Healthier alternatives to WINE? Is that even a thing?

It's no secret that I love wine. All the winez. 

I've talked before about how, well, I just simply enjoy it. It's interesting to me. Tasty.

And in fact, some of my fondest memories as an adult have been at - none other than - wineries. Went to a bachelorette-weekend-of-a-lifetime with some of my best girlfriends, exploring at least half a dozen different wineries. Had the most passionate/romantic/memorable date of all time with my fiancĂ© (now husband) at a winery. Experienced some of the most decadent foods that I've ever had in my entire life with my parents, at wineries. 

Plus, I hate beer (aaahhh don't kill me), so that's probably also why I'm a little partial.

Here's the deal, though. In this new journey of finding "all the healthier things," I've done a fair share of research on wine. And believe it or not - most wines aren't good for you AT ALL (shocker, I know).

And no, I'm not referring to the fact that it's alcohol and you probably should be drinking water instead (though, yes, that fact is true, but I mean - balance - right? hehehe).

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I'm actually referring to the chemicals/additives that are within most wines themselves. The stuff that makes you feel like crap after - legit - like one glass. The stuff that gives you hardcore headaches, or hangovers-that-definitely-shouldn't-have-been-a-hangover considering the very little amount you truly consumed the night before.

For one thing, they don't make wine now a days the way they did back in ancient times. The process and farming techniques now have much higher levels of alcohol, sugar, and chemicals/additives that improve the color/texture/flavor of the wine.

In fact, there are 76 chemicals that are approved by the FDA to be used in wine-making, and 38 of those additives are even considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe).

WHAT?! Gross, gag me. No. 

Fungicides, pesticides, mycotoxins, phthalates, and an ungodly amount of sulfites - all of those are lingering in your wine. Just floatin' around. Gettin' in yo belly.

And keep in mind - most of these wine companies aren't required to put on the label that they contain these additives. In fact, by law, the ABV (alcohol by volume) levels that are written on the outside of your favorite bottle of wine can be up to 1.5% greater than what it actually says. Like, they're allowed to get away with that, according to the government - if they're a little off in levels, hey, that's fine! Right?

WRONG! I want to know EXACTLY what I'm consuming, not a rough estimate.

So, here's what you need to look out for in researching which wine alternatives are healthier and better for you:

1) No added sugars to boost fermentation

2) Less than 12.5% ABV (the lower the alcohol content, the better you'll feel, all the while enjoying the taste)

3) Organically farmed and "dry farmed" (meaning only pure, natural rainfall contributes to the growth of the crops, not irrigation)

4) No commercial yeasts used on the grapes

5) Sulfites under 75ppm (even better if the sulfites are naturally occurring)

You can totally find wines like this at your local health food store. But, since I'd much rather have stuff shipped to me (because two kids under 3, y'all, going shopping with them isn't "the funnest thing ever" right now or anything), I picked Dry Farm Wines instead. They send me wine monthly, meet all of the above qualifications PLUS some, and I have never once been disappointed with any bottle they've ever sent me.

And, of course, by no means am I encouraging you to pick up wine-drinking if it ain't your thing! I just know that many of you readers might be like me. Wine (when drinking responsibly) enhances the flavor of foods, can enrich conversation and memories, and can help you relax after a long day.

Or, if you're REALLY like me, it can make you feel like a nicer person immediately after one sip. Even after a day of screaming kids and broken vases and pee-soaked sheets and realizing the veggies you wanted to cook for dinner are actually growing mold, all the while growing a massive zit in between your eyes and getting super annoyed with the fact that your husband decided to go on his fourth golf outing of the week.

And if you can't relate to any of those feelings at all - well. Cheers, anyway!

To try out Dry Farm Wines, click here.