Kris and Katie at a vineyard

Finding Natural Wines: Dry Farm Wines Review

My conservative Christian friends often bug their eyes out when I tell them that our church hosts a beer and wine tasting every fall…yep, Catholics drink. Like most things, it’s self-control that matters, and an appreciation of God’s gifts.

(If your jaw is already scraping the floor, maybe skip this post and find some healthy recipes here instead!) 😉

BUT when it comes to the splurges of life, the cookies, the French fries, the alcohol…I haven’t always had a consciousness about health. I figured, “If I’m consuming something that I know isn’t great for me, why worry about making it just a tiny bit not-as-horrible?”

But I am eating better chocolate, 85% dark, fair trade.

I do get whole grains (or no grains) and better sweeteners in most of our baked good desserts.

And I’m paying more and more attention to ingredients even when eating out at restaurants nowadays because I notice that heavy feeling in my gut afterward when I don’t.

In the last few years, I’ve discovered that I can’t handle the sugary sweetness of a lot of fun drinks I used to enjoy, too, like frozen drinks in the summer for example. I typically ask that cocktails be made without sugar or margaritas with straight lime juice and no “mix,” too. (These poor bartenders/servers dealing with me telling them how to make my drinks!!)

I haven’t really worried too much about wine though, until a few things happened.

Kris and Katie at a vineyard

Why Choose Better, More Natural Wine

I started having some insomnia occasionally, something that NEVER happened in my past, and a friend asked if I had any wine those nights. She found that it really affects her in that way. 

I noticed awful red stains on my lips even the morning after having some red wine, which apparently brushing my teeth didn’t conquer! 

And sometimes I couldn’t shake that fuzzy feeling the morning after. (Now you know I trust y’all.) 

I met this guy named Todd at a blogger meetup and he was pouring wine. “Dry?” I said, and he grinned real big and answered, “You don’t have to worry about that!”

I didn’t get the joke until later when I learned that Todd White is the founder of Dry Farm Wines, where alllllll their wine is lab-tested to have no added sugar. Heh heh…insert foot in mouth. 🙂 

Dry Farm also tolerates no dyes like Mega Purple, a concentrated additive in most red wines (even expensive ones) that causes the staining and may be related to headaches. AND they’re organic with no added sulfites, something that can be really hard to find. 

In fact, there are 76 FDA-approved additives that may be in commercial wine that Dry Farm bans

Wine, in general, has been increasing in alcohol content over the years as well, which is why 3 glasses at 14+% alcohol might make you feel worse than you remember. Dry Farm commits to keeping it under 12.5%

Now that my husband has been keto for over 6 months, we commit to dry wine only for one more reason, and that’s the carb content. It’s nice, honestly, to be on a restrictive diet but yet still be able to have a good time on a date with the wife. 🙂 

Dry Farm Wines review

Pro/Con of a Subscription Wine Service like Dry Farm Wine

As with everything, there are benefits and disadvantages

For us, we’re in a more complicated situation because at some point Michigan lawmakers didn’t have enough worthwhile tasks to do, so they decided to make shipping alcohol to my door illegal

Instacart can still deliver wine, but Dry Farm can’t. Wahhhhhh! There are 4 other states in our situation: Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Utah

However, there is a workaround, it’s just not as convenient as having wine delivered to your porch. Call your local liquor store and ask if you can have your Dry Farm box shipped there for you to pick up. I’ve heard of many people having success with this!

I always have so much fun enjoying Dry Farm at the health conference I attend, and what a treat to have it back in person in 2021!

Katie at a conference

I joked that this pic a friend felt compelled to snap of me was like a Dry Farm Wine commercial! Although I look a little uncomfortable that my friend felt compelled to snap a pic of “just me” because that dress was soooo unlike anything I’d ever worn before! 

Dry Farm Wine is a curated experience, which could be good or bad for you.

If you like a little adventure, at least you know these wines have been rigorously tasted (and tested for toxins) by someone else. 

But you might not love every bottle, always a risk with a curated experience. However, you can take the opportunity to learn what you like and choose those for the future.

Plus, little hack, many Dry Farm Wines are sold at specialty shops, so if you find a vineyard you love, it’s possible you can source them near you in person. 🙂 That may mitigate the higher cost of Dry Farm vs. ALDI wine, for example. 

Dry Farm Wines

Health Benefits or Risks of Wine

And finally, should we be drinking alcohol at all?

It’s a question worth asking since this is a health blog. 

You can take out the toxins, reduce the alcohol content so you’re not hungover, and make sure the growers use sustainable practices so your grandkids have a world to inherit. 

But if alcohol is always bad for our brains, it’s something we should skip

Recently I’ve been reading about the negative effects of alcohol and not wanting to believe it, so for now, I’m still a social occasional drinker. We’ll see if Doctor Amen and his amazing work get me to change my mind and my habits! (His Instagram is packed with knowledge nuggets!)

The Environment Needs Natural Wine

As I mentioned above, I haven’t always been careful about the “fun” foods I eat. But more and more, I’m trying to do better. 

When it comes to the environment, you’ve probably read about how almond milk, for example, uses so many gallons of water in growing and production that it becomes a much less “eco-friendly” choice than plant-based eaters would have you think. 

Unfortunately, wine is the same

Wine grapes are typically irrigated heavily, which uses a lot of water and also can cause soil erosion. Dry Farm gets its name from their commitment to working only with growers who do not irrigate, which actually produces a better grape on top of helping the environment. (Think less watered down.)

Like other farms that work “Joel Salatin style,” Dry Farm Wine growers often have a lot of biodiversity, allowing other plant species and insects to grow in the vineyard, instead of a sterile-yet-too-perfect looking vineyard like this one we visited in Virginia this summer: 

Kris and Katie at a vineyard

Plus it probably goes without saying that organic wine is going to avoid spraying toxic chemicals, which would be concentrated in the wine and respect the earth’s natural, living soil instead of depleting minerals and nutrients. 

Dry Farm Wine vs. Store Wine Test

My husband and I stepped up to the challenge and drank two bottles of Dry Farm Wine in three hours for the purpose of comparing it to two bottles of cheap store wine another night…all in the name of an honest review!! We lay it on the line for you. 😉

When we drank the Dry Farm Wine:

We were looking mostly for the “next day effects” of drinking more than we ought, and on this day, my husband had absolutely zero effects

I may have been a little brain foggy but no real headache or other symptoms. 

When we drank the store wine:

I chose Apothic Crush because it was a wine a friend recommended, and we discovered that the Mega Purple really does make your lips look gross

This is our attempt at capturing stained lips at midnight with terrible lighting and two bottles of wine in us…I’m so embarrassed:

red wine stains

As for “next day effects,” my husband had a headache even after sleeping in until 9:30, and it was gone by lunch.

I woke up at 6:45a on my own, without an alarm, which is really rare. Did I have a bad night’s sleep? Perhaps!

I felt a little iffy, maybe a little headache, definitely cranky but that could be blamed on the kids. 🙂 

I wasn’t shaky at all, which I’ve definitely experienced with other times having a bit too much. More testing needed! 

Both of us have enjoyed Dry Farm liberally at the conference, and one year my husband said: “This stuff really is hangover proof, because I know I should be feeling terrible this morning, and I’m fine.” 

Kris drinking a glass of wine

That’s hardly scientific evidence, but it’s what we have for you.

(I convinced a friend who usually only drinks one glass to have three Dry Farm servings, and she also felt no negative effects. Success!)

Want to try Some Dry Farm Wine for Yourself?

I get to offer my readers a PENNY bottle added to your first order – these wines are actually so low in sugar that you can even have them on a Ketogenic diet, Paleo, Primal, or a transition after Gut Thrive.

A Whole30 has no alcohol, so still no dice, but if you’re going to do a semi-cheat Whole30 where you take a day off a week or allow some concessions or whatever, this is the way to go to reduce negative effects.

RELATED: Whole 30 meal plan and recipes!

When my husband and I drink wine from the store, we only grab a dry red. I don’t know how to tell the sugar content of whites and roses, which is a bit of a bummer in the summer when sometimes you just want something refreshing. 

Dry Farm is incredible at choosing sparkling wines that truly do refresh. I highly recommend! 

Best Features:

  • lab tested for mold, pesticides, sugars, and more
  • low alcohol content – never over 12.5%
  • grown without irrigating – better for the environment, better taste
  • no weird ingredients, just wine
  • zero sugar content – keto and Paleo-friendly (<1g/L)
  • organic and lower sulfites (less than 75ppm)

TRY DRY FARM HERE!

Order now to stock up for the holidays!

Quick reality check: You get a penny bottle, but you do have to buy a box of wine on subscription (which you can cancel if it’s not your thing). The wine is more expensive than I usually spend, but I haven’t had one from Dry Farm yet that I didn’t like (and I can’t always say that about the $8-12 bottles). You’ll get all the different wines (you choose white, red, or both). Just making sure you understand what you’re getting with the penny bottle deal, no confusion!

So for a little end-of-day relaxation with the benefits of antioxidants like reservatrol but without negative side effects, Dry Farm might be an answer to your prayers. If your church is cool with that sort of thing like mine is! 😉

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