar.

Besides that, usually in most sparkling wines, extra sugar is added after the preparation and a specific time of preservation to reduce the bitterness. However, apart from that extra added sugar, several other brands add various sweeteners as well.

While cheap and low-quality brands add sweeteners that are high in calories, good sparkling wine brands opt for the best monkfruit sweetener, which is low-calorie.

Does the Sugar in Sparkling Wine Affect Health?

Before worrying about the sugar content in sparkling wine, you should first know whether it is even anything to worry about. The good news is the sugar content in sparkling wine is not harmful to the health as it is mostly natural.

However, if there is anything of a sparkling wine that can be harmful to human health, it is alcohol. If your sparkling wine is high in alcohol, it will increase the risk of several fatal diseases especially, cancer.

That is why the alcohol content of the sparkling wine is a more concerning factor than the sugar content.

How to Fit Sparkling Wine into a Low-Sugar Diet

If you don’t want to cut down the wine for your low-sugar diet, go for sparkling wine that contains the least levels of sugar. And make sure you’re buying a sparkling wine rich in quality and fame. Because poor-quality sparkling wines might have different additives that are high in calories.

Moreover, watch out for the meals that you pair up with the sparkling wine too. Your food pairings with sparkling wine play an important role in your total sugar intake at a time. Thus, make sure you’re having more salads and vegetables with sparkling wine.

Besides, not to mention, it is also essential to keep track of the amount of sparkling wine you’re ingesting per day. It is better not to exceed more than 5 ounces of sparkling wine a day to maintain a balanced sugar level.

Perhaps you can cut off any other sugar element of the meal such as dessert, have your sparkling wine to replace that.

How to Choose a Quality Low-Sugar Sparkling Wine

If you want to focus more on healthier options by controlling both your sugar and calorie intake, buy sparkling wines that are of well-known and renowned brands. Cheap brands might serve you with wine containing more additives and sulfites.

Besides that, opt for sparkling wines with the least alcohol content. Remember that alcohol derives from sugar and is high in calories along with being detrimental to health.

That is why the lesser the alcohol content, the healthier the sparkling wine. Brut nature sparkling wines and brut sparkling wines are the best low-sugar options to go for.

Final Words

Don’t cut off your favorite drink just to cut off your sugar intake. Drinking low-sugar brut sparkling wine instead of still wine is a great idea. If you’re planning to replace it with your regular wine, go for it! It’s totally worth it and a smart decision.

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