• What can you do to avoid hitting the bottle since excess drinking also implies excess calories/sugar intake? Should you worry about the sugar content of the wines you buy? Zoom in on wine sugars and possible strategies to become a smart drinker.

    According to Éduc’alcool, men should limit their wine consumption to 3 glasses a day (for a maximum of 15 per week), while women should limit their consumption to 2 glasses a day (for a maximum of 10 per week). Don’t forget that a standard glass of wine is the equivalent of 140 ml.

    Nowadays, more and more people are worried about the sugar content of foods. Whether you are simply interested or must verify for health reasons (for example diabetics), you can now know the quantity of residual sugar contained in wines. Indeed, this information can be found in the detailed info section of wines on SAQ (Société d’alcool du Québec)’s website..

    What Do We Mean by Residual Sugar?

    When fermenting, the sugar of grape juice is converted into alcohol. However, not all sugars are transformed. Residual sugars therefore represent the natural grape sugar left in wine after the fermentation process. This concentration is measured in grams per liters of wine.

    You should not solely rely on the taste nor on the taste profiles of wines since the acidity neutralizes the sweetness. However, there’s no need to read each wine description to know the sugar content. Instead, check out the type of wine. Here are the reference values:

    Sugar Levels of Wines

    • Dry wine: 0 to 4 g/L
    • Semi-dry wine: 4.1 to 12 g/L
    • Semi-sweet wine: 12.1 to 50 g/L
    • Sweet wine: > 50 g/L

    Comparative table of sugar levels in wines

    Sugar level (g/L)Quantity of sugar (g) per 140 ml of wine (1 glass)Approximative equivalent amount in teaspoons (4 grams of sugar)
    Gallo White Zinfandel39.005.501 1/2
    Le Pive Gris Sable de Camargues1.200.170.04
    Kim Crawford (Sauvignon Blanc)4.900.701/6
    Wallaroo Trail Chardonnay6.800.950.238
    Bù Splendido Chardonnay-Fiano2.70 0.380.09
    Albert Bichot Bourgogne Aligoté1.200.170.04
    Barefoot Pinot Grigio9.501.301/3
    Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages2.100.300.10
    Smoky Bay Cabernet-Sauvignon Réserve5.600.780.196
    Red Revolution10.001.400.35
    Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet14.002.000.50
    Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut10.001.680.42
    JP Chenet Brut blanc de blancs12.001.700.50
    Cantine Imperatore Veritas 20191.200.170.04
    Solara Natural Recas 20191.70.240.06
    Silvio Messana Bianco1.200.170.04

    Considering the data listed above, we can see that a glass of wine rarely contains more than a teaspoon of sugar, which is about 8 times less than a soft drink can. Plus, the idea of white and rosé wines being sweeter than red ones is a myth. Indeed, there are huge variations present in each type of wine.

    If you’re looking for something less sweet, choose a dry wine. There’s a common misconception that rosé wines are much sweeter than red wines. Yet nothing could be more untrue. Indeed, as shown in the previous chart, there are dry rosé wines available just like there are sweet red wines. In any case, simply remember that moderation always tastes better.

    Tips to Drink Less Wine

    • Alternate between a glass of wine and an alcohol-free beverage with no calories (for example a tall glass of water or sparkling water with fresh fruits and herbs).
    • Drink wine when you appreciate it most. For example, if you like to enjoy a glass of wine during your meal, drink an alcohol-free beverage as an aperitif. This way, you won’t be drinking the whole evening and it should be easier to avoid excess.
    • Drink slowly and enjoy each sip. This is the best tip for a moderate consumption!