Wine has always been one of my preferred adult beverages. Unlike Sake and Beer, I didn’t have to acquire a taste for it. It resonated with me and I loved how different types enhanced and complimented different foods! On my first trip to Napa, I wanted to soak in all the information I was receiving to truly understand the complexities and differences in each varietal. I was intrigued to learn how the region, environment and soil where the grapes were grown where impart what affected the taste.
When I moved to Italy in 2010, I took it upon myself to experience and explore as many wines as I could. Some favorites included Amarone, Negroamaro, Primativo and Pecorino. Three years later when I moved back to the states, and started drinking wine here, I realized that I couldn’t enjoy as many glasses without feeling heavy, foggy and risking a hangover the next day. Yet, I have continued to drink my favorite wines from the USA in moderation and have even decreased consumption in the past few years. Not because I don’t love wine and not because I think it is bad for your health (in fact, I think in moderation wine can be a healthy enjoyment), but for the reasons I just mentioned.
You would think that as someone who keeps a clean diet and is super mindful of what goes into my food, I would also have the same awareness about what goes into my wine. However, it wasn’t until recently, as the spotlight on organic wine started to hit mainstream, that I began to pay attention. Suddenly my reactions to wine and how it made me feel started to make sense.
And just like my revelation with food, wanting to help everyone I knew learn how to eat better to feel better; I want to do the same thing with wine. So, this week for Trending I want to bring organic wine to your attention and let you know that you can drink better to feel better too! It makes sense, right? We search out organic and non-gmo food because we don’t want poison in our bodies! We should be making sure we do the same with anything we drink to avoid drinking toxins too.
Did you know that there are actually 76 chemical additives approved in the US that may be added to your wine bottle? Yep, they put those in there for a mix of reasons: to produce more wine faster and cheaper, to enhance color and texture, and to increase sweetness for our confused palettes that have been changed by processed food consumption. Not to mention additives give a longer shelf life (though really… how many people buy a bottle of wine and don’t drink it within the first few hours?)
I spoke with Todd White, co-founder of Dry Farm Wines (a company I found by referral of 30 Clean Health Advisor, Elizabeth Mersereau.) I was intrigued at first research. A wine company backed by some of my favorites wellness experts like Mark Sisson, Dave Asprey and Robb Wolf. According to Todd, “real wine is supposed to taste elegant and clean. All of our wines are sugar-free with no to minimal addition of sulfites. We use only grapes from dry farming, meaning no use of irrigation.” Todd explained that irrigation actually changes the physiology of the grape leading to less complex fruit. Or in his exact words, “you kill the soul of the wine.” Oh no, I do not want to be drinking soul-less wine!
Now a days there are only about 400-500 farmers growing organic, non-irrigated grapes… most of which are outside of the United States.
I also spoke with Elizabeth Schroth, Certified Specialist of Wine and Marketing Director of Winegrowers Association of Georgia, to get her thoughts on organic wine and its space in the market today. Surprisingly, Elizabeth didn’t seem to think consumers are too hyper-focused on organic wines because many of wine consumers today just love what they have. Which in my opinion is why we must help to educate people as to what is in their beverages, just as we do on the state of our food today. Here is what Elizabeth had to say..
Has organic risen in the last three years? I would say, yes. People are becoming more aware of organic foods and what organic truly means. However, I don’t think that the idea of organic alcoholic beverages has become as important to your average consumer as compared to other organic foods and beverages.
How would you describe the taste different and organic wines? Better? Not as good? Is it a taste that people have to retrain their pallets to acquire? Taste is relative and is influenced by many things, physiological and psychological. I know wine professionals that would probably be able to pick up on nuances in a wine that would point to organic/sustainable/bio-dynamic practices, whether those nuances be positive, negative or indifferent. But your average wine drinker would not be able to tell the difference between an organic version and a non-organic version of the same wine.
Favorite organic wine maker? Oh gosh, I couldn’t possibly! I’m a lover of Old World wines, and as I mentioned before, so many non-domestic producers are making organic wines but just do not advertise it. It’s just how they make wine. Period. But if I had to throw one out there on the spot, domestically, I’m kinda in to Illahe right now (pronounced ill-uh-hee) out of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. They actually go beyond standard organic wine making to producing sustainable wines through sustainable farming practices.
So, why do I see Organic Wine as a Trending Tuesday topic? Because there are actually some companies out there like Dry Farm Wines, that are producing wine with consideration of people who are striving to live in optimal health.
In fact, Dry Farm Wines are also friendly to Low Carb, Paleo, ketogenic and diabetic low sugar diets. Their wines have no impact on blood glucose or ketone production. Which is exactly why Tood White started Dry Farm Wines to begin with. He become incredibly conscious of his health a few years ago, switched to a ketogentic diet and realized that his favorite beverage, wine, was no longer making him feel good. He wanted to do something about it and bring wine back to its organic state – simple and clean. And I am glad Todd and other mindful wine producers are out there because I am ready to start drinking wine without a headache again too!
Join Molly and I in our quest to drink responsibly by becoming a member of Dry Farm Wines. With a choice of 6 to 12 bottles delivered (free shipping!) to you monthly or every other month, you can enjoy a clean wine with your 30 Clean lifestyle. Sign up and receive a one penny bottle of wine with any club order and free shipping to our community. (Full disclosure: If you click that link and purchase something, The 30 Clean receives a referral. Thank you for your support!) Now you can have a completely clean dinner party – no excuse! Let us know what you think!
Cheers ~ Heather