As my clients know all too well, I’m pretty down on wine drinking. The reality is, a glass of wine is just a big old glass of sugar. And almost every single client comes to me in a huge state of off-kilter blood sugar regulation. When you’re riding that blood sugar roller-coaster, with spikes and crashes all day long due to a diet full of refined carbs and sugars, the last thing you need to is to sit down and drink a glass (or 3!) of fermented grape sugars. Sleep issues, hormone issues, inflammation, weight gain, brain fog, gut dysbiosis…..the list of things that blood sugar dysregulation leads to is long and painful.
And let’s be real: no one likes it when I tell them this. No. One.
People love their wine. Most people love it too much, and, I think, use it as a crutch to try to de-stress from their hectic lives. (Pro tip: meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and walks in the sunshine are all WAY better choices for stress management!) So, I’ve always thought to myself, when blood sugar regulation is restored, most people can likely go back to having A GLASS of wine and handle it ok. (More than that, not something I recommend, for anyone.)
But that’s just not what I see happen in practice. Nor what happens to me.
I love bubbly. Champagne has always been my drink of choice. But a few years ago, as I wrestled with gut and hormone and autoimmune issues, I realized I just didn’t handle it well. I was always a 1-glass drinker anyway–I’m a real lightweight!–but I started realizing that, within a few sips of that one glass, my head hurt and I felt nasty. And this is what my clients find happens to them, as well. They do the hard work. They move to a diet of whole nourishing foods. They get their blood sugar swings under control. Their inflammation and brain fog gets so much better. And then they try to have a glass of wine, and they just feel horrid. We’re not talking Two Buck Chuck here–this happens with even the highest-end wines and champagnes.
So, for my clients who want to feel their best, and for me, wine and bubbly are basically off the table.
Then, earlier this month, something pretty huge happened.
I went to a functional wellness industry retreat weekend, where the wine was being provided by Dry Farm Wines. And my world was rocked, both by what I learned and what I drank.
Dry Farm Wines isn’t a grower, but rather a buyer of the highest quality natural wines in the world. They are the world’s only health-conscious and lab tested Natural Wine Club.
Dry Farm Wines curates high quality Natural Wines from small, organic family farms around the world. This is real wine (not like commercial shelf wines), grown with respect for Nature, sustainability, and human health.
What I learned is that the wine we’ve all been drinking is full of additives, chemicals, GMOs, and added sugars. And this is why it makes us feel like garbage. Turns out, there’s a better way. A side-effect-free way to enjoy wine!
Dry Farm Wines is fanatical about health. They lab test every wine to ensure they meet their strict standards of purity. (In fact, there isn’t a single US-produced organic wine that meets their standards!) That means these wines are quantifiably clean, free of negative side effects, and friendly to every diet, including Paleo, Low-Carb, and Ketogenic.
Every bottle is…
Sugar-Free (< 1g/L)
Low Sulfites (< 75ppm)
Low Alcohol (< 12.5%)
Dry-Farmed (No Irrigation)
Organically or Biodynamically Grown
Fermented with Wild Native Yeast
Made in Small Productions
Let’s talk about just a few of these important points!
Additives: In the United States, wine producers can use 76 different additives in wine, without disclosing any of them on the bottle. Commercial wine producers use additives for consistency – they’re making millions of bottles, and they want them all to look and taste the same. That means adding defoaming agents, artificial coloring (virtually every red wine under $20 has the colorant “mega purple”), extra sugar, high fructose corn syrup, ammonia (part of the reason low-quality wine makes you nauseous the next morning), and genetically modified bacteria and yeasts. There is literally nothing in Dry Farm Wines bottles besides grapes and the wild yeasts that live on them!
Sugar: Most commercial wines are bottled before they fully ferment to speed up production and maximize profits. Some producers also add sugar or high fructose corn syrup to their wine. DFW wines ferment at their natural pace, which allows yeasts and bacteria to convert the natural sugar into alcohol, and the alcohol into other compounds. They lab-test their wines to make sure they have statistically insignificant amounts of sugar and carbs (<1g/L for each). That means DFW wines can be enjoyed on a Paleo or Keto diet. Sugar is also a main culprit in hangovers. Testing for it is part of what makes DFW wines hangover-free.
Low alcohol: Commercial winemaking favors higher-alcohol wines. Average alcohol content in wine is currently sitting around 14% ABV. DFW wines are, at most, 12.5% ABV, and many are lower. Alcohol drowns out the finer notes in wine. Studies find casual drinkers enjoy low-alcohol wine more. A glass of wine a day may also help you live longer: in nearly all Blue Zones – parts of the world where people live longest – moderate alcohol consumption is part of the culture. But any more than a drink or two (of any wine) and alcohol becomes a toxin.
Biodynamic, organic, sustainable farms: Glyphosate, aka Roundup, has been found in almost every US wine tested, even organic ones, because our soil is so contaminated. Not so on a European Natural wine farm. Biodynamic farms are wild organic ecosystems. The farmers who make DFW wines balance grapevines with trees, flowers, herbs, vegetables, chickens, sheep, and so on. The biodiversity strengthens soil bacteria, leading to healthier, polyphenol-rich wines with thoughtful complexity of flavor. All the wines come from sustainable winemakers whose practices return nutrients and bacteria to the soil.
Fermented: Natural wine is a living product, which means it’s rich with precious bacteria and compounds that enhance your microbiome. Probiotic bacteria are present in natural, unfiltered wine. These bacteria protect your gut from pathogens, decrease inflammation, and have other similar probiotic benefits as fermented foods like kimchi. Commercially-made wines have sulfites added to them to kill the GMO yeast, so the wine is dead by the time it reaches you.
Taste: So by now you’re thinking, OK great Ellen, but how do they TASTE? Flipping fantastic. I had glasses of sparking Spanish Cava and Italian pink Prosecco that were both delightful. I tasted a French red that made me want to curl up inside the glass. Natural wine crafted according to DFW health criteria tastes clean and fresh. Without heavy additives and artificial flavoring, the wine goes down smoothly.
And best of all? No headache. No weird feelings. No puffiness. Nothing. Nada. I slept great (because, no sugar!) and woke up the next morning feeling 100% normal (because, no chemicals or garbage!) I’m not going to become a nightly wine drinker, but what a joy to be able to have a glass on a special occasion or with friends (because if you invite me over, you know what I’m bringing!).
I’m really excited to have partnered with Dry Farm Wines to bring healthy Natural wine to my clients, readers, and friends. Click here to grab a bottle for just ONE PENNY, with any wine club order. They have a 100% happiness guarantee, so you really have nothing to lose. If they ever send you a bottle you don’t like, let them know, and they’ll send you something else for free. You can cancel anytime. You can choose how often you get shipments. Basically, these are the nicest guys in the world, and they want you to be happy and fall in love with Natural wine.
As for the final word on wine, from this nutritionist? We need to think of alcohol as a recreational treat. If you drink wine, I suggest you drink Dry Farms Wine, and limit consumption to one 5-ounce glass, up to three times a week.