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Which wine is best for diabetics?

Choosing the right wine can be tricky for people with diabetes. The key is to find options that are low in carbs and sugars. Dry wines like sauvignon blanc and brut champagne tend to be good options. Sweeter wines like moscato and ice wine should be avoided.

What should diabetics look for in a wine?

When shopping for wine, diabetics should prioritize:

  • Dryness – Dry wines have little to no residual sugar left after fermentation. Look for terms like “dry,” “brut,” or “sec” on the label.
  • Carb content – Most dry wines have under 5g carbs per 5oz serving. Focus on low carb options.
  • Alcohol content – Some studies show lower alcohol wines may have slightly less impact on blood sugar.
  • Sulfite content – Sulfites help stabilize wines but some people are sensitive. Opt for low-sulfite wines if needed.

In general, clear, dry wines are better options than sweet, high-sugar ones. Sparkling wines like brut champagne tend to be very dry with minimal carbs.

What wines should diabetics avoid?

The wines that diabetics should stay away from include:

  • Sweet wines – These contain high amounts of residual sugar. Examples are moscato, ice wine, and late harvest Riesling.
  • Fortified wines – These “dessert” wines like port, sherry, and Madeira are high in alcohol and carbs.
  • Cheap sweet wines – Inexpensive brands often load up on sugar to mask flaws. Read labels carefully.
  • Flavored wines – Any wine with added flavors like peach, pomegranate, or citrus tends to have extra sugars.

Checking the carb counts on labels is the best way to identify “danger” wines for diabetics. As a general rule, the sweeter the wine, the more sugar it has.

What are the best white wines for diabetics?

The best low-sugar white wine varietals for diabetics include:

  • Sauvignon blanc – Crisp, dry, and very low carb. Great choice.
  • Pinot grigio – Light-bodied Italian white that’s usually dry.
  • Chardonnay – Look for unoaked, steel-fermented styles for minimal carbs.
  • Riesling – German Rieslings are sweet but Alsatian and Austrian styles tend to be very dry.
  • Prosecco – Italian sparkling wine that’s made in a dry style.

Dry Sauvignon blancs from New Zealand and France are smart picks. Steel-fermented Chardonnay and Austrian Riesling are also safe bets.

Carb counts in popular white wines

Wine Carbs (g)
Sauvignon blanc (5 oz) 2.7
Chardonnay (5 oz) 3.8
Riesling, dry (5 oz) 1.5
Pinot grigio (5 oz) 3.2
Moscato (5 oz) 16.4

What are the best red wines for diabetics?

Recommended low-sugar red wines include:

  • Pinot noir – Light, cherry-flavored red that’s low carb when dry.
  • Beaujolais – Made from Gamay, Beaujolais is light, fruity, and low carb.
  • Merlot – Can be dry or semi-dry. Choose dry styles with no oak flavor.
  • Cabernet sauvignon – Full-bodied but lower sugar than many reds.
  • Chianti – Italian wine from Tuscany; can be dry and smooth.

Lighter reds like Pinot noir and Gamay-based Beaujolais are smart options. Dry Merlot and Cabernet from cooler regions also fit the bill.

Carb counts in popular red wines

Wine Carbs (g)
Pinot noir (5 oz) 3.4
Beaujolais (5 oz) 2.9
Merlot (5 oz) 3.7
Cabernet (5 oz) 4.1
Port (5 oz) 18.5

Which sparkling wines are best for diabetics?

The best bubbly options include:

  • Champagne – Opt for brut or extra brut styles, which are bone dry.
  • Prosecco – Italian sparkler made in a dry style.
  • Cava – Spanish sparkling wine that can be very dry.
  • Sparkling sauvignon blanc – Tend to have minimal added sugars.

Real champagne from France is the gold standard – brut and extra brut champagnes have less than 1.5g carbs per glass! Prosecco and Cava also have modest carbs if served dry.

Carb counts in popular sparkling wines

Wine Carbs (g)
Champagne, Brut (5 oz) 1.2
Prosecco (5 oz) 2.5
Cava (5 oz) 2.3
Moscato d’Asti (5 oz) 8.1

How can diabetics enjoy wine safely?

Tips for enjoying wine with diabetes:

  • Stick to one 5oz glass per day max
  • Drink wine with food to blunt blood sugar spikes
  • Select wines with lower alcohol
  • Avoid sweet, high-carb wines
  • Check labels for carb counts
  • Monitor blood sugar closely after drinking
  • Discuss wine with your doctor

Sipping dry wines conservatively, with meals, and under a doctor’s guidance can allow diabetics to enjoy wine safely. Monitoring blood sugar and avoiding high carb options are key.


Choosing lower carb, dryer style wines allows diabetics to enjoy an occasional glass of wine. The best options are lighter dry whites (Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay), light dry reds (Pinot noir, Beaujolais), and brut styles of sparkling wine.

Diabetics should stay away from sweet, high-sugar wines like moscato, port, and budget sweet wines. Carefully monitoring carb counts, total alcohol, and blood sugar levels after drinking allows diabetics to safely incorporate wine in moderation into their diet.