If you’re focused on eating healthy, it can feel a little overwhelming trying to find wines that are low in sugar AND pair well with your healthy meals. It doesn’t need to be difficult, though, if you follow the same pairing standards you use with most other foods. Let’s look at a few of the common foods dieticians and nutritionists encourage you to eat as part of a healthy diet and the low sugar wines that work well with them.
Everyone needs protein. It’s essential for building and maintaining muscle mass, as well as giving you energy and moving oxygen throughout your body. Many people get most of their protein from meat. Any conversation about meat in a healthy diet always includes mention of turkey, chicken, and fish. These are good choices because they’re typically lower in calories and they’re low in saturated fat.
They’re also good options for wine pairing because they are fairly neutrally flavored. Some fish are the exception to the rule, but typically they take on the flavor of any seasonings or sauces used. When you’re pairing wine with these foods, you can use the sauce or seasoning as a guide to what wine to pair it with. If you’re doing a lighter, creamier sauce, or light seasonings, go with a dry white wine, like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. If you’re doing a red sauce like tomato or barbeque, try a dry red wine like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Zinfandel.
Beans and lentils are great sources of protein as well, and generally take on many of the flavors of the foods they’re served with, much like chicken and turkey. They do tend to have more of an earthy note than meats do, so wines with the same earthy notes are great to serve with them. Pinot Noir is one of the big earthy red wines, as well as Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. If you’re looking for a white wine, try something with more of an herbal note, like Gruner Veltliner or Sauvignon Blanc.
Vegetables are another important part of a healthy diet. These can seem tricky to pair, but there are a few easy pairings that are sure winners. Tomatoes and Sangiovese are an easy match, with both being relatively acidic. Stick with lighter bodied reds for dark leafy greens, and crisp, herbal whites for lighter greens. You can also try a dry sparkling wine with many vegetable dishes.
Yes, you read that right- we included dark chocolate on this list! It’s important to treat yourself from time to time and dark chocolate is often considered one of the healthier desserts because of its low sugar content and antioxidants. Feel free to add some fruit to the dark chocolate for a little added sweetness. Zinfandels, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Gamays are all good choices.
You can really can include wine in your healthy diet with just a little bit of planning and a focus on dry wines.