Can Diabetics Drink Wine? 

Last Updated: August 17th, 2021

So, can diabetics drink wine? We are getting so many questions about whether diabetics can drink wine. The shortest possible answer is yes with a huge ‘but’ wrapped up around it.

If you are a diabetic, you can drink wine as long as you are aware of the side effects and how you can drink it in the right way. 

We are here to show you how moderate drinking of the right wines can save, even improve your health and decrease the symptoms of diabetes. 

Can diabetics drink wine despite the sugar in it?  

Besides alcohol, sugar in wine brings up the most questions about whether you should drink wine if you have diabetes. Wine does contain sugar which is residual, and it’s just a mandatory part of the wine. Sugars in grapes are naturally occurring and during fermentation, they are eaten by the yeast and turned into ethanol – the alcohol, as a by-product during the fermentation process. 

During the production of dry red wines, the yeast eats all the sugars in grapes. That’s why dry wines have lower residual sugar levels, ranging from 1 to 3 grams per litre of wine which makes it safe for drinking if you are fighting with sugar in blood.

There are also wines where yeast hasn’t eaten all the sugar such as dessert and fortified wines, making them significantly loaded with sweetness. They are the ones you should definitely avoid.

But the good news is that you don’t have to quit on fine wine, as you can choose wine low in sugar such as dry or sparkling wines.

On Pull The Cork, we have a wide selection of low sugar wine and you should try natural wine which is perfect for anybody but especially for those who struggle with sugar in the blood. 

Popular dry red wines and grape blends

Pull The Cork Recommends: Luddite Saboteur, Garnacha & Zinfandel 

Luddite Saboteur Red Blend 2016

Las Carlinas Old Vine Garnacha 2017

Peter Franus Red Hills Lake County Zinfandel 2013

Popular dry white wines and grape blends 

Pull the Cork Favourites

  • Francois Cartier Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2018
  • Tokara Chardonnay 2018
  • The Raconteur Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2019

Domaine François Cartier Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Tokara Chardonnay 2018

Diabetics can drink sparkling wines

Besides dry red and white wines, you can drink sparkling wines as well as pet nat wine. They are also lower in sugar, and there are 6 to 20 grams of sugar per litre of wine. Also, sparkling wines with the lowest sugar levels are extra dry sparkling wines and you can drink them moderately without worry. 

Is red wine good for diabetics? 

Short answer: yes. Red wine is loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols (find out more about the health benefits of wine), and is low in sugar which won’t raise your blood sugar. 

Also, drinking a glass of wine per day can reduce the risks of heart disease if you have well-controlled type 2 diabetes, as concluded in a study about moderate alcohol intake. Benefits of drinking red wine if you have diabetes include improved post-meal blood sugar levels and improved insulin resistance. The same study also points out that components of red wine, like polyphenols, are the ones that bring all the benefits. Opt also for low alcohol wine.

Can diabetics drink wine safely?

As you are probably aware, small amounts of alcohol may cause your blood sugar to rise but excess alcohol can actually decrease your blood sugar level causing it to drop into dangerous levels, especially if you suffer from type 1 diabetes. 

So, the recommendation is to check blood sugar before you drink, while you drink, and monitor it for up to 24 hours after drinking. If drinking wine makes you feel dizzy or weak, stop drinking right away. 

Can diabetics drink wine?

The best recipe lies in moderation. Two glasses of wine are sufficient for your condition. Plus, for diabetics, it is recommended to always eat while you drink. 

Which wine you drink matters as well. Some wines give you a headache while others can seriously increase the levels of sugar in your blood. That’s why it is important to read the labels and choose those types that are more suitable for your health condition. 

Learn more about sulphite free wine and how sulphites can affect your possible hangover.

Which wines should you avoid if you have diabetes? 

Sugar and alcohol in wine can make your condition worse especially if you are taking medication. Plus, if you are unaware of diabetes you can fail to recognise intoxication from a low blood sugar that shares many of the same symptoms, and reach hypoglycemia, a dangerously low level of blood sugar.

You can avoid all this if you choose the right low sugar wines, and definitely avoid the ones high in sugar.  

Learn more about the sugar content in wine.

What about dessert wines?

A sweet, dessert wine is the result of the yeast not eating all the sugar. That leaves the end product with less alcohol than dry red wine, but with 200 grams of sugar per litre, which is why you should definitely avoid this type of wine and opt for dry red wines with far less sugar in it. 

What about fortified wines?

Fortified wines can have 150 grams per litre, which means that if you choose to drink Port or Sherry, you can ingest a high 15 percent of residual sugar and you should avoid it as well. (To learn more about this type of wine and to understand what is fortified wine, browse our blog for more details about this topic.)

What about semi-dry wines? 

When it comes to semi-dry wines such as Rieslings or Chenin Blanc, there is also residual sugar that remains after the fermentation, but they have 10-50 grams of sugar per litre, and you can drink it moderately if you have diabetes. 

Pull The Cork Recommends

Villa Wolf Dry Riesling 2019

So, can diabetics drink wine? 

Still yes! Having diabetes shouldn’t get in the way of enjoying wine unless your doctor advises you otherwise. As long as you are aware of when and how you can drink as well as which types of wines you can drink carefree, you are good to go.

Opt for dry red and white ones as well as sparkling wines. They are low in sugar and will not increase the sugar level in your blood. One or two glasses of these will only do you good. Organic red wine benefits are many – organic wine is rich in beneficial compounds that can positively affect both your body and mind.

If you want to do more for yourself and your health, then you should also check our selection of organic wines and orange wine on sale which taste great and are completely naturally produced.


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