Those with diabetes may often run into social dilemmas of being offered a glass of wine, leaving many to wonder, “What is the protocol for drinking wine when you have diabetes?”.  How much is too much, what types are healthier and why, all answered by Doris Hobbs of Rich in Love, a fellow diabetes patient and wine aficionado.

Raising a glass for an afternoon of wine tasting in historic Napa Valley embodies a flight of Cabernets, fruity Merlots, and buttery Chardonnays from the 400-plus wineries that surround the fertile soils. Wine consumption is still seen today as a sophisticated experience even for those who struggle with diabetes. In the year 2015 in honor of World Diabetes Days (WDD) Delaney Blue Wine raised money for diabetes awareness in honor of a young woman with type one. This only ascertains that both wine and diabetes can blend harmoniously. The Napa Valley is fruity providing those with diabetes, a life-threatening diagnosis the opportunity to enjoy such an elegant past time through wine tasting. 

While some will contend that drinking alcohol in combination of being a diabetic isn’t the healthiest choice, however many will find a number of health benefits from doing so. Medical studies have linked wine to lowering blood pressure and higher HDL (“good“) cholesterol, better insulin sensitivity, and a reduced risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Perhaps a day spent wine tasting in Napa shouldn’t be overlooked on the account of diabetes.

Of course, I am not a medical expert however I am a type 1 diabetic and would certainly recommend you consulting with your primary physician before engaging in such an activity.

The question of how much you should drink is often debated. However, generally speaking, men are recommended to drink no more than two glasses a day while women are advised to consume one. A 5-ounce glass has about 120 calories, almost all from alcohol (not the carbs), which is stored as fat. It’s also important to note that any type of alcoholic beverage can affect blood glucose levels and may interact with diabetes medications.

Diabetes is a balancing act. Between food, exercise, and hormones and many are constantly chasing that elusive 100 mg/dl on their meter. This raises the question, what can you drink as a diabetic? Red wine specifically dry red wines are very low in sugar content, and beneficial to those with diabetes. There has also been some recent research that suggests that drinking dry red wine in moderation can be a benefit as the active agent in red wine is Resveratrol. This is a chemical found in the skins of grapes that has been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease. It is also an anti-inflammatory agent, and Resveratrol has been found to lowered blood glucose levels.

For those who are seeking an afternoon of wine tasting with a low sugar intake should explore the following selection listed below:

Sterling Vintner’s Pinot Noir

Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon

Black Opal Cabernet Merlot

Vin de Pays d’Oc Syrah


As a helpful tip, always ask your sommelier which wines have higher alcohol content as these will be the best choices and contain lower sugar content. You may wonder why these choices, it’s because the sugar gets converted to alcohol during fermenting. The sugar left behind after fermenting produces the sweetness in the wine allowing you to grab a glass, and get tasting.


About Doris Hobbs: A San Francisco based Luxury Spokesmodel, Image Consultant, Contributing Editor, Key-Note Speaker, and Diabetes Advocate, Doris Hobbs is a creative visionary, accomplished entrepreneur, and fashion doyenne who has forged an unprecedented path in building her brand. Named by Diablo Magazine as “Best of the East Bay” as well as featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, InStyle Magazine, and CBS television. Doris has become a prominent public figure for her sought-after approach to refashioning diabetes in luxury and glamour.