Home / Nutrition / The Best Wine for Mediterranean Diet & How Much to Drink

The Best Wine for Mediterranean Diet & How Much to Drink

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions shared are my own. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click to view our full disclosure.
All content is created by humans – not AI.

The Mediterranean diet has helped us swap out processed foods for delicious whole foods. It’s helped so much with our cravings, weight loss, and overall health. Below, we’ll look at what you can eat and drink on the diet with a focus on the best wine for a Mediterranean diet.

choosing the best wine for mediterranean diet

Unlike so many American diets, the Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle which includes your nutrition, activity, and even socialization.

We were able to witness this first hand when we spent time in the Tuscany last year. As part of our trip, we were guided through the diet, as well as, taken to local farms and wineries.

We’ve also seen many of the same principles applied throughout the Mediterranean region. For example, we enjoyed walking and delicious Greek food in Athens on another trip.
Skip Ahead:

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet was actually created by physiologist Ancel Keys in his book, How to Eat Well and Stay Well the Mediterranean Way, in 1960.

He studied eating habits and daily activity of those living in southern Spain, southern Italy, and Crete, and he found the link between cardiovascular disease and diet for the first time (). 

This was attributed to the foods people in the area were eating. They included lots of olive oil, bread, pasta, fresh vegetables and herbs, and garlic over heavy meat dishes ().

This way of eating has continued to be the number one diet recommended by doctors for over 60 years!

kim and kalee in Chianti

What are the benefits of a Mediterranean Diet?

The Mayo Clinic published an article on the benefits of the diet, and these benefits included:

collge of sample of a few Mediterranean diet dishes

What do you eat on the Mediterranean Diet?

On a Mediterranean diet you eat mostly plant based, focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Grab 50% off Our Mediterranean Diet Guide and Recipes with code KIMANDKALEE

mediterranean meal plan guide

Can I Drink Wine on a Mediterranean Diet?

Along with a focus on fresh, non-processed foods, moderate wine consumption is part of the Mediterranean diet. That’s because there are a variety of health benefits that go along with enjoying an occasional glass of wine.

Wine is made up of a group of antioxidants known as polyphenols, which are also found in fresh fruits and vegetables. The most prominent polyphenol in wine, resveratrol, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.

The key to incorporating wine into your Mediterranean diet is to drink in moderation. The diet allows for regular, moderate wine consumption when the wine is enjoyed with food. That equals up to two glasses of wine a day for men and one glass for women.

kim at lunch with wine in florence italy
This pour is closer to the standard 5-ounce pour. You may need to measure it out until you learn what 3.5 ounces looks like.

How much wine is recommended on the Mediterranean Diet?

The Copenhagen Prospective Population Studies did a study and found that moderate wine drinking increases longevity without a notable increase increase risk of cancer.

The study define moderately drinking, like that of a Mediterranean diet, is 1 glass a day for women and up to 2 glasses a day for men (source).

You may have read the standard pour is a five-ounce glass of red wine, but the Mayo Clinic defines a glass of wine as 3.5 ounces.

Based on the studies above, women could consume 3.5 ounces a wine per day and men could have up to 7 ounces per day. It’s recommended to have the wine with food as well.
Go Back to Top

What if you don’t already drink wine?

The American Heart Association recommends not to start drinking if you don’t already.

Studies have shown drinking above the moderate alcohol consumption guidelines increases the risk of short-term injuries, as well as the risk of long-term chronic health problems.

So whatever decision you choose, you should discuss it with your doctor or medical professional prior to making any changes.
Go Back to Top

kim and kalee with wine

Picking the Best Wine for Mediterranean Diet

Malbec, Petite Sirah, St. Laurent, and Pinot Noir may be the healthiest red wines because of the have high resveratrol content. This is found in the grape skins.

Why does this matter?

High levels of resveratrol have been linked to helping prevent damage to blood vessels and blood clots, as well as lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

With that said, there are different wines that could still be a good choice. You may also want to choose something different if you’re specifically doing wine pairings.

When choosing a red or white wine, keep in mind that dry wines are better, and the red wine offers more health benefits.

With that said – the type of wine you choose will depend on your preferences and the food you’re eating with your glass of wine. 
Go Back to Top
several bottles of chianti classico in a basket for sale

Best Red Wine for Mediterranean Diet

Pinot Noir

This is a dry red wine originally from the Burgundy region in France that pairs well with red meats, cherries, berries, and aged cheeses.

Cabernet Sauvignon

A Cabernet Sauvignon is a hardy grape created by a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in southern France.


A Chianti is a medium bodied wine that comes from the Tuscany region of Italy that pairs with red meat and cheeses.

Tip: A true Chianti Classico will have a black rooster somewhere on the bottle. This is the region’s trademark. 


Sangiovese wine is a popular wine in Italy. It’s dry and medium bodied. It pairs well with cold cuts, pizza, and even creamy pasta dishes.


Barolo is a full-bodied red wine from the Piedmont region in northern Italy that pairs with strong cheeses, eggs, and red meats.


Rioja is a medium to full bodied wine with a slightly fruity flavor from the Rioja region of central Spain that pairs well with lamb, pork, and cheeses


Merlot is a mild flavored wine originally from the Bourdeaux region of France that pairs well with red meats, mushrooms, pork, and veal


Malbec wine is a versatile wine originally from France that pairs well with red meat, pork, lamb, and strong cheeses.
Go Back to Top

Best White Wine on Mediterranean Diet


Light, medium, or full-bodied Chardonnay wines are typically dry and pair well with poultry, fish, shellfish, and cow’s milk cheeses.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a light wine originally from the Bourdeaux region in France that pairs well with fish, shellfish, green vegetables and goat milk cheeses.

Tip: New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs taste vastly different than other regions due to their ozone. A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has strong grapefruit tasting notes.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Gigrio is a light white wine originally from France. It pairs well with fish, goat milk cheeses, shellfish, and green vegetables.

2 Wines to Skip on the Mediterranean Diet

While no wine is completely off the table on the Mediterranean Diet, sweeter wines like dessert wines or rosé wines aren’t as encouraged. This is because of the high level of sugar in them.

back of a wine bottle with label

How to Pick the Best Wine for the Mediterranean Diet

Now that you know what types of wines you can enjoy while on the Mediterranean diet, you might be wondering how to pick the best bottle or brand.

These helpful tips will help you find a variety of delicious wines to enjoy with your Mediterranean dinners. 

1. Examine the label.

Another good indicator that a wine is a higher quality is the appearance of a sticker with the label DOCG or DOC.

That means the wine was produced and bottles under stricter guidelines than other wines.

You may also notice trademark on European wines. For example, Chianti Classico will have a black rooster logo.

2. Look at the region.

One of the best ways to select a good bottle of wine is to check the label. 

The more specific the region on the label, the better the wine typically is. So, you should look for a bottle that is produced and bottled in the same region.

We also tend to choose European wines over American ones unless we know the winery or brand specifically. This is because Europe has stricter processing laws than the U.S. 

Note: Our two exceptions to this rule are You can get $25 off your first order of Avaline by clicking here! because they share how the grapes origin and how they are made into wine and super small, local wineries.

You can get $25 off your first order of Avaline by clicking here!

3. Know the Lingo.

The better artwork on the bottle, the more skeptical we are. When looking for the best wines on the Mediterranean Diet, you want to look at the label on the back of the bottle.

If the label says it’s “vinted” or “cellared” you have no way of knowing where the wine was produced or bottled or how the grapes were handled. Knowing the grapes’ region and the wine process used is important because standards vary from country to country. 

The only time we will buy vinted or cellared wines is when the brand is transparent about where the grapes are sourced from and how they’re processed. Fore example, we’ll buy Avaline even though it’s vinted because they’re so transparent about the grapes and wine process.

Produced and Bottled” or “Estate Bottled” means the wine was made from grapes from one place and then bottle at the same place. 

Imported” means the wine was bottled in a foreign country and brought over to another country to be sold. This is typically a good thing!

4. Check the year.

The year the wine was bottled could also affect the taste and flavor of the bottle.

Depending on the region the wine was produced and the type of wine, some years are better than others. A little research on the area can tell you what years are better than others.

This is probably the least important thing to consider unless you’re really getting into specific wine.

Thanks for taking the time to read. We hope this guide helps you choose the best wines for your diet and personal tastes!
Go Back to Top

You can get $25 off your first order of Avaline by clicking here! We recommend their Red blend, Cabernet, and Sangiovese.

Grab 50% off Our Mediterranean Diet Guide and Recipes with code KIMANDKALEE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.