In my quest to get through my SIBO diagnosis a few months back, I gave up drinking for a couple weeks. Then I realized there had to be some low sugar options for when I really wanted a glass of wine. And, sure enough, there are plenty!
Now, what I’ve learned about wine is that the industry doesn’t really require a lot of oversight. There are different pesticides, different additives and added sugar among other things that aren’t required to be on a label. For my purposes I was really focused on the sugar in the wine. And that drove me to try the different companies that I chose to compare and contrast. I also learned vegan wines exist through this process.
Now you, like I did, might ask yourself “aren’t all wines vegan?” They aren’t! Many wines use a clarifying and refining process using aides called fining agents to help remove some of the tiny particles that can make the wine appear hazy. Those aides can be from milk protein, egg whites and other animal or fish proteins. For most of us it’s not an issue, but if you have food allergies or are vegan you’ll likely want to know about these!
I have listed the wines that are vegan from the companies I have ordered from below, all are low sugar and all are mail order. They arrive quickly at your home (yay!). The prices run all across the board and I actually found my favorite to be the middle of the road.
As someone who loves wine and has had the benefit of drinking some incredible wines from beautiful producers all over the world, I have to say I think these low sugar wines are fine for a casual during the week kind of thing. But to pair with meals or serve at a dinner party? Likely not. Depending on what price point you’re comfortable at and what your level of wine sophistication is, that will drive which company you try and which wines you enjoy. I’m offering suggestions for you and am curious what your response will be!
Winc was a pretty inexpensive option, the first order. They lure you in with 50% off and then you get to select your wines. Not even wine they carry is organic, vegan or low in sugar but you can curate those kind of options through the quiz they have you take. I read the reviews, chose the wines with the best ratings and was severely underwhelmed. Most bottles were about $15-$17. Again, I focused on white wines that were low in sugar. And sadly either poured most of them down the drain or only used them for cooking. (Reminder, though, I do feel like I have a pretty refined preference for wines and think life is too short to drink wine I don’t love!).
What I didn’t love about Winc-They have a member subscription style program which I found to be pretty pricey for their benefits of just a couple dollars off each bottle + free shipping. I ended up canceling my membership before the second shipment was even slated to be sent. You can easily find better wines at Trader Joe’s for less price.
What I think is great about Winc- They do have an entire vegan section of white, red, rosé and even hard ciders! They are pretty informative with tasting notes and the prices aren’t outrageous. So if you feel like you need some guidance with vegan and low sugar wines, Winc would be a good option to try out and it was very easy to cancel when I needed to.
You may already be familiar with or have at least seen Dry Farm Wines ads with celebrities such as Halle Berry touting how great the wines are for a keto diet. Dry Farm Wines claim to fame is that their entire selection of wines are organic, vegan, lab tested for purity and sugar free with no additives. Pretty impressive!
How it works- again, membership style based but there is no member fee. It’s simply a credit card they use to charge your card when your selected delivery is set. You can choose monthly or quarterly. You can choose which varietal you’d like whether rosé, white, red or a blend. You can choose how many bottles you receive. I found the price of their bottles to be pretty pricey, especially give the fact that THEY choose the wine for you. For 6 bottles of white my charge, with tax, was $170. At $28 per bottle, I know plenty of wines at my local wine shop that I love to drink…..granted they aren’t vetted to be organic, vegan or low in sugar.
What I didn’t love about Dry Farm Wines- That they choose the wine for you. I think some people would love a surprise box of fun wines to try, but at that price point I want to be able to select my own wines. I found the price to be more than I would usually spend on a wine I would drink on a random weeknight. I also only really liked 2 of the 6 wines. I was pretty bummed about that.
What I think is great about Dry Farm Wines- I like that they are supporting organic and biodiverse wine farmers. I wish we could make it all that way! It helps nourish both the grapes and the earth in a much better way. I like that the wines are sugar free. I really couldn’t believe it, but it’s fascinating to be able to taste the difference in the grapes (if you can open a few of the bottles at once and do a tasting) without the extra sugar!
All in all, I will likely be cancelling my membership with them as well. Again, for that price point there are wines that I really love from beautiful producers in France that I would prefer to stock up on. However- I understand that those other wines aren’t guaranteed to be any of the great things that Dry Farm Wines can tout. So if my SIBO flares back up again, low sugar wines are for sure the route to go.
The Wonderful Wine Co. is, in my opinion, the best blend of the other two companies. The price point is pretty good, they are organic, no sugar added, lab tested, vegan, pesticide free, sustainably farmed and they are a very eco-friendly company.
Again, are these wines I would serve at a dinner party or if I were catering? Likely not. But I will continue ordering the one varietal that I found to be delicious! It’s perfect hot weather, summertime, weeknight or happy hour wine.
What I didn’t love about Wonderful Wine Co.-My first shipment I ordered a variety of the whites. I didn’t really enjoy the White or Chardonnay. I haven’t tried their red varietals, so I can’t speak to those. I was a little nervous that they only have the 6 wines under their own label.
What I think is great about Wonderful Wine Co.- Once I sifted through and discovered that I like the Orange (it’s not really orange) and the Rosé varietals they offer I continued ordering them. Super easy to drink, pretty pleasant on the palate and with a variety of foods I will likely continue to order these as my casual wines. For a shipment of 6 bottles of any varietal the cost is $110 or about $18 per bottle which I find much more reasonable than the Dry Farm Wines cost. Last but not least I love their marketing. I think it’s adorable, and that’s just a little added bonus!
So all in all, what I have realized is that:
- I drink a lot of wine. Life is too short and I really enjoy it.
- Through the course of this SIBO and super low sugar diet I’ve had to follow, I realized how many different wines are SUPER sweet. And I now can really taste that after retraining my palate with these low sugar wines I’ve been experimenting with.
- Low sugar and no sugar wines actually really do still have so much flavor. I truly thought they would taste like nothing and was pleasantly surprised.
- Just because you like a wine and it isn’t listed as organic or vegan or low in sugar doesn’t mean it isn’t. Many of the small producers do utilize those farming methods and either don’t want to go through the expense and trouble of getting the technical certification or they just don’t want to put that label on their bottles. Talk to the vineyards, better yet explore! Go wine tasting and ask questions about these things while there. Willamette Valley, Sonoma, Napa, Ojai Valley just to name a few fun places to plan a trip to!
Happy Foods (and wines!) are the Best Foods (and wines!).