[Transcript] – Wine Myths, Dark & Dirty Secrets of the Wine Industry, Wine Biohacks & More!

Affiliate Disclosure


Podcast from:  https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/04/best-wine-for-health

[00:00] Introduction

[01:07] Four Sigmatic Foods

[03:21] EXO Cricket Protein Powder

[04:53] Organifi Green Juice

[06:58] Ben’s Article about the Healthiest Wine

[08:48] Fit Vine Wine and about Mark Warren

[15:24] Additives and Fillers in Most Modern Wines

[16:02] Arsenic in Wine

[22:55] Why pH is Important in Wine?

[26:31] Why People Really Aren’t Allergic to Sulfites in Wine, and Why it’s Something Else Altogether?

[28:19] Many Wines are Filtered Through Wheat and Contain Gluten

[33:30] Extended Fermentation in Wine

[36:56] Whether You Need to be Concerned About Mold in Wine

[41:13] How to Concentrate the Amount of Antioxidants in Wine?

[46:40] What it Means for a Wine to be Biodynamic?

[50:08] What is a ‘Cold Stabilized’ Wine?

[1:01:11] End of Podcast

Introduction:  Hello, everyone.  This is Ben Greenfield.  I have been in California for the past week, and I've actually been a very good boy.  I've been very careful here in California because of what we're gonna talk about on today's podcast and that would be California's juice of choice.  That's right, wine.  I know there's been a lot of wine podcasts kinda floating around out there lately, like healthy wine podcasts, I guarantee the wine discussion that we have today is not the same-old, same-old version of some of those podcasts that you may have already heard.  But before we jump in, let's talk about something that is completely unrelated to wine, kinda, mushrooms.  That's right.  Many of you know that I tend to OD on mushrooms just slightly.  I eat mushrooms every day, not the magic stuff, I save that for very, very special occasions, but I'm talking about wild crafted mushrooms.  I get this stuff that is a mushroom extract, mushroom elixir.

This company called Four Sigmatic makes a bunch of different mushroom elixirs, and mushrooms have, specific chemical properties to them, not like things like, say, grapes used in wine don't have that other superfoods like Goji berries and Brazil Nuts and stuff like that don't have.  Take, for example, the Four Sigmatic Viking Blend, this is four different wild crafted superfoods. It's made from a bunch of different Arctic herbs and it combines greens, berries, tree bark, and root, all in one blend.  It's got stuff like nettle, rhodiola, pine bark, and amla, and it's made by the same company that does all of these potent mushroom extracts like chaga and cordyceps, and even one of my favorites that I travel with, mushroom coffee.  Now, you get a fat discount on all this stuff if you go to foursigmatic.com/greenfield.  I realize it's kinda long, so I'll spell it out for you.  F-O-U-R, that's four, Sigmatic, just like it sounds, S-I-G-M-A-T-I-C, dot com, slash greenfield, and the coupon code is Ben Greenfield.  Foursigmatic.com/greenfield, code: Ben Greenfield.  Try that Viking stuff I just talked about, it will knock your socks off.

This stuff if also brought to you by something I've been doing quite a bit of lately, crickets.  So, cricket flour, specifically, has all the essential amino acids with none of the antennae, or the legs, or any of that other stuff that might make you turn up your nose at crickets.  It's got 2.2 times more iron than spinach and, did you know, here's a fact, 80% of the world eats insects on a regular basis, except us, Americans, and people in the west and people who listen to podcasts, cause we're weak, weak sauce.  Now crickets are actually an incredibly edible protein.  I've been doing cricket protein now, almost every day, just as a part of my diet.  I put a little bit in some waffles here and there, I'll eat some cricket protein bars here and there, and the bars that I use are pretty cool because they were designed by three star Michelin chef, so they actually taste good.  They don't taste like crickets, they're Paleo-friendly, there's no gluten, there's no grains, there's no soy, there's no dairy, and they're made using cricket protein powder.  They're called Exo, E-X-O.  You can get 'em in classic flavors, like apple cinnamon and blueberry vanilla, and they also have savory bars too like mango curry and barbecue.  Just try a bunch of 'em.  You can try a whole sample packet of them, you go to exoprotein.com/ben, that's E-X-O protein dot com, slash Ben and you'll get a full sampler pack with all of their most popular flavors for less than 10 bucks, and that includes free shipping, it's 33% off.  So E-X-O protein dot com, slash Ben, do it fast cause they're a small and nimble start-up, cause they're associated with crickets, which are small and nimble and they sell out all the time, so grab some while their inventory lasts.

And then finally, should you want something to take along with your wine, a little alkalinity, try some greens, but don't make a big mess in your kitchen greening up with a giant blender, Kale and Spinach and all that jazz.  No, no, no.  You can use a powder that's not just greens, but it's got everything in it.  Everything.  So you can know that you're getting all your nutrients from one shot, turmeric, ashwagandha, coconut powder, all of the greens that you'd usually make a big mess on your kitchen counter greening, and a ton of other nutrients that have anti-inflammatory and alkalinic properties, the stuff tastes good, my wife uses it, which is actually a big testament to it ‘cause she doesn't use any supplements.  So, this stuff is called Organify Green Juice, Organify Green Juice.  Where can you get it? You go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/organifi, that's bengreenfieldfitness.com/organifi, and you use discount code there.  Discount code here gets you 20% off.  So enjoy all those goodies, cricket protein bars, and mushroom coffee, and green juice, all sorts of goodies, and, of course, wash it all down with a glass of wine.  Let's find out what kind of wine you should be drinking, shall we?

In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:

“Not even more alcohol. It's actually around the standard of what your typical Cabernet or Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc is, but we did it with no residual sugar, so many wines that will be out there that will go on a dryer side or wanted to look at a lower calorie, they did it by lowering the alcohol content, that wasn’t our objective.” “Grapes typically that are raised at elevation, cool climates and kind of a, I dunno if you wanna call a rougher terrain, but more of a mountainous region.  Most of our grapes come from over 2,000 feet of elevation…has an impact on the growth of the grape.”

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you’re working all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:  Hey, folks.  It's Ben Greenfield here, and a few months ago, I released this article.  The article's called “Dark and Dirty Secrets of the Wine Industry: Four Ways to Make Wine Healthier and What Kind of Wine Fit People Should Drink”.  Well, in that article, I talked about a ton of serious issues with wine, stuff like arsenic and overpricing, lack of sustainability, high levels of sulfites and amines and ochratoxins, boatloads of unnecessary sugars, high pH levels that actually increase the possibility of contamination by unwanted organisms in the wine, less than stellar taste, plastic polyethylenes, a ton of problems that plague the modern wind industry and actually cause a lot of people, including my wife Jessa, to get things like headaches or me, myself, to get things like poor sleep from a nightly glass of wine.  And at the end of that article, which I'll link to in the show notes for this podcast, so you can get the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/healthywine, at the end of that article, I highlighted that I'm now drinking different kinds of wine.  I've kinda switched up what I choose when I get one, and I make specific choices, and one of the wines that I've been drinking in particular and that I actually, I have this habit now in the evenings, my, one of my eight year old boys who know how to open wine better than I do though, they'll open the wine for me, they get it, they do the latte frother technique that I learned from Tim Ferriss where they stick a latte frother in there, and they froth it for about 60 seconds then they bring it to me, the bottles that I've been choosing lately are these bottles of Cabernet called FitVineWine, FitVineWine, and in today's podcast, I have the co-founder of FitVineWine who is a real, almost like a biohacker when it comes to figure out how to make wine healthy.  He's also a national-level black belt competitor in TaeKwonDo, he's a crossfitter, and, of course, as a wine enthusiast and a father of two boys, he's a man after my own heart, Mark Warren of FitVineWine.  So, Mark, welcome to the show, man.

Mark:  Thanks for having me, Ben.  Very excited to be on and, you know, talk with you about this.

Ben:  Yeah!  No problem, man.  And I'm kinda curious to hear your wine story ‘cause I personally used to be a total wine geek.  Like when I graduated from college for the first, I worked in a pub where we served wines so I had to study wine all through college, then when I graduated, I got the wine bible, and I started going to blind wine tastings and my wife and I, almost every single week, we’re at some kind of local winery doing wine tastings and that all culminated with us doing a bicycling tour of Italy in which we literally rode our bikes from Rome up to Florence and drank wine all the way up from Rome to Florence and eventually, I got into like Ironman and stuff, and started to drink less than the copious amounts of wine that I had been into up until that point and I don't, I don't do as much geeking out on wine as I used to.  But I used to be big into wine and I'm curious what your story is with wine, like how you kinda, how you kinda got into this industry.

Mark:  Yeah, mine's not nearly as a romantic story as travelling with your wife up and down the coast of Italy, (chuckles) but I did grow up on a lot of homemade wine, you know, being part Italian, it was always in the house, and I think a lot of that stuff back then though tasted horrible.

Ben:  You guys actually made it?

Mark:   My family did.

Ben:  Really?

Mark:  My grandfather did before he passed and then my step-father's family was Sicilian and they made their own wines.  Back then, you know, I would start at 9, 10, 11 years old, they'd give you a two to three ounce pour during holiday dinners or something and, you know, it tasted to me like gasoline.  Now whether or not that was intentional, ‘cause they really didn't want us to drink alcohol, or not, I'm not quite sure. (chuckles)

Ben:  Yeah.  Yeah, the homemade wine thing is interesting.  My wife actually has a giant vat, we found an elderberry tree out in the edge of our property, and she has a giant vat of elderberry wine actually fermenting out in the garage right now and I'm, she says it's not gonna be ready until June, but every time I walk past it, I'm pretty curious as to what it's actually gonna taste like, so the whole, the whole homemade wine thing can be a risky business, I agree, from a taste standpoint.  But now you're doing a lot more than homemade wine, you've this full-on wine company, so how did that actually emerge?  When did that enter the picture?

Mark:  Yeah, few years back, you know, as you mentioned, was always in fitness, one of my co-founders Tom, we built a couple of businesses together.  He had played hockey all through college and, you know, we've always tried to stay healthy, just being active, whether, you know, surfing, paddle boarding, skiing, and we've always enjoyed wine, but we felt like it was a hole, tying that into what we'll call the active lifestyle.  Not so much, you don't have to be an athlete, like yourself a professional triathlete, but the everyday person that wants to stay healthy, that, you know, has a family, career, they're busy, they try and workout two or three days a week, or this active, whether it's yoga, jogging, something, but still wanna enjoy a glass of wine, and then we felt, as we researched it more, that wine is very intimidating to people because it's not like you drink beer, you got usually how to drink domestic or import.  If you drink import, you like your specific crafts.  If you drink hard alcohol, usually there, I drink vodka, or giant gin, rum, bourbon, and then their kind of brand, it was what whatever it is, that's as far as it goes.  But wine, there's so much choice, there's a store that's a national store, one that's right down the road from me, it's called Total Wine, they have 8,000 bottles of wine.  So many people can walk in and they're very, very overwhelmed.

Ben:  But, but that's, I mean in my opinion, that's not necessarily a bad thing.  I mean, like, when I was in the wine, that was one of the cool things was being able to, for example, have a Semeli walk up to your table at a fancy restaurant and dump like this entire bible on the table, and then you get to go through it and have a little conversation about, you know, the different flavors and the nuances and literally dozens and dozens and dozens of different types of wine, and then you narrow it down and you choose the perfect one to go with your, you know, your fish or your quinoa or your rabbit or your steak or whatever it is that you're eating like, I don't really personally think having a lot of options is an issue as much as I think some of the issues are what I began to discover when I started to look into the wine industry and, you know, some of the things that like you and a lot of the other people, you know, like my friend Mark Sisson, I know he's been looking into this and, you know, Dave Asprey, another guy who does a lot of like biohacking, he's been looking into this, and there are some issues with the wine industry.  That's what I'm curious to hear you talk about, is what exactly is going on with wine that goes above and beyond just the fact that there's a billion of them out there.

Mark:  Yeah and that's kind of what the next of what I was gonna lead that into was that, you know, the vast amount of choices, that's kind of the first hurdle for people, but then people don't know what's in wine or the quality of wine and price, it's not like price can dictate that.  So it's not like, “Oh, just stay away from $3 bottles of wine, you'll be fine.”  There's plenty of wine out there that's in the $15 to $20 range that has the same issues as some of the $2 wines.  And the more we research it ourselves and get into it, you know, because it's not well-known knowledge, you know, as a primary thing is the government allows 74 different additives to wine.  So, it's dominates to looked at now that wine can, you can look at wine like food.

Ben:  But when you say additives, what do you mean?

Mark:  So they, you know, there's fillers, there's certain chemicals, they can add sugar or sugar concentrates, that they can add multiple things to adjust tastings.  So, it's unnecessary things that don't need to be in it.  Just like when you're buying your food, what's the difference of buying 99 Cent ground hamburger to grass fed?  You know, or you're picking up something and it's got 37 ingredients on the back of the box, instead of just being natural.  So it's kind of gone down that path, unfortunately, and that's, and the issue, really Ben, is it's not all wine, but how do you decipher which wines are like that and which aren't because it's not on the label.

Ben:  Well one of the things that I noticed and sorry about interrupting you, but I wanted to mention this article that I read about California wine makers and how they got sued over arsenic in wine.  This was part of a bunch of articles that appeared in the headlines a couple of months ago where they talked about how they were showing that wine, like the typical wine from California, have like four to five times the maximum amount of arsenic that the EPA allowed for in drinking water.  But what I don't understand is how does arsenic get into wine, like what's the process in wine making, process that you wish something like that would actually happen?

Mark:  You know, it's coming out of the grapes, and then also the pesticides.  So if they're spraying the grapes, you know, it's not uh you know, the scientific breakdown of, I don't know the exact, you know, I can't tell you it's these three things that are causing it, but it's typically coming from the grapes being sprayed, and the lack of proper filtration and fermentation.  They're not taking the time for the wine to mature like it should inside its fermentation process and they turn things around too fast to just mass produce it.  That can be some of the results of it, as well as the quality of the grapes.  Are they sprayed or are they GMO?  What's happening to those grapes before they're even being processed for the wine?

Ben:  So grapes can be GMO?

Mark:  Mhmm.

Ben:  Really? I thought it was just like beets.  There are a few of those like beet and corn, some forms of wheat, but grapes also, they're genetically modifying grapes now too, huh?

Mark:  That's what we've heard.  I mean it’s…

Ben:  Interesting.

Mark:  You know, unfortunately they're kind of going down the path of anything with that, but, so it's really paying attention to the source of where you're getting your stuff from and then, you know, everything takes time, so the longer something takes time, of course it costs more money.  So if you're a large conglomerate and, you know, if you bought a small winery or you're doing something, you bought a brand and you wanna make it more profitable, they're cutting corners.  So cutting in those corners and doing things that shouldn't be done are causing after-effects like arsenic showing up in wine.

Ben:  What about, what about, and this is something I hear about in farming, that they like turn over the soil too quickly in farming, and that results in lack of minerals in some of the fruits and vegetables that we eat due to poor soil practices?  When it comes to wine, and like the soil that wine is grown in or the irrigation practices of wine, is that something that varies from winery to winery as well, like what should you look for as far as like with the wine, was it irrigated or the soil it was grown in?

Mark:  Yeah, and that goes into what's called the terrier, and that's, you could have an entire podcast on that because it goes into some of the teaching of what they call the “Old European Winery Laws” that they protect, the land that only will grow a certain way, that they, some of the European laws don't even allow them to irrigate in certain areas or do certain things to the soil so there are, there's multiple levels, I mean I know it's not the, it's not a yes or no answer, but there are multiple levels of what the water can do.  Ultimately, irrigation is changing the growth of the grapes, whether it's too much or too little water.  If the grapes don't grow enough and they're smaller, they're gonna be sweeter, so if you want a higher sugar content, so a lot of times they can manipulate those things.  But soil does have a very large impact on the taste of the wine and, to answer your question, turning it over too much or too little, that's not my background of farming, so I don't know, I won't try to give you the right answer of what, if they do too much or too little, on how it's affecting it, but soil does have a very large impact on the taste of the wine and the impact of the grapes, as well as water does because the, if you're trying to force water into it and you're trying to basically over-bloat the grapes, it's gonna have an effect on its internal contents. 

Ben:  Hmm.  Interesting to know.  What about the type of water being used, does that matter? Like if the water is, you know, I guess, like, going to return to this concept of like arsenic or so many other things that I know are in water now, like, you know, everything from birth control pills to fluoride or chlorine, things along those lines, does the quality of the water that's being used matter?

Mark:  Again, I don't have the exact answer on that Ben, but I know that, again going back to some of the Old European Winery Laws, they only allow rainwater, so I'm sure that if you're taking, you know, tainted water, it's going to affect it, so if they're irrigating with unhealthy water, there has to be some sort of impact there, that's the stuff that's not currently being identified, or if it is, it's not being put out there yet, so I'm sure if wines are starting to flag more with things like arsenic, that that will get stricter with the government.

Ben:  What do you mean that rainwater, you mean like they don't use irrigation at all?  You only get water on the line when it rains?

Mark:  From certain old wineries in France, in Germany, yes.  And some of the areas are starting to lighten up on that, like Spain just kind of loosened up their hold on that, so some of these wineries, that is the case.

Ben:  Okay, got it.  So, we've got arsenic, we've got potential for GMO, whatever might be found in the water if the water is used in the wrong way, irrigate the wine, are there common chemical additives or issues that people should be concerned about in the wine that they're drinking or that they should look for?

Mark:  Yeah, I mean it's more the additives than chemicals.  I mean, you know, the chemicals that flag, you know, really end up being arsenic, but it's the amount of sulfites, the overabundance of them, you know a lot of wine just sitting upwards of 150 parts per million, which is a lot.  Sugar, you know, in California, they call it chaptalization, you're not legally allowed to add sugar in California, you can in Bordeaux, France, and Oregon, but California and other areas do allow a grape concentrate to be added, which is the same thing as adding sugar.  They're looking to add, make it sweeter.

Ben:  What's a grape concentrate?

Mark: It's like grape juice.  So they'll take a concentrated grape juice to affect the content of the wine and the acid control, so what they'll do is if the pH is off and trying to balance it out instead of doing it naturally, they'll add stuff like calcium carbonate, which is basically chalk, or like an acid like a tar acid or malic acid or citric acid to again try and bring the pH levels to where it should be.

Ben:  Really?  So what is it about pH that like, why would you have to do that to adjust the pH of a wine versus the wine just having the correct pH from the get-go?

Mark:  Well, the pH is crucial, pH is what's really controlling the taste, the texture, the smell in your mouth, and if that's off, you know, it's not gonna taste very good, but, yes, it should be done naturally.  So part of how we do it naturally is sourcing particular grapes, the grapes that we source were, they're tested in the beginning for what their pH levels are, so you're starting out with a, again I'm not the chemist, one of our other founders, Zach, he could speak better to this is in chemistry details, but you're gonna hit a range, so you don't wanna be too high or too low because then, no matter what, it won't come out, so the grapes they're sourcing from the beginning are sitting within a particular range so that during the fermentation process, we do an extended fermentation, they're checking that pH level throughout so they could make sure it's getting optimized and not being too high or too low or having to add anything to it.  So our wines sit at about 3.4 for the pH level, if I remember correctly I’ve taught my [0:23:54] ______ optimal, like perfect levels is like 3.35, I think Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blancs should sit somewhere in the range of 3.4 or 3.41.  So we're very, very, very close to usually being spot-on with it, which makes a huge different with the wine.

Ben:  Okay, so that's because of the actual grape that you're using or the time at which you're harvesting the grape, and because of that, that means that you don't have to add like sugar, extra sugars or added grape juice or grape concentrates because you're actually choosing a grape that has the correct pH from the get-go, is that right?

Mark:  Yes.  That and the extended fermentation.

Ben:  Well, why wouldn't everybody just choose that grape from the get-go?  Like why wouldn't the commercial winemaker just choose a grape with the correct pH rather than adding sugar or grape concentrate?

Mark:  ‘Cause it costs more money (chuckles) and then, what do you do with those grapes if they don't match?  So, if they're harvesting tons of grapes and you've got five tons that aren't exactly what you want it to be and you're pushing out, you know, millions of bottles or millions of cases a year, you're really pushing down that deal of what’s coming to, and it takes longer, so, you know, our turnaround time for our wine is a lot longer than what a lot of these larger brands are doing to make their wine.

Ben:  Okay.  What else affects pH?  You were just about to say something else, I think.

Mark:  Well, going back to the irrigation, so if they're, like say they're overflooding the, you know, or not giving enough water and that grape becomes sweeter, that's also gonna affect its pH level, like all those thing inside the grape will be affected based on its water.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  So we've got water and pH, now the other thing that you mentioned was sulfites, and I wanted to ask you about this ‘cause you said like a 150 parts per million or so many amounts of sulfites in wine, but my understanding and, I've looked into this a little bit with my wife ‘cause I thought that that her getting headaches after she drank wine was due to the sulfites, but it looks like a lot of foods like, for example, like potato chips, for example, have extremely high levels of sulfites in them, and a lot of other foods are, have sulfites like, you know, deli meat and dressings and a lot of snack foods and cereals, and I know like herbs and spices have. I mean if you look at the label, they'll have sulfur dioxide or potassium bisulfite or sodium sulfite, and it seems like a lot of these foods would be giving you big headaches too in the same way that wine does if it was just the sulfites.  So, is it really, like, are sulfites really an issue when it comes to wine?  I mean, is that something you should be even trying to control or is it something else in wine that could be causing things like what people think are wine allergies or headaches?

Mark:  Yeah, so, I mean the short answer is yes.  The long answer is still yes.  And the reason it's, the reason why it's different than a potato chip or a particular fruit or something is cause it's not, it's not the sulfites by themselves.  So it's the combination.  So, the combination of sulfites with alcohol and the combination of sulfites and sugar and additives, and everything else that's in there are affecting people.  Now, you know, there are very few people who are truly allergic to the sulfur, I mean if, and they can't eat a lot of things.  Then they can't take certain medications and stuff, so they can't drink wine at all, but the sensitivities that people are having tend to be a combination of numerous things, whether it’s the wine just wasn't filtered correctly, whether it's filtered through wheat and it's not gluten-free, which it should be, you know, the additives, the sulfites combine with the additives, so it’s…

Ben:  What do you mean, you filter wine through wheat?

Mark:  The wine naturally should be gluten-free, but, you know, these are all things that we hear coming about, there's companies that have been cutting [0:27:48] ______ filtering through wheat, which is not good.  So that has an impact of the wine and how it's gonna affect people, I mean, people who don't have allergies but may have some sort of gluten sensitivity and they drank a glass of wine and have no impact, they drank another glass of wine, suddenly they're like stuffy, feel like their congested, and that's a mix of what's being done filtering the wine, sulfites, the additives and what's in it.  It's just, it becomes too much of what's inside the wine, I mean there's, you shouldn't have to have that many sulfites in the wine to stabilize it.

Ben:  I don't understand why you'd have to filter wine through wheat.  How does that even happen?  Like why would you choose wheat as something to filter wine through?

Mark:  I don't, you know, from what we hear, its cost, it's very cheap, you know, I wouldn't even consider it, I'm not quite sure, but, you know, these are the things that, you know, we've, that have been starting to trick a lot of some of the corners that are being cut, you know, when you're, when you're just, I mean some of the things you see out there, you see wine out there for $3.99 a bottle, you know, and that store had to make a profit, the distributor had to make a profit, so you could imagine.

Ben:  Yeah.  Two-Buck Chuck, baby.  I used to go through a bunch of Two-Buck Chuck.  That was my go-to.

Mark:  And they were flagged as one of the companies out there with arsenic, so, you know, it's…

Ben:  Good-tasting wine though for $2.  (Chuckles) Turns out it had a bunch of crap in it, but I'm curious, like, if you're not gonna filter wine through wheat, what do you filter wine through?

Mark:  We filter through diatomaceous earth and micron pads, and the micron pads are, it gets .45, I mean they're the tightest as they can be, so it's top of the line and you can't get any better.  We do a double filtration and the white wines are being cold-stabilized, which the wine's brought down to 34 degrees and it helps any of the impurities that could be in there to raise to the top, and they filter it again.  So, again it's more time, so what we're doing takes more time than some of the other ways of doing it, but it makes for a cleaner wine, so we're, and it costs more money, so, but, you know, our wine is being made for, it costs us probably at least two, if not two and a half times the cost of what similarly priced wines are being made for out there.

Ben:  Um, got it.  So in terms of, I don't wanna return to sulfide issue again, I don't wanna kick this horse to death too much, but one of the things that I understand that people get sensitive to and that can cause migraines and headaches from food are histamines, and other forms of what are called amines.  Is there a way to reduce those from the wine that you drink because, again, like I mentioned, I'm still trying to figure out why my wife doesn't get headaches from your wine, and I'm not convinced it's not the sulfides, but do you know much about amines, like histamines or if the way that the wine is produced can increase or decrease the amount of histamines that are in it?

Mark:  You know, and I, and I don't have the right answer for that, Ben, and I know that some wines get flagged for mold or, you know, I had a customer reach out to me and ask me if we used a particular glue to seal something on there or whatever.  She said the glue was known for having some sort of histamine to it, I've never even heard of it, but we get questions asked to us by customers that they find stuff, and it brings knowledge to us that, I dunno if it's just some of the agents they use, whether it's bottling or sealing the wine or, that's what it was.  It was the glue in sealing the barrels that had something in it that caused the wine to then be affected.  I'd never heard of it before so, you know, I guess there's other things like that, but typically the allergen piece or the histamine piece, the way I understand it, would be more of a, tracking back to a mold.  So if the wine, again, was not, pH could affect that as well, so if the pH is off, you know, that can lead for things inside the wine to grow.

Ben:  I know that's the deal with coffee, like I've talked with, with Dave before who does Bulletproof Coffee, and he talks about how they, they don't soak the coffee beans for a long period of time, like it's some kind of like a continuous flow process, the way they do their coffee, so it has lower levels of mold in it, and apparently, and I know there's controversy out there about this, apparently a lot of other coffee makers do the same thing, and this has been going on like since the 70s or whatever that, that a lot of them are doing like a continuous flow process where the coffee beans don't soak for long periods of time.  Is there a variation in soaking times for different types of grapes, like is there a difference between like how long your grapes are soaking, I think it's called maceration or something like that, like soaking or maceration compared to other wines?

Mark:  That I'm, I'm not gonna guess that because that's, that's more of Zack's forte, so unfortunately, I don't have that answer.  I could get that answer for you.

Ben:  Dang it!  We gotta get Zack here.  We gotta ask him these questions.  Does, is that true though?  Does, do grapes actually get soaked in the wine making process?

Mark:  Yeah, I mean they're gonna be part of that as when they're being cleaned, you know, is when they're first run through the, you know, remove anything that was, as they're being, you know, pulped, so, you know, how and whether or not it's done being done lime but others, I think that comes down more to, you know, sitting inside a fermentation process that, you know, I mean like inside the fermentation, that's where the longevity will be different, like ours, we do an extended fermentation, so I know that sure makes a huge difference in the wine.

Ben:  What does that mean?  What is extended fermentation?

Mark:  So, you know, some of the wines being turned around in three or four days and we're doing ours in a 10 to 15 day time frame in that initial fermentation.  So that's where we're focusing on that pH level, instead of, let's just, you know, pull it out in three days and then add what we need to to get things taste-wise…

Ben:  Yeah.  Okay, that makes sense, and that's also, and this is something that I like about your wines I've talked about in that article, is that why they're higher in alcohol?

Mark:  Yes.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  So when you ferment for a long period of time like that, from what I understand, you're adjusting the pH in a way that allows you to not have to like add extra sugars and concentrates and stuff, but when you're fermenting for a long time, ‘cause my wife does kombucha, right, and you add a bunch of sugar to kombucha, but then the bacteria ferment the sugar and, and you don't get an end-product that's high in sugar.  With wine, when you're doing a long fermentation, is basically what's going on the, sugar is getting converted into higher amounts of alcohol so the end product is a wine with less sugar and more alcohol?

Mark:  Correct.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  Now is that why you do that?  Like just to create a wine with more alcohol?  You just like to, uh, are you just a closet drunk?

Mark:  Yeah. (laughs) It's actually not, it's not even more alcohol, it's actually around the standard of what a typical Cabernet or Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc is, but we did it with no residual sugars, so many wines that will be out there that will go on a dryer side or wanted to look at a lower calorie, they did it by lowering the alcohol content, and that wasn't our objective.  In the beginning, our wines do have a little less calories and carbohydrates, but that wasn't our objective.  We wanted to look into make a low cal wine and create some kind of numbers game, it was more focusing on a clean wine that had no residual sugar, and just the by-product of that happened to bring down the carbohydrates and calories, but we also wanted to make sure that it maintained its alcohol, you know.  A typical Cabernet just sit in that 13 and a half to 14, one 14 two range, and ours is the 13.9, so we didn't want to be, you know, bring forth a wine that people felt that it was not up to par with a typical Cabernet or Chardonnay that they were drinking because it had less alcohol, cause that will, it does make a difference in its taste.  You've had wine that sits in the 9, 10, 10 and a half range, it's, it's a dramatic different taste than a 13 and a half.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah.  Absolutely.  I notice a big difference, so this is basically a long fermentation.  On your website you say that your wines go through what’s called a mallow lactic secondary fermentation to lower the pH levels and make like a clean, good-tasting wine, is that the same, is that just like fancy word for long fermentation, mallow lactic secondary fermentation?

Mark:  Yeah, and it's just, yeah, it's the type of fermentation that's being done in, in the that process, you know, it's clean, so it's, it's top-of-the-line so it's no weird things in there or, you know, we've heard of eggshells and everything else that they can add or put in to try and, you know, inside of adjusting pH levels, so it's, it's basically a clean way of doing the fermentation process, so it's not having an effect on the wine.

Ben:  Okay, so that allows you to get your pH levels at the right level so you don't have to add sugars or additives or things like extra sulfites.

Mark:  Right.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  Now what about mold?  You mentioned mold earlier, I know that folks have talked about ochretoxin or ochratoxin, or however you wanna pronounce it, in wine, do you think that's an issue?  Is that something that you've tried to control or what's going on as far as mold is concerned?

Mark:  Yeah, I mean, you know, ochratoxins, I mean I've not had that actually come across any conversations about our wine or anybody else's wine, so I haven't, you know, I'm not gonna discount somebody write an article about it or whatever, but I know that it would it, it would come up as well about coffee and, you know, our wine does get tested by an independent lab, so we don't have issues with mold or arsenic or any other, you know, thing like that so, we're, we're aware of, I mean, it's a live thing.  Wine is, it's, it's a live item, so, anything can generate mold or mildew or anything, so, you know, if you don't do things properly, it could have negative effects from it.  So we do, you know, make sure that we're constantly testing the wine and being, you know, aware of our processes and that's why we do spend extra time and extra money and do top-of-the-line filtration or, and fermentation to, you know, protect the wine and make clean wines.

Ben:  Do all wineries test their wine like that?

Mark:  No.

Ben:  Okay, so what's going on?  Like, you're taking the wine and you're sending it off to some, what, what's a lab test that tests for wine?  Why would you do something like that?

Mark:  A lot of, well, there's different levels of it, so, you know, some, most liquor companies and wineries, even beer, will send it out to test it, you know, make sure it's coming at what they stated for alcohol content or calories or carbs, we went the extra step and we did the top-of-the-line litany of every test that could be out there to see if there's, you know, we're saying, this is what we're doing.  We want somebody independently say, “Yes, there's nothing in the wine.”  Like, you know, it's clean, there's no arsenic flagging or mold or whatever.  We check for calories, carbohydrates, resveratrol, everything.  So anything that they could test for, we did.

Ben:  Really?  Do you produce those test anywhere?  Like, like, is there a place somebody could go download that?

Mark:  Uh, no.  We haven't done that yet.

Ben:  You should.

Mark:  I know, we spent a little and then we'll, you know, get into it too much, cause it's been a little, kind of, pushed back by, what's called the TTB.  They're the Federal Regulation Board of the ATF that overlooks alcohol.  We've had some gentle push and shoves because we tried to put the calories and carbohydrates on there.  We did it in the first couple of labels, they made us take it off.

Ben:  Really?

Mark:  Yeah.  We had it to adjust some of our language because we said, “For the active lifestyle,” that had to be removed.  We had beneficial compounds that had to be removed, so they make you, there's a very long list of what you cannot say. (chuckles)

Ben:  I didn't know that.  Well, that is true.  When you look at a lot of wines I get, or alcohol in general, a lot of times it doesn't tell you the carbs or calories or anything like that.

Mark:  Right, and in Europe it does.  So, you know, in the United States, we've been fighting for a long time.

Ben:  I dunno.  Whenever I've had wine in Europe, it just comes to your table in a giant carafe and you drink it.  You barely even see the bottle, it just, it just goes straight down the hatch. 

Mark:  If they thought it was beneficial to go that route, they lobbied for it.

Ben:  That is true!  I've always wondered why they don't have labels on, on the wine that they bring to the table and, so the issue is what again?  Why wouldn't they allow that?

Mark:  They don't want you to make health claims, so, you know, the beer industry lobbied for it once they decided they want to go the route of the calorie fight, you know.  I have a light, now I have an ultra light, now I have the super light.  You know, they all fight for, you know, five less calories or something, so when they decided to go that marketing route, by cutting alcohol and adding water, they lobbied for it and they got it.  So, the wine industry hasn't done that and it's, you know, still a protective thing and they don't want it out there.

Ben:  You talked about resveratrol and, you know, when it comes to making health claims about wine, I know we've got like resveratrol and there's, you know, there's all sorts of anti-oxidants in wine, you know, like polyphenols and, and anthocyanadins and all sorts of stuff that you get from the grape skins.  One thing that you were telling me about was that you can actually choose grapes or grow grapes in a way that concentrates the antioxidants.  Can you talk about that, like, like how do you actually concentrate these specific antioxidants that are in the grapes?

Mark:  Yeah, so it's, grapes, typically, that are raised in elevation, cool climates and kind of a, I dunno if you wanna call it a rougher terrain, but, you know, more of a mountainous region, most of our grapes come from over 2,000 feet of elevation, it has impact on the growth of the grape.  Grapes almost have to kind of fight for, you know, fight harder to be in that type of region and it does affect their, the strength level of, you know, those compounds in the grapes.  And then, inside the fermentation process, because that extended fermentation is in the process of being done, it's fully getting all of those out of the grapes.  You know, where you're cutting that time short, it cuts time from, a long and full extraction of those beneficial compounds to the grape.

Ben:  That's interesting.  That's, I was doing an interview with a guy who creates like this, this plant-herb formulation that I drink called Tianchi.  It's like a bunch of Chinese adaptogenic herbs, and he said that he specifically chooses herbs out of China where they grow them in these extremely hardy conditions, like on these farms and, you know, we were joking back and forth about how they like whip, whip the herbs and beat the herbs, but it really is true, like they grow them under extremely harsh conditions, and it's interesting ‘cause when you look at wild plants and the amount of antioxidants in wild plants, they, they get concentrated when the plants are grown in harsh climates, and so what you're saying is you're going out of your way to choose grapes that are grown in like these high, cool areas with less irrigation so that the grapes have to go through a harder time so they produce more endogenous anti-oxidants.

Mark:  Yeah, and it's, so it's the antioxidants and then, that happened to also be the grapes that had better pH levels, more consistent pH levels that, you know, walked right into what we were looking to do.

Ben:  Yeah.  Plants are interesting like that, I got, have you ever heard of this book called “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson?  She goes into how when you get kale, what you do is, or any other type of like dark, leafy green, you rip it up at night, like the night before you're gonna eat it, or put it in a smoothie, and it thinks it's being eaten by a wild animal, and so it produces a bunch more endogenous antioxidants, so the next morning when you eat it, you're actually getting more antioxidants than if you just like, you know, take in it whole out of the bag or out of the garden or throwing it in your blender.

Mark:  Bah, that's amazing!

Ben:  Yeah! It's super interesting.  So, you can basically do the same thing with grapes.  You're beating up the grapes, so you get more concentrated amounts of resveratrol and polyphenols and stuff like that.

Mark:  Yeah, cause it's, you know, the grape like to, the grapes are almost like they're fighting for their lives and it's, and, you know, we're not the only one to do it, there's a lot of small vineyards in Europe that do it, and in the US, actually even the first one that kinda really drive that route was Jess Jackson, who founded Kendall-Jackson.

Ben:  Okay.

Mark:  He took things out of the typical areas of where grapes were being grown and he was going after specific like hillsides and he was very much into the terroir of the terrain and the soil, and stuff like that and it does make it, you know, a difference in the grapes.

Ben:  Where do you grow your grapes?

Mark:  Most of our grapes will be in Lodi, California, but based on yield, we can, we worked with some other farms when needed to source addition grapes, and again, they have to meet our standards, what we're looking for.

Ben:  Okay, that's like, you know, in the Sierra foothills, right?

Mark:  Correct.

Ben:  Okay.  Cool.  Cool.  Alright, so basically when, when it comes down to implications for health, what we're talking about is less sugar or less, like, concentrated carbohydrates and more anti-oxidants, like that, that would be the, in a nutshell, and then less sulfites and less, less arsenic or better laboratory testing for any of these artificial additives, and more concentrated antioxidants. 

Mark:  Correct.

Ben:  Okay, and of course the biggie for me, more alcohol.

Mark:  (chuckles) Yes!

Ben:  Which a lot of people, a lot of people think that's the bad thing.  I think it's great.  Like I love it when I can drink a glass of wine and it spins the dials in my, in my brain just a little bit more.  Again, not to, I'm a one-glass-of-wine-a-day type of person ‘cause I actually think that having more than one drink a day, you know, for me personally, I just, I don't feel that great.  I self-quantify my sleep and the amount of time that I spend in deep-sleep cycles, and, you know, how I feel the next day and I test my testosterone levels, and I know that a glass of wine a day is, is like the perfect area for me, so I always, every night, it's either glass of wine or I'll take kombucha and I put a shot of vodka, and I squeeze half a lemon into a kombucha and that, those are my two drinks of choice and I actually did a podcast on kombucha last month where we talked about how kombucha actually gets converted to gluconic and glucaronic acid, which are both liver cleanses and, so, your drinking alcohol and at the same time, it's kinda, kinda cleansing your liver.  So, that's my other drink of choice, but I do have more questions for you.  You talk about how your wine is bio-dynamically and organically farmed, what's that mean for wine to be bio-dynamically farmed?

Mark:  Well, really, I mean, in the US, they don't actually put a legal label on biodynamic, so really the difference is just how your, what you’re doing in raising the grapes and how you're farming so, and that's us, as I said, we're taking longer times for filtering, double-filtering, and extended fermentation, so it's, biodynamic, it's kind of a, more of a loose term of, more of can be, really open to interpretation.  Organic is controlled by the US government of what the actually term is, so we're not certified organic, but all our grapes are pesticide-free.  To go through that certification is a long process which, at this time, we're not investing in for many other reasons, but there's two types of organic.  So what they'll say is, the first type of organic is that we use, you know, what they use in certified, organically-grown grapes, avoiding any synthesized additives or anything like that.  So, again, we're not, that's why ours doesn't say organic on it, because we haven't gone through the certification for it, but we use all pesticide-free grapes and there are no additives.  The secondary step to that is organic wines, which again are made from organically grown grapes, but also there are no sulfites added at all, except the, whatever sulfites have been naturally found in the wine, so, that has a much different shelf-life to the wine, so we won't go that path.  We found that we've been able to make a nice, full-body, clean wine with minimal sulfites added, so it, our sit at about 35 parts per million which is very low, but they still contain more than, you know, that organic wine.

Ben:  You said that other wines are at, did you say 150?

Mark:  Yeah, so, that's not all wines, I mean, there's, I couldn't tell you how many thousands of different wines in the world, but a typical wine sits somewhere in the range of 75 to 150 parts per million.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  Got it.  Yeah.  I still think it's something else other than the sulfites that are causing issues, again ‘cause I watch my wife and she drank, she consumes packaged foods or foods that do contain some sulfites and doesn't get headaches and it's always the different kind of wines, I think it's the, I think it's, it has something to do with like the silking process that you talked about, or the amount of tyramine or histamine in some of these non-organic wines or, I know we can't say you guys are organic cause you're not like certified organic, but these, these wines that use pesticides and, you know, stuff like that, so either way though, you've got no residual sugar, lower amounts of carbohydrates, and way less sulfites, or way fewer sulfites.

Mark:  Yep.

Ben:  Okay.

Mark:  And to pinpoint at Ben, I mean, just like, yeah, you know you've work with people, thousands of people around the world when it comes to nutrition, everybody's different, everybody's body is affected differently, that's why nutrition coaches, you know, can struggle sometimes because you could line up a 100 people and all 100 of those people will be affected differently by foods.  So the same thing is, you know, to kind of just say a blanket statement of it, this is tough because everybody's body reacts to something different, so it could be one thing in the line for somebody, and another thing in there for somebody else, so it's, but definitely making a cleaner wine does make it less impactful. 

Ben:  Yeah.  Okay.  Got it.  Now another thing that you mention was you talked about, I think you used the word “cold stabilized”, you were talking about the filtration process, and you said you used diatomaceous earth and micron pads rather than wheat to filter your wine, but you also mentioned something about how it's cold stabilized?  What does that mean?

Mark:  So, white wine should be cold stabilized.  When we cold stabilized, it brings it down to 34 degrees and what happens is it allows any kind of impurity in the wine to kinda raise up inside the vat and then be filtered out, cause if not, if that's not done, and you go put your white wine in the refrigerator, it can crystallize and that crystallization can be the impurities.  So, it could be sugars or whatever else in there, so it's just another step to help, you know, keep the white wines clean.

Ben:  Okay.  Okay.  Got it.  Now, there is a lot of talk right now about healthy wines.  I know that, like I mentioned my friend, Mark Sisson has talked about wine, he was recently on the Joe Rogan podcast, and he was talking about how he's drinking this wine called, I think it's called Dry Farm Wines and I've tried those too.  I've actually had a bottle of Dry Farm Wines last night because they sent me some to try, and I know that Dave Asprey, another guy who's a friend of mine, he's, he's also talked a lot lately about healthy wines and choosing, you know, the special kinds of wines, you know, kind of using processes that we've just talked about.  I have, I've tried your guys' wine, and I've, I've tried the Dry Farm Wines and both, frankly, they're, they're really good wines, but one thing that I noticed, and again, I'll just be totally straightforward and, you know, I had a conversation with the folks at Dry Farm Wines, they seem like awesome people and their wine is good, but your wine is better.  And the reason that I like your wine more is because it's darker and more rich, and I thought that their stuff was kind of watery.  Why is that?  ‘Cause I know that you both use like biodynamic processes and you both use like like grown at high elevations and, you know, concentrated for antioxidants, and you're all kinda like jumping through these healthy wine hoops, why is it that your wine seems darker and more rich and more flavorful when I drink it?

Mark:  To be honest with you, I haven't tried their wines, but I'm excited that there's other people out there, you know, trying to push the same message we are, so I'm excited for those guys.  I know that they're looking, you know, they're a subscription basis and I dunno if they'll stay that way or if they'll ever enter stores, so, but, two things I could see, all their wines are European wines they pull from small, you know, wineries inside of Europe.

Ben:  Oh really?  So none of them are like California or Washington or anything like that?

Mark:  From what I've looked at, and I could be wrong, but from what I initially looked at, most of my thought were all European wines, but their wines are, and it may not sound significant, but it is, significantly less alcohol.  They say everything's under 12.5%, but from what I've looked at, a lot of them sit around that 11% range, so the alcohol does have an impact, so that impact it would, that alcohol range being lower is gonna be part of in the fermentation.  So, like, so we, you know, said we do that extended fermentation, so that flavor and that deepness is gonna come out of that timeframe so they have to shorten theirs in order to cut down that ABB, you know, that could potentially be why it's not all there is [0:53:47] ______ .

Ben:  ‘Cause some of your guys' wines are close to 14% right?

Mark:  Yep.  Our Cabernet is 13.9.  Yep.

Ben:  Yeah.  And like I mention, like, I, I like my wine with more alcohol, and again, like these Dry Farm Wines, they're good and I've had them, but, dude, I swear by your guys' wine.  I give it to all my friends and they love it, and I still, I mean let's, let's not fool ourselves.  We're not talking about like $500 bottles of Bordeaux here.  I still use all my hacks.  I take your wine and I pour it out and I use a latte frother, or my kids use the latter frother, we froth it, you know, just like beat the heck out of it for like a minute which makes it taste even more amazing.  It's one little wine hack.  But, yeah, I mean, I like your wines, of the couple of brands of healthy wines that I've tried, they're dark, they're rich, they're tasty, I mean, kudos.  I like 'em.  They're tasty, you know.

Mark:  Thank you.  Another of our goals too, Ben, was that, you know, we talk to the point of, you know, the active lifestyle, but we wanted the general public to enjoy it.  We wanted, we don't want them to say, “Oh, it's a healthy wine.  It's gonna, you know, taste like crap.”  And we've done hundreds of tastings up and down the coast and with numerous people and we've had those people who come up to the table, and they're a little nervous, and they drink those 2-, 3-, 400 Dollar bottles of wine and they've said, for better lack of words, they're like, “I expected this to taste like crap, you know, like it's very good,” because they automatically assume like, “Oh, it's healthy,” you know, “It's not gonna taste good,” and they're used to a nice bold Cab or something.  So our goal was to, you know, have that, you know, that full flavor and full body, but still be smooth, would be drinkable.  So, for the person who's not a real wine person, but is interested in, you know, starting to get into it and they're, you know, may be a little nervous of what to drink and they don't wanna be punched, you know, a lot of, some Cabs can give you that real big hit, so with the combination of having a full body, but drinkability to it, so that, you know, it could go towards the, like you said, the everyday wine drinker and them enjoy it and make it, like you said, a glass a night.  That's what we want, is people to enjoy it on a regular basis.

Ben:  Yeah.  That has freaked out some of my friends before, when I pull out my wine and it's got like a picture, it's like a runner or like a sprinter on the front of your guys' wine which makes people think that maybe it tastes like crap cause it's healthy, but it actually, it tastes really good.  What flavors do you have?  What varieties?

Mark:  So we initially launched with our Cabernet Sauvignon and our Chardonnay.  Most recently, we just released our Sauvignon Blanc, and then, coming in the very, very, very near future, ahead of schedule is our Pinot Noir.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  That's cool.  I don't really care that much your Chardonnay or your Sauvignon Blanc cause I don't drink white.  Period.  I've, well, I've, no, I occasionally do, when I'm eating fish, I'll have, or I'll have it as a starter, like if I'm occasionally doing a dinner party, you know, and we're doing multiple courses, I'll start with the white then move to the red, but I swear by your Cabernet.  My wife and I go through a bottle of your Cabernet, I think once every, we're at like once every two, or three days now, we go through a bottle of your Cabernet, we've big wine glasses.  And the Cab is like 16 bucks, but most your wines are like in the 16 to 20 Dollar type-range, right?

Mark:  Yes.  The Cabernet and Chardonnay are both $15.99 and the Sauvignon Blanc is $17.99.

Ben:  Okay, cool.  And we've got a discount, if you're listening in, the discount code you can use is Ben10, Ben10 at fitvinewine.com, assuming you're 21 years of age or older.  Please, do not break the law.  Fitvinewine.com, and then the 10% discount code is Ben10, and I'll also make sure that I link to that and a lot of the other stuff that Mark and I talked about, like the articles, the article that I wrote and then also some of these articles about nasty crap in wine, if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/healthywine.  That's bengreenfieldfitness.com/healthywine.  By the way, Mark, when's the Pinot Noir coming out, ‘cause I actually like Pinot Noir more than I do Cab.

Mark:  Uhh, I let the hat out of the bag, it's actually being bottled this week.

Ben:  Sweet!

Mark:  So, it'll be ready for shipment with our fulfillment centers probably in about two weeks.

Ben:  Sweet.  Alright.  Cool.

Mark:  I'll be sending you some with your next…

Ben:  I was gonna say I better get my hands on some.

Mark:  (chuckles) and we’ve already….

Ben:  Sweet, sweet.  Well, folks, if you're, if you're into wine, or even if you're not into wine and you're considering stepping off that cliff, you should check these guys out.  FitVineWine, you go to fitvinewine.com, you can use 10% discount code Ben10, grab yourself a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet, sounds like a Pinot Noir pretty soon.  I will, I will verify.  This stuff is good, I still thing you should still beat the hell out of it with a latte frother, like I do, and drink it out of a big ol' fishbowl-sized wine glass, and then I'll leave you with my last hack, and that is I rarely actually have a wine with dinner, unless I'm having a big ol' steak ‘cause I like to use it as a palette cleanser between bites of steak.  I drink my wine right after my work out because the fructose in the wine actually is used to restore your liver's glycogen levels, and so it's, it's less likely to get converted into triglycerides or fats, and more likely to just refill your energy source when you drink it post-workout.  So that's always my, my go-to as I finish my workout around like 6:00 or 7:00 PM. I'm usually not eating dinner until 8:00 or 8:30 PM, and the only thing that I have during that 2 hour window is a nice glass of this FitVineWine, so a thanks to Mark for making that happen.

Mark:  Oh, thank you!

Ben:  And making it guilt-free.

Mark:  Yeah!

Ben:  More than guilt-free!  I feel like I'm recovering faster ‘cause I get my antioxidants.  Well, cool.  So, again, bengreenfieldfitness.com/healthywine is where the show notes are, or you can go to fitvinewine.com, use discount code Ben10 to save 10%.  Mark, thanks for coming on and, and geeking out on this stuff with me and creating a few more alcoholics in the world.

Mark:  (chuckles) Sounds good.  Thank you for having me.  It was a pleasure.

Ben:  Alright.  Cool.  Well, folks, this is Ben Greenfield and Mark Warren signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Have a healthy week.

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting-edge fitness, and performance advice.


A few months ago, I released the article “Dark & Dirty Secrets Of The Wine Industry, Four Ways To Make Wine Healthier, and What Kind Of Wine Fit People Should Drink.” 

In it, I detailed the serious issues with arsenic, overpricing, lack of sustainability, high levels of sulfites, amines and ochratoxins, boatloads of sugars, high pH levels (that increase the possibility of contamination by unwanted organisms), a less than stellar taste, plastic polyethylenes and many other problems plaguing the modern wine industry – and causing many people (including my wife) to get headaches or poor sleep from a nightly glass of wine.

At the end of that post, I highlight that I now drink a new kind of healthy wine called “FitVineWine”, and in today’s podcast, I interview Mark Warren, co-founder of FitVineWine, a national level black belt competitor in TaeKwonDo, a Crossfitter and of course, as a wine enthusiast and father of two boys, a man after my own heart.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-Why there are shocking levels of additives and other fillers in most modern wines…

-How most wineries add sugar and grape concentrate to wines to adjust the pH (and why pH is so important)…

-Why many wines are filtered through wheat and contain gluten…

-Whether you need to be concerned about mold in wine…

-How you can concentrate the amount of antioxidants like resveratrol, polyphenols and proanthocyanidins in grapes…

-What it means for a wine to be “biodynamic” or “organically” farmed…

-Why many wines are over-irrigated and why wineries should use less water, not more…

-Why wine grapes should be grown at higher, cooler elevations…

-Why people really aren’t allergic to sulfites in wine, and why it’s something else altogether…

How FitVineWine compares to other popular “healthy” or “Paleo” wines out there…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

FitVineWine.com (use 10% discount code BEN10)

California Winemakers Sued Over High Levels of Arsenic in Wines

Bad News for Those of You Who, Like Us, Drank Cheap Wine Each and Every Night of Your 20s


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