This review for Dry Farm Wines, a curated and lab tested wine club, will explain why their wine is not only compatible with, but better for keto and low carb lifestyles than conventional wine. We also made a video, unboxing the wines and testing ketones and blood glucose to show that you can drink their wine and stay in ketosis.
Fun experiment! We’ll also talk about why healthy wine is important.
One of the most popular questions those new to the keto diet ask is whether they can have alcohol on keto. Many also ask the specific questions “is wine keto friendly” or is “red wine keto friendly?” While the short answer is yes, the type of alcohol or wine you should have really depends on your goals. Fortunately, there is an easy way you can ensure your wine is compatible with keto.
First let’s assume that you’ve already decided alcohol in moderation is something that works for your health goals. There are a lot of studies, opinions and conversation about whether drinking alcohol is optimal for health, but the bottom line is it’s a personal choice. Reasons you may or may not choose to imbibe and how it impacts health is a much bigger discussion for another time.
Is Wine Keto Friendly?
Wine starts out as a grape, which of course has a ton of sugar! Luckily yeast loves to eat sugar and as a by-product, produces alcohol and CO2.
The residual amount of sugar left in wine varies. Sparkling wine, cava and champagne are typically the lowest in sugar coming in at one to three grams of carbohydrates per five ounces. Next are dry white wines such as sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio and chardonnay at around three grams per serving and sweeter wines such as riesling coming it at five grams per serving or more. The lowest sugar red wine is pinot noir and cabernet at around three to four carbs per serving. Zinfindel can go up to nearly fiver per serving.
Based on carb counts, you can definitely drink wine and stay within your keto diet carb allowance. However, some wines are better for keto and your health than others.
Depending on how many carbs you personally can have and remain in ketosis, you could fit in a few glasses of many wines or one glass of others depending on which you chose. However, there are still calories to consider. And, when you consume alcohol, as a poison, your liver switches pretty quickly away from fat burning and begins the process of metabolizing the alcohol instead. Since there are byproducts of alcohol metabolization that can be used for energy, the body will use those for fuel, slowing down fat metabolism.
Your weight loss goals and other health factors should guide how often you choose to drink alcohol and allow this slowed fat burning process to take place.
Why Dry Farm Wines Are Better than Conventional Wine for Keto and Is There Such Thing as Sugar-Free Wine?
One of the best things about Dry Farm Wines, is that they independently test each wine they sell to be sugar-free. While most wine is lower sugar at two to six carbs per five ounces serving as described above, Dry Farm Wines are tested to be under one gram of sugar per liter! That means an entire bottle has less than one gram of sugar so you can enjoy a couple of glasses entirely guilt and sugar-free.
If you drank three glasses of a typical sauvignon blanc (one of the lowest sugar wines) you’re at around 10-12 grams of carbohydrate, almost half of what you would consume each day on the keto diet. If you drank the same amount of wine from Dry Farms, you’re consuming under one gram of sugar. Total.
Dry Farm Wines are so low in carbs because they are fully fermented. The yeast eat all of the sugar then they die off leaving alcohol. Carbs are introduced by some winemakers by adding additional sugar back in after fermentation to appeal to the American palate. Some kill the yeast early allowing sugar to remain. Dry Farm Wines makers do neither of these things.
The less sugar in any product you choose, such as Dry Farm Wines, the better it is for the keto diet and your health in general.
What Ingredients Are in Wine and How do they Affect the Keto Diet and Ketosis?
As someone who loves to cook and eat, wine is a big part of enjoying food. There is nothing better than enjoying a nice glass of red wine as you prepare a gourmet red sauce and then sitting down experience how the flavor of your wine enhances the meal! And as someone involved in the lifelong pursuit of Ultimate Wellness I’ve always been concerned about what I put in my body.
This is one of the reasons I really wanted to write a review for using Dry Farm Wines on the keto diet. It gave me a chance to explore what’s in wine and why it may or may not be compatible with keto.
Of course, since alcohol is technically a poison, one could argue you shouldn’t have it at all. However, the same goes for so many things we consume that aren’t so good for us like donuts, cookies, etc. Moderation is key and thankfully a healthy liver is designed to process toxins.
The point of this discussion though, is we know that ethanol (a certain type of toxin) is in wine, but what else is in there? It must be regulated, and labeled like the rest of our food, right? Wrong.
In 1976 the court case Brown-Forman Distillers Corp. v. Matthews 1, the decision was the FDA did not have the jurisdiction to require labeling of alcohol since it’s not technically a food. Over the years, the alcohol industry has consistently objected to being required to put ingredients on the label.
According to Todd White, founder of Dry Farm Wines, there are 76 additives allowed in wines in the US, including some pretty nasty chemicals. He also says that the top 52 percent of all the wines manufactured in the United States are made by three giant conglomerates. It would be hard to mass produce wines without at least some more modern techniques, including additives, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for you.
How Does Alcohol Affect Ketosis?
The two ingredients in wine that we know for sure affect ketosis are sugar and alcohol. There may be other negative effects from some of the additives, but since there is no ingredient label, we don’t even know which wines contain what additives and/or chemicals.
Too many carbohydrates will take you out of ketosis. Sugar affects ketosis by taking you out of it for however long it takes your body to burn through the excess carbohydrates and start producing ketones again. If you stick to sugar-free or very low sugar alcohol, the sugar itself should have little to no effect on ketosis.
There are a few differing opinions on what effect the processing of alcohol (outside of whatever sugar it contains) has on ketosis. Some say the liver processing alcohol temporarily slows ketosis. Others say drinking may actually increase ketosis. A small study showed increased ketones compared to a control group when drinking alcohol. 2 Depleted liver glycogen on a keto diet changes liver metabolism.
However, it makes the most sense that when drinking alcohol, your liver will be using the byproducts of metabolized alcohol instead of fat. Probably not much of an issue if you only drink occasionally, but if you drink often, it may mean you’re taking your body out of fat burning mode.
Again, your goals can lead you as to what choices you make regarding alcohol consumption.
N=1 Experiment, Effect of Drinking Dry Farm Wines on Ketosis
And now for the fun part! I drank wine (taking one for team keto here) and tested blood sugar and ketones with the Keto-Mojo to see what happened after drinking Dry Farm Wines. The results may surprise you. The good news is you can drink wine on keto, espeically if you choose Dry Farms.
Nothing but water was consumed in the four hours prior to testing. For this review of how Dry Farm Wines affects ketosis, it was important that baseline measurements would be unaffected by prior consumption.
Ketones and glucose were tested right before drinking the wine. They were 2.8 and 79 respectively. Two servings (10 ounces) of wine were measured with a scale for accuracy then consumed within 30 minutes. A wine was chosen that sounded interesting from the latest Dry Farm Wines shipment…a lovely white Gamay blanc de noirs from Domaine Franck Besson in Jullie, France. It was delicious.
An additional 30 minutes passed before testing blood levels again to give the wine time to take effect. An hour after consumption was started and 30 minutes after it ended, ketones were at 3.3 and glucose was at 73. Certainly some of this difference can be accounted for by the accuracy of the monitor, but clearly, neither ketones nor glucose were negatively affected by Dry Farms Wine. In fact, ketones went up and glucose went down. Crazy!
Other Things Dry Farm Wines Tests Besides Sugar and Why Healthy Wine is Important
We know that Dry Farm Wines tests for sugar. Obviously, this is awesome for a keto or low carb lifestyle, but that is not the only consideration for a healthier wine. So what other tests does Dry Farm Wines perform?
Turns out, quite a few! Every wine they sell is also less than 75ppm of sulfites, 12.5 percent or less alcohol, “low alcohol”, fungus and mold free, no additives, dry farmed, old vine, hand harvested, wild native yeast, small production, gluten-free and naturally or biodynamically farmed. Pretty amazing considering how many of these tests most US wines would violate.
Why each of these tests is important would take up quite a bit of space to explain. However, it’s obvious to most people concerned about their health that the more natural a product is, the better it is for you.
The sulfite explanation alone would be quite long. I wasn’t able to find any evidence that sulfites are a major health concern although antidotally, many people think they contribute to a red wine headache. All wines have some natural level of sulfites. The main difference here is that winemakers focused on naturally produced wine generally don’t ADD sulfites, a common practice in the US.
One of the most interesting things learned in this process was about dry farming. Think about this. For all the hundreds of years wines were produced in Europe, there was no irrigation! And this is better for the grapes.
Irrigation is actually FORBIDDEN in Europe. It’s better for the environment not to water, but what else? Grapes that are irrigated have more sugar because it’s easy for them to soak up water and produce more sugar as a result. More sugar means more alcohol and diluted flavor. Not a good thing for wine.
Vines that aren’t irrigated have to grow deep roots to search for water and the flavor is affected in a good way. Flavor is more concentrated.
Napa winemakers irrigate despite receiving more natural rainfall, even in drought than some of the best winemaking regions in the world such as Bordeaux and Tuscany (based on US 30 year averages from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and European 30 year averages from the World Meteorological Organization).
Should You Buy Dry Farm Wines?
Of course, this is a personal decision based on your budget and goals. Unlike some other wine clubs, they allow you to easily change the delivery frequency online with up to six months in between shipments. It’s also fun that they do special collections for holidays and seasons such as Rosé for summer, sparkling for New Year’s and reds for Valentine’s Day. It’s interesting to try new wines that typically have a very small or no US distribution.
For healthy wine tested for all of these things, I personally feel it’s worth it. I know these wines are infinitely better for me based on the lower sugar, alcohol and additive/chemical content but also healthier due to the other things for which they test. If you choose to drink wine in moderation as part of your healthy lifestyle, I highly recommend Dry Farm Wines. If you purchase through our link, you will receive an extra bottle of wine for just a penny!
If you try it we would love to hear what you think! Hopefully, you found this review of Dry Farm Wines for keto helpful. If you’d like to learn more about any of the topics discussed in this article, the Dry Farm Wines website is a great resource.