We’ve all done it: Begin to type something into Google’s search bar, and see if someone has already asked the question you’re about to. It’s partly for the convenience to see if someone has asked your question in a better way, but it’s also done just for fun. Alas, I thought I could spend a few moments talking about some of the results which surface when one types in “is wine “.
My favorite is “is wine keto”. I have no idea if it is or isn’t, so I looked it up! It turns out that, when trying to ‘go keto’, one should limit their carbohydrate intake to under 20 – 50g per day. Wine has some carbohydrates in it, and this if from the fact that during fermentation, yeast simply cannot find and consume all of the sugars from the grapes. Most wineries consider their wines to be dry, and done with primary (alcoholic) fermentation when the residual sugars (RS) are below 2 grams per liter. Thus, a 750 mL bottle dry wine, which has an RS of 1.5 g/L will theoretically have 1.125 grams of residual sugar, aka, carbohydrates. When researching the amount of carbs in wine, however, I see that they’re listed as having between 3-5 grams of carbs per serving (approximately 180 g of wine), meaning the full bottle should have 15-25 grams. The point is that to me, wine is keto friendly, as long as you’re not drinking one which has residual sugar (like a cheap moscato or Stella Rosa), and as long as you’re keeping your total carb intake below the 20 – 50g per day limit.
Another popular question was “is wine gluten free”. Yes, wine is gluten free (wine coolers, which are made with malted barley, are a different story). This one I know off the top of my head, because gluten comes from wheat flour, which is not used in winemaking. The one caveat is with barrels which were made using a wheat-based paste for holding parts of the barrel together. I can’t say for certain which cooperages do and do not use this method, but I will say that a gluten free watch-dog has performed a scientific test on these styles of barrels showing that the resulting wine has gluten levels well below the FDA limit for being considered gluten free. Still worried about gluten in wine? Seek out wines which were produced and stored without oak, like concrete and stainless steel. Distilled spirits are also typically gluten free since the proteins do not make it beyond the distillation process, but just remember that if the wine barrels bother you, so should the amber colored spirits aged in barrels.
Is wine vegan? I’m not vegan so I’m not sure, but I’ll write about it in another blog. For now: maybe, but I guess that depends on how strongly you hold your vegan tenets. The main reason why wine may not be vegan is due to the use of fining agents which wineries are allowed to use for a variety of reasons, such as clarification and taste adjustment. These fining agents are proteins derived from animal products like gelatin, egg whites, or dairy. Wineries using these agents do not have to disclose them on their packaging, or anywhere else, really. Also, alternative protein fining agents exist, such as pea based protein, however there doesn’t seem to be a big push in the wine industry for them to replace the more common ones. Another problem for vegans, is that there are simply an incredible amount of insects and other animals in the vineyard, and some of them are passively killed during the harvesting and processing of grapes. But I guess that’s every agricultural product. Worried if your wine is non vegan? Seek out wineries which strive to create and vinify vegan friendly wines.
With these biggies covered, I’ll do a quick lightening round from the rest on the list:
Is wine good for you?: Probably only in small doses. I know it’s good for me.
Is wine fattening?: Probably if you drink too much and don’t exercise enough.
Is wine tasting open?: Oof, it is and it isn’t. Currently in California it depends on the county, and if the winery has outdoor seating, and if they have a kitchen. You can definitely still go (as of now), but call ahead and ask about reservations.
Is wine acidic?: Yes, it has tons (or should I say ‘heaps’?) of naturally occurring tartaric acid, which drops the pH of most wine to the range of 3 – 4. That’s about as acidic as an orange, but less than a lemon.
Is wine bad for you?: Probably when consumed outside of moderation. Enjoy and love the grape moderately.
Is wine alcohol?: No, but it contains alcohol, usually between 12% - 15% around here.
Is wine healthy?: Probably not for the body, but for the soul.
*Disclaimer*: I’m not a doctor or health professional, and this blog isn’t meant to be health advice : )
Whew! That was a long blog, but the next time you’re in Paso Robles wine tasting, and are curious about the nature of your wine, just make sure to ask.