Celebrating a holiday, going out to dinner, or just having an evening to yourself after a long day of work – there is no wrong time to enjoy a glass of wine. Red wine, in particular, may even help improve cholesterol and protect the body’s cells from free radicals. As a source of resveratrol, moderate consumption of red wine may help reduce inflammation and support flexibility within the arterial walls. Of course, if you choose to drink wine, be sure to enjoy it in moderation.
But not all wines are created equal. Just like processed foods on grocery store shelves, wines are often produced with additives, sugar, and sulfites that control and alter their flavor profile, taste, color, and alcohol content. Although many individuals can include sulfite-containing foods and beverages in their diets without issue, some – especially those with asthma – may be more sensitive to their effects.
Natural, or “clean,” wines skip the additives, are organically farmed, and involve minimal processing. Essentially, they avoid relying on artificial means to adjust the wine’s appearance, taste, or aroma and embrace the natural processes of cultivating grapes and producing wine.
Currently in the United States, wine labels must include a declaration of whether the bottle contains sulfites, but they’re not required to list the ingredients or techniques used to produce the wine. So if you’re trying to limit your sulfite exposure, you should be able to identify sulfite-free wines easily; beyond that, though, there is generally little transparency when it comes to ingredients.
Still, with more people continuing to invest in their health, there has been a higher demand for clean wines, so you won’t have to travel to the vineyards of California or France to find these natural options. As a bonus, many claim that clean wines help reduce the feelings of a hangover.
If you’re not sure where to start, ask a store associate for natural recommendations based on the types of wine you tend to gravitate toward.
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