Lower Histamine Wines – Can It Be True? What to Know When you Have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance
Do you have big holiday plans this year? Will those plans include being at parties where cocktails or wine will be served?
I do enjoy having a delicious cocktail or glass of wine on special occasions!
But you probably know by now that almost all wine is very high histamine.
Notice, though, I said almost all wine…but not all!
I have a great surprise for you today if you have histamine intolerance and love wine like I do!
I initially developed a taste for wine from my friend, Denise. She sells some of the best wine in the world to the top restaurants in the area. So, as you can imagine, she knows a lot about wine!
When we’d get together, she’d bring wine and teach me what notes to look for in each one.
I once entertained the idea of being a food critic. I absolutely loved learning about different wine flavor profiles and food pairings.
Even though we drank in moderation, I always felt pretty crappy the next day.
At that time, I didn’t know what was going on with my health or what was triggering me. I didn’t know about Histamine Intolerance or Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.
When I did find out I had Histamine Intolerance, sadly, I realized that meant the wine tastings would have to end.
And it meant that at parties, when everyone was sipping wine or cocktails, I was sticking with sparkling water. I felt like I was missing out on part of the fun.
Are you finding yourself in the same boat?
Do those robust red wines look mouth-watering? Do the cocktails made with St. Germaine elderflower liqueur and sugar-coated rims look delicious?
They are tempting!
You know if you have a glass you’re going to regret it, though.
For me, all these fun choices reminded me of all the things I had to give up…including my hobby of learning about wines. I’d end up feeling a bit down by the end of the night.
Still, I knew if I had even just one glass, I’d suffer badly.
Today, I’ve done a lot of work to get my health back. I’m happy to say I can tolerate many things now that I couldn’t when I was down to 10 foods.
I can even have a glass of wine or a cocktail from time to time these days – but only if it’s the lower histamine kind. If I stick with 1 to 2 glasses, I won’t have a reaction or feel bad the next day.
Are you surprised to hear that there are lower histamine wine options? I was!
I’m super excited to tell you all about it!
I’ve been trying this wine in moderation for a few months now. There are several different options, and they taste amazing!
Now, these are not NO histamine wines. All wine will have some histamine. But these are some lower histamine options.
So, if you’re not tolerating many foods or supplements yet, I’d recommend waiting before you have any alcohol.
If you can tolerate a little bit of alcohol, though, keep reading to learn more about lower histamine wine.
Higher Histamine Traditional Wines vs Lower Histamine Dry Farm Wines – info for those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance
I spent a few years trying to find some kind of wine I could tolerate.
I had no luck…until I discovered Dry Farm Wines. Finding them was a major game changer for me!
Not only are their wines lower histamine, they are:
- Lower alcohol
- Sourced from winemakers who follow organic and biodynamic farming practices
- Free of artificial sulfites or other synthetic preservatives
- Free of artificial colors or flavors
- Sugar free
Where do you find these wines?
Dry Farm Wines takes out the guess work. They source and distribute a number of lower histamine wines.
They source the wines they distribute from small, biodynamic farms. Then they test each wine to make sure it meets the Dry Farm Wines standards for healthier wine choices.
They use an independent lab to test for sugar, alcohol levels, and sulfites.
I’m really excited to tell you more about Dry Farm Wines and how they differ from other wines on the market. I’m excited to share this with you because I know it’s so enticing to pick up a drink at a party, especially around the holidays.
But you want to think twice about what you select.
Every January, I get tons of messages from clients who overindulged during the holidays and are massively flared. Especially when they’ve been drinking high histamine wines, beers, or cocktails.
See, alcoholic beverages are often a double whammy when you have histamine intolerance.
How does this happen? It’s through 2 ways:
- Many alcoholic beverages are high histamine.
- Alcohol itself can reduce your ability to get rid of histamine by inhibiting one of your histamine-busting enzymes (called DAO).
And if you have Histamine Intolerance, all this histamine building up in your body can leave you with all kinds of symptoms, including:
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling itchy
- Loose stools or diarrhea
- Bloating and/or gas
- Massive headaches
But Dry Farm Wines offers wines that are lower alcohol. That means these wines don’t reduce your DAO histamine-degrading enzyme as much as higher alcohol beverages do.
The wines from Dry Farm Wines have alcohol levels between 7% – 12.1%. In the US, wine is usually 11.6%-18% alcohol.
But lower alcohol levels are just the beginning with these lower histamine wines.
For those of us with Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance, there are a lot of other benefits of choosing Dry Farm Wines over other wines. We’ll look at more of those next.
What Mast Cell Triggers Are Hiding in Many Wines on the Market? -- what to know if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance
You might be surprised at all the mast cell triggers lurking in wine. From artificial colors to toxic herbicides to added sugar, there are a number of things that can take a toll on our systems. But with Dry Farm Wines, many of these triggers are not an issue!
Let’s look at why.
Glyphosate (aka Roundup) in Wine and the Effect on Mast Cells
In conventionally produced wines, there can be traces of pesticides and toxic herbicides!
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the weedkiller, Roundup. It’s widely used to treat crops in conventional agriculture.
While glyphosate is good for killing weeds that compete with crops, studies are showing that it isn’t great for people.
Studies have shown that in mammals, including humans, glyphosate can cause cell damage. Studies have also proven that glyphosate causes immune dysregulation. And I’m sure you know by now, when the immune system gets disrupted, that can trigger the mast cells.
But Dry Farm Wines sources wines from winemakers who follow organic and biodynamic farming practices.
That means no weedkiller in your wine!
And there are even more benefits to biodynamic farming. Biodynamic farming basically means the grower takes into consideration the entire ecosystem.
In fact, Dry Farm Wines actually gets its name from a biodynamic practice: dry farming.
Dry Farming is when farmers don’t use man-made irrigation methods.
They let the vines find their natural water source. Dry Farm Wines has found this is better for the planet, the vine, and produces a better fruit.
They estimate their growers save about 1.4 billion gallons of water annually by not irrigating!
This method also helps keep mycotoxin levels down. Let’s look at mycotoxins and wine next.
Mold and Wine
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve learned how Mold Toxicity is the number one root factor of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome I see in the Mast Cell 360 practice.
You can get exposed to mold in a lot of different ways, including foods.
A low histamine diet is already fairly low in foods that contain mold toxins. So, I actually don’t worry about mold levels in foods too much.
There is an exception to this – I’m cautious when it comes to traditional wines. Regular wine is notorious for having high levels of mold toxins.
This is because most grapes are grown in very damp conditions that breed mold.
Studies have shown most wine-producing practices often lead to concerning levels of a mold toxin called Ochratoxin. These levels are way above safe limits for the average person. So, they are definitely too much for people with issues like Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance.
Ochratoxin isn’t only a mast cell trigger. It’s also been shown in animal studies to be very toxic to the kidneys. It can cause nerve damage. And it’s carcinogenic.
The dry farming method we just talked about means the environment will be less damp and less hospitable to growing mold.
I reached out to Dry Farm Wines to learn more about mold and the wines that they distribute. They told me that the vast majority of their wines come from Europe. Europe has strict mandatory testing for mold and other chemicals.
Glyphosates and Mold aren’t the only icky things you might find in industrially produced wine. You might even be familiar with the next one I’ll talk about. Sulfites.
Sulfites in Wine as Mast Cell Triggers
If you’ve even been a wine drinker, you’ve probably heard of sulfites.
Synthetic sulfites are often added to wine as preservatives. That makes shipping easier for distributors and gives the wine a longer shelf life.
Adding sulfites to grape juice can also change the chemical reactions that happen in the wine making process. These changes affect the flavor of wines. The result is a sweeter tasting wine.
But here’s the bad news about adding sulfites. In studies, sulfites have been shown to lead to mast cell activation. Studies have also shown reports of sulfite-related adverse reactions.
Those have included anaphylactic shock, nausea, gut issues, and a common mast cell-driven issue, urticaria (more commonly known as hives).
Now, there really isn’t a truly sulfite-free wine. That’s because sulfites are naturally occurring in the wine making process.
However, there is a big difference between these naturally occurring sulfites and the synthetic sulfite additives.
Sulfites can be naturally occurring up to about 30ppm (parts per million). The levels can be much higher than this in conventionally produced wine.
The wines from Dry Farm Wines don’t have any added synthetic sulfites. There will be a small amount of the naturally occurring sulfites present. But those don’t present the same kinds of problems as sulfite additives.
Dry Farm Wines diligently tests each wine they distribute. Dry Farm Wines lab tests each wine to guarantee it is low even in these naturally occurring sulfites (less than 75 ppm).
For comparison, conventional wines usually have 150-300 ppm sulfites. That’s at least twice the amount!
My clients who are turning the corner and able to tolerate a little alcohol have usually done well with Dry Farm Wines in moderation. This is because of how clean these wines are.
What moderation means is different for everyone. Some people are doing fine with 1/4 glass. Some people are doing fine with 2 glasses.
I think it’s great that Dry Farm Wines steers clear of adding synthetic sulfites. They also don’t add any other artificial synthetic preservatives, colors, or flavors.
No Artificial Colors or Flavors…and Sugar Free = Lower Histamine!
Some wines have added coloring and sugars. Mega Purple is a common coloring used to make (predominantly) cheaper wines look darker and richer in color. It’s a marketing tactic. Here’s the thing about Mega Purple: it’s a concentrated wine with about 68% sugar!
The wines from Dry Farm Wines don’t have any added colorings to enhance the look of their product. And they don’t add any sugar.
With Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance, we try to avoid sugar. That’s because changes in blood sugar levels can affect histamine levels.
But how can wine be sugar free? Well, it has to do with the process in which wine is made.
Wine is made by adding yeast to grape juice. The yeast eats the sugar. That is the process that produces the alcohol in the wine.
Some winemakers interfere in this process by introducing additives that will stop the yeast from eating all the sugar. This makes for a sweeter wine. As you might suspect, this also means that wine will have a higher sugar content.
However, when a winemaker lets the full process run its course, the native yeasts consume as much sugar as possible until the yeast naturally dies.
That means the sugar content will be lower. That’s why the wines you get at Dry Farm Wines have used this natural process to lower the sugar levels. This method reduces the yeast levels, too.
There’s something else you should know about the yeasts that make wine. Most winemakers use commercial yeasts.
When additives are introduced to change the chemical reactions of the wine making process, there can be a lot of that yeast left in the wine. That can increase histamine levels.
But the wines curated by Dry Farm Wines only use natural, beneficial yeasts. (Yes, there are beneficial yeasts – for example, there is a great probiotic yeast called Saccharomyces Boulardii.)
So, with Dry Farm Wines, you are getting the benefit of the natural yeasts eating up as much sugar as possible…and you are getting less yeast as it dies off naturally.
Just like Dry Farms tests each wine for sulfites, they test each wine for sugar content, too. None of their bottles tests higher than 1 gram of sugar per liter!
You won’t find any other weird and unexpected byproducts in their wines either. Did you know that some wine manufacturers add things like dairy, eggs, fish bladders, and even pork and cow byproducts to wine to change the flavor?
Dry Farm Wines are vegan. That means you won’t find any of those potentially high histamine animal ingredients in their wines.
These are all great benefits if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance…but I’ve saved the best point for last. The wines taste great!
So, are you ready to try some lower histamine wine?
Lower Histamine Wine – info for those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance
Dry Farm Wines has taken all the guess work out of choosing. They curate and test the wines for you. They then package them up and ship them right to your door!
You can get reds, whites, rosés, and sparkling wines! And there are different ways you can buy.
You can sign up for either a one-time purchase or save a little money with a subscription using the link below.
Here’s another great thing about Dry Farm Wines.
Dry Farm Wines has a 100% Happiness Promise – if it doesn’t work for you, they will refund or replace your bottles.
I know how hard it is to know if something will work for you or not. So, I’m always really happy when there is a refund policy like this.
Like I said, you can purchase a one-time box to try it out. But, if you already know you tolerate wine, you may want to consider the membership. If you are looking to keep your wine rack stocked, memberships can save you a little money.
I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I have. It is so nice to be able to enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail again!
I’ve sampled several of their different selections. I’ve had reds with deep earthy notes as well as fruit-forward reds. I’ve enjoyed the crispness of the whites and rosés. I’ve even been experimenting with making cocktails using the sparkling wine.
In fact, my friend Justin and I came up with a special new Low Histamine Elderflower and Rosemary Sparkling Wine Cocktail using Dry Farm Wines’ Sparkling Wine. (There’s also an alcohol-free mocktail version.)
Now, of course, when I was really sick, I didn’t drink alcohol at all for a while. So, be sure to listen to your body and wait for when you’re ready!
When I was ready to try out some of these lower histamine indulgences, I started with just a few sips to see what my body was ready for and carefully increased from there.
If you are still struggling with your health, I encourage you to keep hope. If you aren’t able to have these special treats just yet, hang in there. You can turn the corner, too.
I’m wishing you all the best.
More Healthy Holiday Inspiration
- Mast Cell 360 Gift Buying Guide: What to get someone with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance
- Low Histamine Holiday Meal Ideas for those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance (Also low lectin, and medium to low oxalate)
- 6 Tips for Thriving at Parties, Holidays, and Special Events for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance
- Quick Holiday Meal Ideas and Tips for People with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance
- Holiday Gift Ideas for Happy Mast Cells for the People in your Life with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance
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