Sip strategically while staying on your diet.
The Keto diet allows you to lose weight while enjoying delicious food and wine. Simply put, the Keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that lowers blood sugar and insulin levels.
While you don’t have to completely abandon carbs, you do have to substantially reduce them and give up some favorites such as potatoes, pasta, bread and most alcoholic beverages. Fortunately, dry wines can be enjoyed in moderation and Keto- friendly foods happen to include some of the most classic food and wine pairings.
Whether you live in the Lowcountry or are just visiting, you can maintain your Keto diet with some of these delicious items served at local restaurants or easily prepared at home with fresh, local ingredients:
Local Shellfish with Crisp White Wine –
Shrimp, clams, oysters or mussels served in a butter sauce pair great with a Sauvignon Blanc with earthy, mineral notes. Look for wines from Bordeaux or the Loire Valley. Readily available and price friendly, Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre are great choices. Crab or shrimp salad piled on a bed of greens is another great choice. Zestier versions of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or Australia provide a delicious citrus and herbal complement to this meal.
Local Seasonal Fish with Whites and Rosé –
Seasonal “Catch of the Day’” favorites cobia, black drum and seabass have slightly firm textures and moderate flavors. Sautéed in butter, local fish pairs perfectly with a Washington State Pinot Grigio or crisp French Rosé. While conventionally fried fish is a no-no for Keto dieters, a coating of pecans, pistachios or almonds — instead of breading — on any fish creates rich flavors, enhanced with an aged white wine such as Chardonnay or Spanish Albariño.
Steak and Southern BBQ with Classic or Interesting Reds –
Enjoying your favorite red meat on occasion is not considered cheating on the Keto diet. Generally speaking, steak pairs well with medium-bodied wines — and there is a huge selection to choose from. Sticking with the familiar, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or a blend of these wines is always delicious with any cut of steak. Spanish Rioja is a great choice for bone-on cuts, while Grenache-based blends from the Rhone Valley or California pair well with tenderloin or fillets.
Southern BBQ is Keto-
friendly as long as you stick to a dry rub or a vinegar-based sauce. Bold, fruity wines such as California Zinfandel or Australian Syrah are ideal companions to a rack of ribs or a heap of pulled pork.
Smoky, Texas-style beef brisket shares its roots with the cattle country of South America. So, it is not surprising that a Chilean Carmenere or an Argentinian Malbec are perfect mates. Contrary to their inky dark color, these wines have subtle bright flavors with hints of smoke and spice that do not overpower the rich flavors created by the slow, careful cooking of the meat.
By Georgene Mortimer, Island Winery
The perfect bottle of hand-crafted artisan wine awaits at Island Winery on Cardinal Rd. Wine by the glass, cheese platters and $5 tastings are available Monday-Saturday from 12:30-5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 12-4 p.m. (843) 842-3141 or www.islandwinery.com.