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How Hidden Sugar in Wine is Killing your Paleo Diet

Hidden sugar: it’s the diet and health killer. Sugar is in nearly everything, including wines.

If you are mindful of sugar, you can simply look at the ingredients and nutritional label of everything you consume and check how much is there.

But not with wine. Why not?

The wine industry has spent millions of dollars lobbying to keep contents labeling off of wine. Wine is the only major food group without a contents label. They do not want you to know what’s in it!

Meanwhile, we’ve all become increasingly more conscious of what’s in our food. We celebrate grass-fed meat, wild caught fish, and organically-grown vegetables because they are pure, clean, and healthy. Shouldn’t we also demand the same from what we drink? But without labeling, how do you know what you’re really drinking?

It turns out most wines are filled with substances you would never choose to drink, including hidden sugar. Remember, it’s called hidden sugar because you can’t always taste it. Because of the underlying acid in wines, even if a wine does not taste sweet, it likely still contains sugar. Wines are also filled with additives and toxins.

If you drink wine and care about your health, then listen up! I’m going to share the wine industry’s dirty dark secrets with you.

The Dirty Dark Secrets of Wine

Wine has been consumed for over 8,000 years and it’s played an important role in shaping art, culture, and religion. The Egyptians used wine in most of their ceremonies. The ancient Greeks used it for trade, religious acts, and healing. The Romans believed wine was a daily necessity, and everyone from aristocrats to slaves to soldiers drank it regularly. The wine they drank was natural wine – just organic grapes and native yeast.

Only in the last few decades has wine moved away from its natural roots and been touched by the heavy hand of commercial processing.

What’s happening in modern wine production is not much different from what is happening in all of agribusiness and our troubled food supply – mass consolidation, driven by corporate greed. The goal is to make wine cheaper and faster, not better and healthier.

How do you make wine cheaper and faster? Unnatural fillers, flavor agents, and chemical additives. Yes, chemical additives: there are 76 additives approved by the FDA for the use in winemaking in the United States. Further, 38 of these additives get the GRAS acronym from the FDA. That stands for “Generally Regarded As Safe”.

Then there are the farming practices. Monsanto’s Roundup and its active chemical glyphosate is the #1 herbicide used in U.S. vineyards. Just last year, in an independent study of three wine appellations in California, glyphosate was found present in all the wines tested. Again, like most of agribusiness; the goal is not to be healthier or better, it’s cheaper and faster. In this pursuit, corporate greed is killing our soils and making our products toxic.

Finally, in the U.S. Wine industry, there is near 100% use of irrigation. Why is that important? It affects fruit quality and leads to high alcohol levels in wines. Why irrigate? More greed. When you irrigate a grape vine, you get higher yields. Fruit filled with water weighs more. Since grapes are sold by the ton, heavier grapes equals more money for the grower. The problem here, in addition to poor quality diluted grapes, is they must reach a higher sugar level at ripening to develop flavor and higher sugar leads to higher alcohol levels at fermentation.

Because of all this – the hidden sugars, 76 additives, use of chemicals like glyphosate, irrigation, higher alcohol levels, and more – most wines are killing your Paleo diet.

There’s a Healthier Option

A few years ago, I became fanatical about my health and wellness. I switched to a strict Paleo (and then Ketogenic) diet. As someone who lives in Napa and loves wine, I had a conflict. I didn’t want to stop drinking but I also couldn’t continue damaging my health by drinking the same unhealthy wines. The hangovers, headaches, and impaired sleep were too much.

I asked a friend for help and he pointed me toward the natural wine movement in Europe. After tasting a few natural wines, there was no going back. I could not only taste the difference, I could feel it. I started curating natural wines from small organic and biodynamic farms in Europe. Natural wines require very specific farming and winemaking protocols. There are only a few hundred natural winemakers in the world.

Natural wines must be:

  • Farmed organically or biodynamically
  • Dry farmed
  • Chemical free
  • Fermented with native wild yeast
  • Additive free
  • Unaltered

They’re pure, whole, honest, and handcrafted artisan wines. Only a tiny fraction of wines made in the world are now natural wines. Because I’m fanatical about health, I realized I could take the whole process a step further.

To know exactly what was in these wines, I started lab testing each wine and only keeping the ones that met my health standards, including being sugar-free, low in sulfites, and low alcohol. The result: I could drink these wines without any negative side effects (no headaches, hangovers, or bad sleep) and without any impact to my diet (I regularly test blood sugar and ketone levels).

This is why I started Dry Farm Wines. It was a way to solve my own problem.

This is also the reason Dry Farm Wines has been endorsed by so many leading health authorities including Mark Sisson of Primal Blueprint and Primal Kitchen, Dave Asprey of Bulletproof Executive, Robb Wolf of The Paleo Solution, Abel James of The Fat Burning Man, JJ Virgin of The Virgin Diet and The Sugar Impact Diet, Jimmy Moore of Keto Clarity, and many more.

If you’d like to learn more about natural wines, we just published a free ebook filled with short facts about natural wine. Click here to download it!

Start Your Journey

Though it’s currently rare to find these natural wines (especially sugar-free, low alcohol, low sulfite natural wines) in the US, here are a few tips to ensure you pick the cleanest possible wines when you go to a restaurant or local wine shop:

  1. Ask for natural wines. Often, a bartender or sommelier will know a few natural wines on the wine menu. The word “natural” is becoming trendy in certain wine circles, so you may get lucky!
  2. Go European. Look for French wines from popular, cool climate, natural wine regions like the Loire Valley and Jura. Choose grapes like Gamay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc.
  3. Go organic/biodynamic. It’s more likely that farmers and winegrowers who believe in organic and biodynamic practices will produce cleaner and more honest wines.
  4. Go sugar-free. A “dry” wine is sugar-free but the term is often misused. To be clear, ask for a wine that has no sugar in it (less than 1g/l).

Even with these tips, it’s hard to know what’s really in the wine. That’s why I lab test every bottle I drink. If you’re fanatical about your health and diet (like I am!) and a serious wine drinker (also like me!), then the best way to experience the difference from these wines is to try a few bottles from Dry Farm Wines. We’ll ship them right to your door.

We’re doing a special Paleo f(x)™ promotion. Order a box and get an extra bottle of wine for 1 penny.

You can get your Penny Bottle here!

Ultimately, I’d like to challenge you to question what you drink in the same way you question what you eat.

What’s really in wine?

Let that question sit and aerate, like a young glass of wine. As it opens up, you too may find yourself venturing into this magnificent world of natural, lab tested, Paleo-friendly wine.

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Todd White

Todd White is the founder and lead Health Evangelist at Dry Farm Wines. As a passionate biohacker, he practices daily meditation, Wim Hof breathing, gratitude therapy, cold thermogenesis, a Ketogenic Diet, 24-hour fasting, and, of course, extensive wine tasting, drinking 1-2 bottles each night.

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Heal thyself. Change the world.