Pacific Rim
October 11, 2022 | wine | Pacific Rim

How Much Sugar is In Red Wine?

According to a recent study by the International Food Information Council, nearly 74% of consumers today are working to limit the amount of sugar they take in each day. There’s a good reason for many to be concerned, too. Consuming added sugar can easily lead to ongoing health concerns like weight gain, obesity, and even heart disease. To live longer, better lives, most people need to cut the amount of sugar they consume. Does that necessarily mean cutting out that evening glass of red wine, though? After all, how much sugar is in red wine? And can it really increase your sugar intake that much? Find out.

How Much Sugar is in a Glass of Red Wine?

Sugar goes hand in hand with wine production. Without sugar, you simply cannot make wine because ripe grapes naturally contain sugar. In the process of moving from grapes to wine, most of the sugars are converted to alcohol, but there’s always some residual sugar that remains, and that’s the source of concern for many. 

How much sugar is in red wine? Knowing the sugar content in any given wine is a little complex, and winemakers aren’t required to list nutritional information on the label. Fortunately, though, you can estimate how much sugar is in red wine. Any wine that is described as dry means a liter contains less than 10 grams of residual sugar. Sweet wines tend to have more than 30 grams of residual sugar. 

How do those numbers translate to your evening glass of red wine? While it varies by type, this information may help. One five-ounce glass of your favorite Pinot Noir contains a single gram of sugar. And in a glass of Merlot–also just a gram of sugar. 

White wines also contain residual sugars, and in many cases, they contain quite a bit more. A dry white wine might contain just 1.4 grams of sugar per glass, but a much sweeter variety could easily swell to 20 grams per glass. 

All Sugars Are Not Equal

In the discussion of sugar in wine, though, it must be noted that naturally occurring sugars, like those in grapes, are not equal to added sugar. There are naturally occurring sugars in many foods including fruit, milk, and some vegetables. Those natural sugars usually aren’t a concern for many who are trying to watch their own personal sugar intake. Because wine is a product of fruit, it typically only contains the natural sugars that are good for you. While there are some producers who add sugar to wines, it’s a fairly rare process. 

How much sugar is in red wine? If you’re working to create a low-sugar diet, don’t give up your evening glass of red wine. Many nutritionists will tell you that a glass of red wine with a serving size of five ounces is ideal, even on a low-sugar diet.

Looking for more information on everything wine-related, read more on our blog!


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