Keto Friendly Red Wines

Keto-friendly red wines are a real thing, and they can seriously boost your motivation on keto. How exactly? 

Well, just imagine yourself enjoying a glass of good wine (keto-friendly), paired with some delicious cheese (also keto-friendly) and maybe a few slices of cured meat like jamón (you guessed it—keto-friendly). All while staying in ketosis and reaping all its benefits


Sounds like something you probably wouldn’t expect to enjoy on such a strict diet like keto, right? 


Keep reading to learn the details! 

What makes a wine keto-friendly?

The only parameter that defines if a wine is allowed on the keto diet is its residual sugar (RS) content. In a nutshell, that’s the grape sugar left in the drink after the fermentation process. 

The more fermented a wine is, the lower its residual sugar content. 

That’s exactly what makes a wine dry! 


As a rule, most bone-dry wines have an RS content lower than 0.5% while dry wines are between 0.5 and 1%. 


In other words, most dry wines should be fine on keto, but you’d better check their carb content just in case. In this post, we’ll take a look at the best red wine options on the keto diet, along with delicious food combinations you can enjoy.

Keto-friendly red wines and perfect low-carb pairings

Pinot Noir 

About 3.4 g of sugar in one serving (5 oz / 150 ml) 


Pinot Noir wine is among the most versatile red wines in existence, and it’s exceptionally keto-friendly as well. No matter what kind of meal you prepare, most likely it will go just fine with a glass of high-quality pinot. 


Not too dry, not too sweet; not too strong, not too smooth. Standing somewhere in the perfect middle in all aspects, Pinot Noir wine is a must-have at all times in a refined home. 


Food pairing: 

- Duck and chicken 

- Rabbit 

- Lamb 

- Fatty fish like salmon 


Cheese pairing: 

- Gruyere 

- Taleggio 

- Brie 

- Camembert 



About 3.6 g of sugar in one serving (5 oz / 150 ml) 


A generally fruity wine with a smooth taste, Tempranillo is most often produced in Spain and most often paired with either Spanish or Latin-American food. For instance, about any dish from the Mexican cuisine should taste amazing with a glass of Tempranillo. 


Food pairing: 

- Grilled meat 

- Smoked meat 

- Spanish and Mexican food 


Cheese pairing: 

Most often paired with Spanish cheeses like Mahon, Artisan Raw Milk Manchego, and Zamorano. 



About 3.79 g of sugar in one serving (5 oz / 150 ml) 


Merlot wine is even more universal than Pinot Noir. Featuring a smooth, mild taste, it will pair well with about anything with a similar level of intensity. Nothing too intense, nothing too delicate, look for the ”just right” kind of foods to enjoy this keto-friendly red wine in all its glory. 


Food pairing: 

- Chicken, duck, turkey 

- Lightly-spiced red meat 

- Fatty fish (like salmon) 


Cheese pairing: 

- Monterey Jack 

- Mozzarella 

- Gouda 


Shiraz (Syrah) 

About 3.79 g of sugar in one serving (5 oz / 150 ml) 


Shiraz is a robust full-bodied wine that features a vibrant bouquet of fruity flavor with a spicy aftertaste. As a result, the simple trick to enjoy this wine in its full excellence is to pair it with equally bold and strong-tasting foods that will bring out the delicate undertones of the drink. 


Spices, herbs, unique mixes, any original dish you could think about—all of this will likely pair with a glass of Shiraz wine. 


Food pairing: 

- Grilled fatty meat like pork or lamb 

- Spiced meat, including exotic dishes 


Cheese pairing: 

- Smoked cheese (try smoked gouda, for example) 

- Blue cheese 


Cabernet Sauvignon 

About 3.82 g of sugar in one serving (5 oz / 150 ml) 


Luckily, one of the most famous and loved red wines in the world is generally keto-friendly! 


To fully enjoy a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon for dinner, avoid delicate dishes and spicy food, as these don’t pair well with this bold drink. 


Instead, opt for something extra fatty, maybe with a sauce based on heavy cream or organic butter. Fats and proteins balance the tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon, making its taste smoother and allowing more fruity notes to emerge. 


Food pairing: 

- Fatty red meat (lamb, for example) 

- Meat dishes with fatty sauces 


Cheese pairing: 

- Cheddar 

- Brie 

- Mozzarella 



About 3.85 g of sugar in one serving (5 oz / 150 ml) 


Sangiovese got its name from the Latin ”sanguis Jovis,” meaning ”blood of Jupiter.” Although this keto-friendly red wine is not too aromatic, it features a strong taste with notes of dark cherry, dried herbs, tea leaves, and earthy aromas. 


Thanks to its high acidity, this wine is generally paired well with any kind of meat (especially grilled) and all well-spiced dishes. 


Food pairing: 

- Roasted and grilled meat 

- Cured meat 


Cheese pairing: 

- Aged Asiago 

- Aged Pecorino Toscano 

- Grana Padano Stravecchio 

- Cheddar 



About 4 g of sugar in one serving (5 oz / 150 ml) 

The high-intensity flavor of Grenache wine can be described as spicy and berry-flavored. Since this wine is made from a variety of grapes that are naturally rich in sugar, the resulting drink often contains an above-average alcohol content (often higher than 15% ABV). 


Food pairing: 

- Barbecued, grilled, stewed meat 

- Generously spiced vegetables and meat 


Cheese pairing: 

- Emmental 

- Cojack 

- Camembert 

- Gruyere 



About 4.1 g of sugar in one serving (5 oz / 150 ml) 


Malbec is a fabulous keto-friendly red wine option for when you’re in the mood for something darker and smoother. Featuring an above-average alcohol content (13.5-15% ABV), this variety of wine has fruity main notes with a kinda-chocolate finish. 


Food pairing: 

- Leaner red meat 

- Turkey 

- Mushroom sauces 


Cheese pairing: 

- Melted cheese in general 

- Blue cheese 



About 4.2 g of sugar in one serving (5 oz / 150 ml) 


Out of all the keto-friendly red wines, Zinfandel is one of the most exotic drinks to the taste of many people. 


What starts as a bold red fruit flavor eventually ends on smoky and spicy notes resembling cinnamon. Combine that with the fact that most Zinfandels have a rather high alcohol content, and you’ll understand why Zin isn’t for everyone. Give it a try to see if it’s your kind of wine! 


Meat pairing: 

- Beef 

- Lamb 

- Pork 

- Barbecued meat 


Cheese pairing: 

- Blue cheese 

- Aged Gruyere 

- Cheddar- Parmesan 


Being on the keto diet doesn’t mean you’ll have to avoid all the joys and delicacies of life altogether. Not at all!There’s a bit of a learning curve to anything on keto, but equipped with the right knowledge you’ll be able to enjoy a glass of delicious keto-friendly red wine every once in a while.Just make sure to drink responsibly and stay under your daily carb limit at all times.


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