What Wine Can I Drink?

Michel-Chapoutier

When I talk to people about their weekly Food Diary (such a simple, yet immensely powerful tool we use for Weight Loss Success) we inevitably get onto the delicate subject of alcohol.

After looking into this topic in more depth over the last 3 or 4 years I now feel far more confident in passing on what I have learnt and also sharing my own experience of being able to enjoy a glass of wine regularly whilst still managing to lose body fat, shed pounds and ultimately control my weight effectively.

Understanding how wine is made has also helped, thanks in large part to Antony Davis of the Mentzendorff Wine House, who hosts regular, highly informative wine tasting events at Altered Images.

The simple key is the Residual Sugar (RS) level of the wine which means that a wine you feel has a deep, rich flavour may have reached that “finish” by the use of added sugar, as opposed to the longer but natural preparation process to achieve a smoother finish and taste.

As some general advice, if you find a wine with an RS level of 10 or below, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a glass of that wine every evening with your dinner and still stay on track with weight loss.  I know this is absolutely true as I have followed this same system myself where I changed my breakfast routine, eliminated high-sugar content carbs (white rice, white pasta, white bread) in favour of lower- sugar content ones (lentils and pulses) yet still  had a glass of Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc with dinner.

My first two grape varieties (Pinot Noir & Sauvignon Blanc) were used as more of a generalisation at the start of my understanding of sugar levels, however what I have learned subsequently is that when wine is made properly – and not rushed to the supermarket – it tends to be aged correctly; the inherent flavours are allowed to ‘finish’ so they taste smooth, full, fruity even ‘cheeky’ but all done naturally without the ‘air-brushing effect’ sugar often has on wine. This widens the number of grape vaieties you can enjoy as long as you apply the sub 10 RS rule.

Typically a number of non-supermarket wines (made more traditionally following the Lunar or Biodynamic approach to producing) tend to be a little more expensive. For instance varieties like Chapoutier’s entry level wines are in the region of £8-£9 per bottle and have featured in our most recent wine tasting events and these are low sugar and eminently drinkable!

What this demonstrates is perhaps not surprising. If you look at many French people, they don’t tend to be particularly overweight yet they still enjoy wine on a daily basis, so perhaps the key is what wine they are drinking, rather than the fact they are drinking wine at all?

My personal opinion is a resounding YES and I’m sure many of you will be pleased even relieved to hear that!

If you choose the right wine with a lower Residual Sugar content (ie under 10) you can enjoy your wine AND still remain healthy and lose weight.

PS – For anyone interested to learn more about Lunar Wine Production or Biodynamic Viticulture (to give it it’s proper name) and which wine producers use this method,  Google and Wikipedia are a great source of information and you will see Chapoutier mentioned and indeed Chapoutier have a very good website with information about Bio wines.

If you enjoyed reading this article you may also like to read our previous post on how running can be fun.