Love a Glass of Wine? Choose One with Less Sugar

Stroll through a wine shop and you'll see many varieties. Reds, whites, blush, different countries of origin and a wide variation in cost. 
What I like to think about, as I do with all food choices, is sugar content.  Sugar is the bad guy when it comes to health. It causes inflammation and when you look at the epidemic of heart disease and Type II diabetes in the US, you know it can have serious health implications. 
The sugar in wines comes first from the sugar in grapes it is made from. Yeast is added to ferment the grapes. The longer the fermentation, the lower the remaining sugar.  These wines are known as dry wines and come in both reds and whites. Yu can translate the grams to teaspoons by dividing grams by 4.

  • Dry Wines: Both reds and whites will tend to be lower in residual sugar levels, weighing in at 0.1-0.3 percent sugar per liter (or 1 to 3 grams of sugar per liter of wine).

  • Semi- or Off-Dry Wines: These wines are in the middle, with sugar amounts falling between dry and sweet wines. Typically, these wines have a residual sugar range up to 1 to 3 percent sugar (or 10 to 30 grams of sugar per liter). Because of this, semi- or off-dry wines are a little sweeter on the palate.

  • Champagne: If you like sparkling wines, opt for extra dry, brut or extra brut sparkling wine and Champagne. The residual sugar levels will be in the 0.6 - 2.0 percent sugar per liter range (or 6 to 20 grams of sugar per liter of wine), with extra brut being the driest wine and lowest in sugar content.

  • Harvest Wines: While certainly known for being a sweet treat, and often served as dessert, harvest wines or nouveau can run as high as 20 plus percent residual sugar amounting to 200 grams (or more) of sugar per liter.






pinot noir





sauvignon blanc




High Sugar Content


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dessert wines