Low-Sugar, Keto-Friendly Wine, Amazing or just Hype?
Dry Farm Wines is all over social media advertised as an ‘all-natural’, low sugar, lower sulfite alternative to commercial wine. More compelling than the description was that it’s endorsed by two of my favorite keto influencers, Dave Asprey and Dr. Dominic D’Agostino. Following my recent review of RSVP Skinny Cocktail Mixers, wine reviews were next on my list. I was super excited to have the opportunity to try a ‘keto friendly’ wine
Keto Friendly Wine
Before we get into the results of my ‘wine tasting’ let’s talk about keto friendly wine. Most keto followers try to keep their daily carb intake below 20-30 cabs from all sources. Considering that wine can range from 3-14g per 5 oz serving, a couple of glasses can easily throw you out of ketosis. Especially if you’ve consumed any other carbs during the day. And… to be honest, most of us are heavy-handed in our pours, making a real serving size closer to 8oz or more.
My Favorite Keto Friendly Wine
Typically, I’m a red wine drinker which works well with the keto lifestyle. Red wines are usually lower in sugar and have far more health benefits. Two of my favorite wines are Hess Select Malbec and Emblem Cabernet Sauvignon. The Hess Malbec is my favorite everyday wine and at $15 a bottle, it’s affordable. It’s super smooth and balanced, but it’s been increasingly difficult to find lately.
The Emblem Cabernet is my other favorite. It has such amazing complexity of flavor but it’s a little pricier. Depending on the vintage, it’s around $40-60 a bottle which makes it my special occasion wine. It’s easy to find at Total Wine or any good wine shop.
Keto Friendly Wine – Reds
The Dry Farm Wines representative asked about my wine preferences to select wines for my box. I shared my favorite wine and that I’m a sucker for dry, wines and Malbecs.
Wine Tasting Buddies
When the box arrived it was mid-week. I really wanted to share the wines with someone, so I had to wait until the weekend when two of my favorite Keto buddies could enjoy it with me. It took every bit of self-control not to dig in sooner.
Thank you Kelly and Phil for helping me review the wines, letting me use your beautiful home for pictures and for the AMAZING steak and chicken off your fancy Traeger Grill. Also thanks for showing me how to make cauliflower grits… which were DELISH!! It’s all in the folding action:)
Thanks, Riley and Tasha for taking notes, and Remington, the most handsome giant dog ever, for keeping us on our toes the whole time!
Disclaimer… none of us are wine connoisseurs but we all enjoy red wine. All three of us live a keto lifestyle and are usually willing to compromise a bit on taste for a healthier option, but not drastically. Of the three of us, Phil is the least willing to compromise taste. You’ll read our reviews below for six red wines we tried.
Castellas Les Escots Cahors
Les Escots is a blend of two wines, Malbec and Merlot. It had a little more depth compared to the others we tried, which were all very light in comparison. It had a musky kind of flavor that neither Kelly nor I enjoyed, but of all the wines tasted, this was Phil’s favorite.
Notes from the Dry Farms Wine Profile Library: 2018. Chateau Les Castellas Les Escots. Red. Malbec, Merlot. Full Body. Cahors, France. Purple and rather dark brooding
La Patience is also a blend of two wines, Carignan and Merlot. It had my favorite label and I was super excited to try it. To all three of us, it was a very light-bodied wine compared to traditional red wines. If you hold it up to the light it’s almost pinkish it’s so light in color. For our taste, it was too light-bodied.
Notes from the Dry Farms Wine Profile Library: 2019. Red. Carignan, Merlot. Medium Body. Costieres de Nimes, France. Cherry on the nose with fresh mineral and a great overall sense of balance. Pairs well with Roast Chicken, Mushrooms
Heitlinger Four is a blend of four wines (see below). It came with a twist-off top, which seemed weird until Kelly said that according to her buddy who’s a sommelier, that’s a new trend for some varieties and actually helps preserve the flavor. That was news to me since the last time I had a twist-off wine I was in college… and I think it was a wine cooler actually, lol. But I digress…
This wine had a woody flavor with a bitter backdrop, reminding me of grapefruit. It was light-bodied and was the favorite for both Kelly and I, due to the complexity of flavor.
Notes from the Dry Farm Wine Profile Library: 2016. Red. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Blaufränkisch, Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium Body. Baden, Germany. Earth driven and vibrant with boysenberry and snappy acidity. Pairs well with Fresh Herbs, Pork.
The Damien is a blend of three wines, Carignan, Grenache & Syrah. We found it to be sweeter than the other wines. It was very light-bodied and a little acidic for our taste. It seemed less well rounded than the other wines which was surprising for a blend of three varieties.
Notes from the Dry Farm Wine Profile Library:2018. Red. Carignan, Grenache, Syrah. Medium Body. Côtes du Rhone, France. Earthen and rounded with dark but not heavy fruits and great acidity to get a fresh yet dark wine. Pairs well with Antipasti, Salumi
The Valle Reale Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine had very bitter undertones. It almost made us pucker with each sip. It was also pretty acidic. Bitterness isn’t necessarily a turnoff when paired with the right foods, but in this case was a bit overwhelming.
Notes from the Dry Farm Wine Profile Library: 2018. Red. Montepulciano. Full Body. D’Abruzzo, Italy. Very soft and dark bramble fruits with lovely tannins that make for a rather rounded palate and savory aspect. Pairs well with Mushrooms, Grilled Meats.
The Gaspard wine wasn’t one we were able to taste. We knew as soon as we took a sniff that it was spoiled. A quick sip confirmed our suspicions. I’ve had spoiled wine before that either didn’t ferment properly or wasn’t sealed correctly. This was a shame since we were really looking forward to tasting this wine. I’m sure if I were a customer Dry Farm Wines would gladly replace it, so no hard feelings.
Notes from the Dry Farm Wine Profile Library: 2017. Red. Gamay. Medium Body. Loire, France. Vibrant red fruits with a sense of oxidization and long tannins balanced with great acid. Pairs well with Roast Chicken, Grilled Eggplant.
Of the five wines we could actually review, four were blends. As a novice wine drinker, I was curious about wine blends and decided to do some research. I found an interesting quick read about it on Wine Folly.
Apparently wine blending is a pretty specialized process that often takes 50+ tries to get the perfect ‘recipe’. After all that work, a recipe can only be used once since each year the weather and conditions change the character of the grapes. It’s a little bit art and a little bit of science.
If you can’t normally drink wine because the sulfites give you a headache, are super conscious of your carbs, or want to limit your alcohol, Dry Farm Wines might be a perfect fit for you. They have some pretty amazing stories from the small family farms they partner with. They do offer keto friendly wine with very few carbs. If you’re not super disciplined throughout the day about your carbs or drink wine every day, this might be a good option to stay in ketosis.
If that personal connection and knowing where your wine comes from or any of these other factors matter to you, Dry Farm Wines might be a great fit.
If you’re like me and are used to full-bodied, complex red wines, these varieties, especially the blends we tried, might feel too light for you. I have a feeling, untested, that their whites and rose are perfect since those varieties are usually lighter anyway. I would say trying a blended box of their top-reviewed wines might be the best approach.
That said, part of the fun of a wine subscription is testing different varieties, rating them, and developing a more refined pallet. And, as you give feedback on the wines, the selections they send you adjust accordingly, so you can receive varieties that align with your taste. Kind of like how Apple music knows exactly the music I enjoy.
They also offer flexibility with the frequency of your shipments once you’re an established customer and can even pull specific wines you enjoyed if you request it. As far as subscription services go, it’s pretty flexible.
Affiliate Disclaimer: I was given the box of wine sampler at no charge in exchange for an honest review.
Alcohol Disclaimer: Please drink responsibly. If you’re under 21 or have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, please visit my post on delicious non-alcoholic Keto Drinks.