Whenever I find myself explaining the advantages and benefits of a Ketogenic Diet to someone, one of the first questions I invariably get asked is, ‘what about alcohol?’. My answer has always been in 2 parts. Firstly, the carb content of beer is really high and more than 1 beer is likely to kick you right out of Ketosis. Even just one beer with a meal containing a few carbs can be enough to kick you out. Most conventional wines have a high carb content as well, and a few glasses can have the same effect as a couple of beers. Secondly there is the alcohol itself, and each person’s individual reaction to it. Most people can have a small amount and, as long as they don’t exceed their personal carbohydrate threshold, they manage to remain in Ketosis. I find I can drink a fair amount of rum and Coke Zero, for instance, and not get affected. Others find that it affects them adversely and they always find themselves putting on weight for a few days after having a couple of glasses of wine.
And then there’s the hangover! Although excessive alcohol is a contributing factor to a hangover, the sugar content of the mixers used and the preservatives and additives in most beers and wines contribute hugely to getting a really bad night’s sleep and feeling like crap the next day. Wine, in particular, is guilty of this. Many people, are finding that they seem to be less tolerant of a glass or two of wine and many have found that the feeling the next day is so unpleasant that they even refrain from drinking wine at all anymore. Conventional modern wines are now much higher in alcohol, higher in sugar, and filled with chemicals and additives to improve texture, color, and flavor. There are 76 chemicals and additives approved by the FDA for use in winemaking. Also, short cuts in farming practices in the name of productivity and profitability often result in many conventional wines containing fungicides, mycotoxins and phthalates. No wonder we feel terrible the next day!
In the process of putting things together for our Low Carb Conference in July, I was approached by a guy called Todd White who told me he had some ‘Keto-Friendly’ wines he would like to make available for tasting at our expo. Sugar free, carb free, preservative and additive free and, ‘you can drink them without getting a hangover’, he claimed! To combat the side effects that were detracting from his immense enjoyment of wine, Todd founded Dry Farm Wines. By selecting wines from vintners who used only traditional, organic, and natural winemaking methods, Todd could drink and enjoy wine again without the side effects.
- Natural, organic or bio-dynamic viticulture/farming
- Dry farming, no use of irrigation
- Old growth vines, generally 35-100 years
- Hand harvested fruit from low yields
- Minimal intervention in the vinification and aging
- Wild native yeast in fermentation
- No commercial yeast for flavor alteration
- No or minimal filtering/fining
- No or minimal use of new oak
- No or minimal addition of SO2 (sulfites)
- No chaptalization (adding sugar to the grape must in fermentation)
- No chemical additives for aroma, color, flavor or texture enhancement
Dry farming means relying entirely on natural rainfall as has been done for millennia in Europe. A dry farmed vine produces a more complex, deep flavored fruit that can be picked when it’s less ripe (and much lower in sugar content). Their use of old-growth vines also improves the quality. The more mature a grape vine, the deeper its roots and greater its ability to draw moisture and minerals from the soil. The way the wines he selects are fermented is different, too. Rather than using commercial yeasts, they are fermented using the wild, naturally occurring yeasts found on the grapes. This lends more complexity and a unique quality that you simply won’t find in a conventional wine.
Because the Dry Farm Wines are sugar free and carb free, they are perfect for those following a Ketogenic diet. Todd is strictly Ketogenic and has remained in Ketosis for many years despite drinking copious amounts the wines he procures. All of their wines are scrutinized and investigated carefully to meet exact and specific standards, including lab analysis by a certified enologist. First, says Todd, a wine must be soulful and delicious and then it must meet our purity standards.
In lab testing they are looking for 4 things:
Statistically Sugar / Carb Free
Their wines are lab tested for fructose and glucose, the two sugars found in wine. All of their wines are <1g/L of total sugars, statistically sugar free. These low/no sugars are naturally occurring, nothing added or taken away.
Ethyl alcohol is carb free. Carbs in wine come from the sugar content, as their wines are statistically sugar free, they are also statistically carb free.
All of their wines are tested for the mycotoxin Ochratoxin A. All of their wines meet the E.U. standard for screening at less the 2 parts per billion of OCA. There is no standard or testing of U.S. Wines for OCA. OCA is a known carcinogenic. To give you a reference point, OCA in coffee is allowed in the E.U. up to 10 parts per billion.
Wines can range in alcohol from 7 – 24% alcohol by volume. However, alcohol on the label is not required by the US Government to be accurate. It is simply “stated” and there is zero U.S. enforcement for accuracy. They test every wine to verify it is at or below what is stated on the label and their wines do not exceed a naturally occurring 12.5% alcohol. They do not select wines that have been processed with artificial alcohol reduction techniques.
The US government restricts added sulfites in wine to 350 ppm (parts per million). For now, they have created a standard not to exceed 75 ppm in their wines and most of the wines they represent are below 50 ppm.
Like many practices in the wine world, added S02, (sulfites) is a source of some controversy. Here is what is known for sure…all wines contain some sulfites, as they are naturally occurring. Winemakers often add S02 to a wine as a preservative, meant to stabilize and preserve the wine.
Whether added sulfites affect how you feel (actual allergies are quite rare) from drinking is also a matter of considerable debate. The debate also continues as to whether added S02 punches some of the life and taste out of wine, as it is a sterilizer. Dry Farm Wines generally feel that wines that are lower in sulfites, are more alive and real, with more vivid soul and personality.
Here is where they are…most of the wines in their collection of natural and organic wines have no added S02 or very minimally added to stabilize preservation. They prefer to drink wines that are low, generally below 50 ppm. They suggest that you experiment with different wines to see how sulfites affect your taste and body; they publish S02 levels on each wine from their lab. They do not select wines for their collection that exceed 75 ppm.
Having received and tested a selection of the Dry Farm Wines, I am happy to report that all the claims he makes are true, especially the one about the hangover! We had a few friends over for an extensive testing evening and after finishing all 6 bottles, no one reported a hangover or adverse reaction of any kind the next day. Pam also reported that she had not put on any weight in the days following the tasting which is always a big problem for her with conventional wines. As a result, we have entered into an affiliate agreement with Dry Farm Wines and encourage you click on the links on this page and claim your penny bottle from them by signing up for a membership now. Get back to enjoying wine again without any side effects.