The Best Wines for the Keto Diet

What is the keto diet?

The ketogenic diet, or keto for short, is a meal planning system made up of three main components: eating foods that are high in fat, adequate in protein, and low in carbohydrates. 

The diet, made popular in the 1920s and 30s, was first used as a therapy for epilepsy in children. Russel Wilder from the Mayo Clinic was the first to use the term “ketogenic diet”. 

Ketosis [ ki-toh-sis ] noun 

  1. a metabolic state characterized by elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood or urine

Ketosis forces the body to burn fats rather than carbs. As your entire body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat, you burn more. When insulin levels drop very low, fat burning can increase dramatically. This helps you burn fat, feel less hungry, and maintain muscle.

There have been several studies on the positive health effects that the keto diet can have, including weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, and decreased risk of cardiovascular issues in women. 

 In general, it can promote good health, and it might also offer some protection against many diseases including diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease.  Always be sure to consult your doctor before starting a new diet. 

Entering ketosis

Ketosis usually kicks in about 3-4 days after eating fewer than 50 grams of carbs a day, although many diet plans are built around staying under 20 grams.

Tips for staying on track include: 

Food recommendations for the Keto diet

No one wants to give up delicious foods for the sake of a diet. So what foods can help you achieve ketosis with sacrificing flavor? The good news is a lot.  

Try these options:

  • Meat: red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken, turkey, jerk, wild game, and veal
  • Fatty fish: salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, and seafood
  • Eggs: pastured or omega-3 whole eggs
  • Cheese: unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds
  • Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
  • Low carb veggies: green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
  • Condiments: salt, pepper, herbs, and spices

For even more delicious suggestions, check out: 44 Healthy Low-Carb Foods That Taste Incredible.

But what about wine? 

Wine is naturally low-carb and can be enjoyed in moderation on the keto diet. But not all wines are equal when it comes to keto. Look for one that’s low in sugar and carbs; usually, that means one that is dryer rather than sweet. Sweet wines include Moscato, Port, and other dessert wines.

Avoid wines with higher alcohol levels like Shiraz, Pinotage, and Zinfandel. Look for wines that are low in sugar with an alcohol content that isn’t too high. Some of our favorites include:

2012 Byrd Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

This unique wine is a Double Gold Medal winner for a reason! With beautifully integrated aromas of cassis and dark chocolate lifting from the glass, just one smooth and silky sip will have you coming back for more. Bold flavors of racy black cherry, fresh-from-the-oven wild blackberry pie, and sweet French oak combined with silky yet powerful tannins make for a one-of-a-kind wine you’ve never experienced before.

  • Grapes
    • Mendocino Estate Grown
    • 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pairs with:
    • Beef, lamb, wild game, and poultry

2012 Byrd Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Fruity aromas open slowly in perfect sync with a fine meal and riveting conversation. Layers of red and black currants reveal flavors of warm spice and sweet vanilla. This bold, full-bodied wine leaves you with a lingering, lengthy finish.

  • Grapes
    • Mendocino Estate Grown
    • 95.5% Cabernet Sauvignon; 4.5% Merlot
  • Pair with:
    • Beef, lamb, wild game, and poultry

2012 Byrd Vineyard Red Wine

Hues of blue and purple going into red are reflected in the soil and the fruit. The last light of the day prismatically expands into layers of color and fruit, which are revealed in this wine, moving from aroma to finish uninterrupted

  • Grapes
    • Mendocino Estate Grown 
    • 82.2% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 5.5% Cabernet Franc; 12.3% Merlot
  • Pair with: 
    • Beef, wild game, and stinky cheeses

2010 Byrd Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

The subtly sweet aromas of berry and cocoa will swirl in the glass before you take a sip. Layered with notes of baking spices, black fruits, and graphite, this large-boned and intensely succulent wine taunts your palate with sinful flavors of blackberry, vanilla, and dark chocolate. It will leave you with a smooth, long finish.

  • Grapes
    • 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec
    • Aged in 50% new and 50% 1-year old French Oak
  • Pair with:
    • Beef, lamb, wild game, and poultry

Keep in mind

You will get intoxicated quicker when you are following the keto diet. This is because you are not eating as many carbohydrates. Carbs reduce the effects of alcohol. It takes about half of the amount of alcohol to experience the same effects you would feel if you were eating carbs.

Keto is wine friendly – just follow these tips

Wine on the keto diet is fine for most people when consumed in moderation. Look for varieties that are dry rather than sweet. Sugar levels are not usually disclosed on the bottle, but can sometimes be found online. Remember to drink a glass of water in between drinks, and don’t overindulge. Now, sit back and enjoy your wine.

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About Byrd

Bruce Byrd started Byrd Vineyard out of a love of making great wine by hand. Wine that everyone would enjoy while creating cherished memories. Check back often to learn more about his journey and wines.

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2009 Byrd Cabernet

Byrd’s vineyard is blessed with mountainous terrain: marine sediments, shale, sandstone, chert, and gravel, These are the highest-elevation vineyards in California. 

$45.00 | bottle

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