What's In Your Wine Glass?

One of the assumptions I’ve noticed people have when I tell them I’m a health coach is that they assume I never drink. While my habits have certainly changed since my college days (phew!), I still enjoy the sound of the cork popping when opening a wine bottle and the after dinner lingering and conversation that ensues with friends and family.

Many of my clients have constant work events where wine is served, and they’d like to have a glass, but they’re not sure if “it’s okay” (we also talk about how to manage the multitude of not-so-nutritious food choices at those things!).

When it comes to “indulging,” for most things I’m an advocate of moderation, not restriction, as long as people are making their decision mindfully.

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When it comes to wine in particular, as you may know, there’s been a lot of research surrounding the benefits of the polyphenols/resveratrol (such as here and here) but there’s still a lot of debate, and the studies that claim it’s “healthy” refer to drinking in moderation.

Back in the day, most of my decision-making around which bottles to buy was based on price and pretty labels. But I found out you do get what you pay for when reading this article (similar information here)  -

It disclosed the names of 30 brands of California wines with arsenic in them.

This got my attention. It made me finally start to think about what’s in my glass, and not just what’s on my plate.

Some things I learned in my research:

  • There are over 76 additives approved for US winemaking (and 38 of them are “GRAS” or generally regarded as safe)
  • Over 20 million pounds of pesticides are used on commercial vineyards in California every year (!!!!)
  • Monsanto’s synthetic herbicide RoundUp (“glyphosate”) is so commonly used in the US that organic wines frequently test positive
  • Farming practices can result in conventional wines having fungicides and phthalate contamination (phthalates are hormone disruptors, like those found in our personal care products).  

I share my findings not as a scare tactic, but because I've rarely seen any of this discussed in the wellness world even though many coaches and clients enjoy their fruit of the vine. While I still have plenty of research to do on this topic, and much to learn about wine in general, I’d rather do what I can to avoid these chemicals when enjoying a glass or two and to help others do the same.

A fellow health coach pointed me to Dry Farm Wines as an option, and here’s what made me give them a whirl. Their wines are all:

  • Organic or Biodynamic, and Dry-Farmed
  • Sugar Free (<1g/L), Mycotoxin/Mold Free, Additive Free, and Low in Sulfites (<75ppm)
  • Lab tested to ensure each wine meets all of these standards (and the others I didn’t list!)

I didn’t like that you can’t pick out your own wines, but this gave me reassurance: “each wine shipment is protected by a 100% satisfaction guarantee, no questions asked. If you ever receive a wine you don't like, let us know and we'll send you a replacement immediately. Still don't like it? We'll refund your entire purchase, and you get to keep all the bottles!”

I placed my first order because of that, along with the positive reviews, a recommendation from someone I knew, and the glimmer of hope that this would help alleviate the newly acquired allergic response my husband would get from red wines (his nose would get very stuffy and he’d have a MAJOR headache even after just one glass – tragic!). I’m glad that I did!

We’ve received 3 different shipments (for the sake of research!) and I can now officially say that their wines are delicious.

My husband is able to drink red wine without the negative reactions he used to have, and I can feel more comfortable with the drinks I’m offering when hosting people at our home. All of the FAQ’s and information can be found on their website if you want to learn more. Shipping is free and if you order through that link, you can add a bottle of wine to your first order for a penny. 

What’s your perspective when it comes to alcohol and your health goals? Do you notice any reactions to red wine in particular?  

If you choose to imbibe and are trying to keep your glass as clean as your plate, I hope this helps you find an option that works for you. If you try Dry Farm Wines, let me know what you think. 

Cheers!

boston health coach

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