Most of us are hopefully conscious about what we eat, but the holidays have a special way of triggering overindulgence and alcohol plays a big role.
The holidays shouldn’t be a time for guilt but for joy and celebration! Alcohol can be a vibrant part of this celebration, but if you’re watching your health, you need to choose well…
I had to give up alcohol when I realized I had Hashimotos… it was sad really. I very much enjoy a good red wine and a quality scotch, but it’s not the best when you’re trying to heal and your liver needs all the help it can get! After about a year I was able to reintroduce wine because I found Dry Farm Wines. They are lab tested, contain no sugar and are lower alcohol… so perfect for the health conscious.
Just imagine if you could enjoy wines this holiday season that you know fit your lifestyle and taste incredible. Because they really do.
ALL the wines from Dry Farm Wines meet very strict purity criteria. Their list of criteria is long, but here’s an idea:
- Sugar free. All wines contain 0 – 0.15g of total sugar per glass (yes, it’s possible!)
- Organically & Biodynamically farmed. No pesticides, herbicides, or other harmful chemicals
- No industrial additives. No thickeners, dyes, or taste modifiers
- Lower alcohol. All wines are less than 12.5% alcohol
- Lower sulfites. All wines are less than 75 parts per million sulfur
- Only wild native yeasts. No lab made or GMO yeasts
- Dry-Farmed (No Irrigation)
Old Vine (35-100 years)
The result is a Paleo & Keto friendly, naturally lower alcohol wine that tastes pure and delightful.
So the big question I get asked…
Can Wine Help You Build a Stronger Gut?
Wine is the perfect probiotic… and is right up there with kimchi. And most certainly better than kombucha.
Natural wine is incredible.
Simply, natural wine is when a wine is made with organic grapes and native yeast. Nothing is added, nothing is removed. No human intervention.
That means natural wine is alive in the bottle, full of beneficial bacteria and antioxidants. It hasn’t been filtered or chemically altered in any way.
From a taste perspective, this vitality makes each bottle of natural wine a unique experience. Leave the same bottle open on your counter overnight and you’ll wake up to a whole new wine.
But the beauty of living wine goes beyond taste. All those yeasts, bacteria, and colorful compounds that make natural wine delicious also help you live a healthier life. The secret lies in your gut bacteria.
What’s so important about your gut?
Right now, as you’re reading this, trillions of bacteria are thriving in your gut. These little companions outnumber your own cells – you’re actually more bacteria than you are human. Feeding the good bacteria in your gut can give you some glorious health benefits: staying lean, feeling happy, and even being more social.
- Mycobacterium vaccae, a bacterium that’s naturally in the soil around you, significantly increased happiness in lung cancer patients who took it as a probiotic.
- A diverse gut biome can boost tryptophan. Tryptophan turns into serotonin, the brain chemical that enhances mood. No surprise that a balanced gut can reverse depression and anxiety.
- Diverse gut bacteria can also increase your metabolism, and even affect social skills.
In short, your gut bacteria regulates your health. It helps you look and feel more vibrant.
So, how does wine enhance it?
Wine and the microbiome
Natural wine is alive, which means it’s rich with precious bacteria and compounds that strengthen your microbiome. To name a few …
Polyphenols, the antioxidants that give red wine its color, feed good gut bacteria. They also remove harmful bacteria to make room for the new ones to grow. Two superb sources of polyphenols in your diet are red wine and coffee.
Flavanols and wine aroma compounds protect brain cells from dying in people who drink moderate red wine daily, and ward off Alzheimer’s Disease in mice.
Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grape skins, makes mice leaner by fostering a balanced gut. You may have heard of resveratrol; it gets a lot of attention in the news, but the reality is most red wines have nearly undetectable amounts of it. Wines that have the most are Malbec, Pinot Noir, Petite Syrah, and St. Laurent.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a wild yeast that gives wine a spicy, fruity flavor. But it’s good for more than taste: S. cerevisiae also increases absorption of zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron through your intestinal wall. Commercial wine is sterilized to get rid of most native yeast, but you’ll find an abundance of S. cerevisiae in natural wine.
Probiotic bacteria also form in wine while it ferments. Commercial wines are filtered to get rid of nearly all bacteria and sediment, but natural wine keeps those beneficial bacteria in. Among them is Pediococcus pentosaceus, a bacterium that attaches to your intestinal wall and protects it from pathogens like E. coli. Wine also contains lactic acid bacteria that have similar probiotic benefits as fermented foods like kimchi and miso, and unique wine probiotics that decrease gut inflammation in mice.
Can wine damage your gut?
It can, although the harmful compounds are either far lower or entirely absent in natural wine.
Sugar can feed the harmful yeast Candida and other pathogens in your gut. Sugar hurts gut bacterial balance and decreases brain function in mice, too. Stick to “dry” wines that are left to fully ferment; they have less than 3g/L of sugar, which tastes crisp and won’t cause bloating.
Alcohol is a toxin for your gut, too. It increases gut permeability (leaky gut), which can cause gut inflammation. Try to find lower alcohol wines — less than 12.5% ABV — to avoid negative effects.
Acetaldehyde is a fermentation byproduct that increases intestinal permeability and makes you feel hungover. During the final steps of fermentation, though, yeasts use up acetaldehyde as fuel, and bacteria break it down. Natural wines typically have far less acetaldehyde because they’re unfiltered and ferment without human intervention.
How to get the healthiest wine for your gut bacteria
The short answer is to get real wine, grown in accordance with nature.
Organic grapes. Grapes grown organically (without pesticides) have more polyphenols and antioxidants than conventional grapes do. Grapevines produce antioxidants as a natural way to protect against microbes and pests. Organic vines aren’t artificially protected by chemical sprays, which means they produce many more antioxidants to survive.
Natural wines. Commercial processing techniques, like extreme filtration, damage or remove many of the good compounds in wine. Manufacturers often replace them with artificial coloring and lab-created yeast strains.
Low sulfites. Sulfites kill bacteria to stabilize a wine. The lower the sulfites, the more alive a wine remains. You can see the difference under a microscope — low-sulfite wine is vibrant with a diverse spectrum of wild bacteria and yeast.
Sugar-free, low-alcohol wine. Sugar and alcohol are the two biggest toxins in wine. Try to find the driest, lowest alcohol wines possible.
So there you have it. By drinking moderate amounts of natural wine, you can help keep the companions in your gut healthy and happy. In turn, they’ll take good care of you.
These are the perfect wines to enjoy over the holidays and to share with family!
For this holiday season, Dry Farm Wines is offering a few specially curated selections:
- Classic Membership + Penny Bottle – If you sign up now, you’ll get an extra bottle of wine in your first delivery for just 1 penny.
- Rosé Membership – a rare chance to enjoy sugar-free Natural Rosé
- Sparkling Membership
- Thanksgiving Box (launching 11/8 – 11/14) Wine selections to pair perfectly with your Thanksgiving Dinner – dryfarmwines.com/brennamayTHANKS
- Black Friday Box (launching 11/26) will include 4 pure, Natural Red Wines – dryfarmwines.com/brennamayBF
Cyber Monday Box (launching 12/2) – A rare chance to get a one time box at member pricing. – dryfarmwines.com/brennamayCM
New Year Sparkling (available 12/14-12/16) – An exciting selection 3 or 6 Sparkling Wines to bring in the New Year with our sugar free bubbles! –
- Holiday Gifting (live NOW) – Send a one-time gift or temporary subscription – dryfarmwines.com/brennamayGIFT
All memberships as well as holiday gifts can be found here: DryFarmWines.com/BrennaMay
One of the things I love most is that they back up their wines with a 100% Happiness Promise. If you don’t like the wines, they’ll either ship you replacements or refund you fully. And I’ve never had to take advantage of that offer.
Dry Farm Wines has recently launched an Olive Oil line and a Wine-Meets Elixer line as well… and I’m excited about both!
XVOO Extra Virgin Gold by Dry Farm Wines is 100% pure extra virgin olive oil that’s organically grown in small batches by family farms.
There are three Italian oils (500mL bottles) curated for health and enjoyment.
Not all olive oils are created equal: over 75% of imported oils don’t qualify as extra-virgin. Even if you find “extra virgin” oil in stores, it’s likely not accurate. Olive oil fraud is widespread, with fake or diluted products being sold as the real deal. Hi quality olive oils also boast a higher smoke point which makes cooking that much safer and more enjoyable.
Capturing olive oil at its freshest is both an art and a science not practiced by most commercial brands. XVOO curates the most delicious, healthiest, and trustworthy oil on the planet through direct relationships with small farmers, independent lab testing, and a relentless commitment to taste and meet a strict set of criteria, including:
- 100% Extra Virgin: All oils meet extra virgin sensory and lab analysis criteria
- High in Polyphenols: > 240 mg/kg total polyphenol count
- Independently lab tested for purity: No added oils, preservatives, or chemicals, ever
- Organically / Biodynamically grown by small family farms using dry farmed (irrigation free) farming methods
- Carefully sourced. Each XVOO is taste tested to ensure purity and depth of flavor
You can pick up some of these lovely oils here: dryfarmwines.com/xvoo/brennamay
Bolixer is pure natural wine infused with wild botanicals. Intriguing… I haven’t tried them yet but I have my eye on the Lavender Red!
If you would like to try these, Dry Farm Wines is throwing in a free tote bag with purchase of the bolixir Intro Mix. dryfarmwines.com/bolixir/brennamay
If you decide to take the plunge let me know! I’ve been enjoying them now for about a year and a half. And they’re compatible with most of my programs… so here’s to health and good wine!
Cheers to your health!