Are you a wine lover? Don’t worry, we won’t judge. When you are relaxing after a long day or just wanting to hang out with friends, a glass of wine may be one of your favorite things. Since you are coming to Mamavation, you know we are going to look into the safest wine possible to enjoy. Are you ready to have us tackle your wine? You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you topics like best & worst probiotics, best & worst collagen, & best & worst makeup, now join us as we take you through the wine aisle and the brands with the best ingredients (like certified-organic wine) and safe wine.
This post fact-checked by Rebecca Elizabeth Sherrick Harks, RN, BSN. Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
Drinking Wine: The Good and The Bad
Drinking red wine is good for your health, right? As always, this answer isn’t as clear as it sounds.
This statement refers to something called “The French Paradox,” which is the idea that drinking wine may be the reason that despite the rich, fatty, and cheese-filled diets of the French have lower levels of heart disease than other countries. This led to the discovery of polyphenols – a number of different beneficial plant compounds (including red and purple grape skins), which, in theory, could explain the advantageous effects of wine.
As of this writing, however, per Dr. Mukamal at Harvard-associated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the research that claims that red wine (or other alcohol) helps to avoid heart disease is fairly weak. Why? The studies that have been performed on people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol that show lower amounts of heart disease are only observational. This means that these studies are unable to prove cause and effect, only that these are associations. There are tens of thousands of factors that go into the development of heart disease.
Health Benefits of Moderate Consumption of Wine
First and foremost, the studies that state that wine has health benefits are talking about moderate wine consumption for wine drinkers. Unlike some of the industries we investigate, moderate consumption is easily measured and is as follows and is considered to be per day:
- 12 ounces of beer OR
- 5 ounces of wine OR
- 1.5 ounces of hard liquor
So is wine better for you than say, beer or hard liquor?
Oddly enough, studies over time haven’t been able to confirm whether wine, hard liquor, or beer is better at reducing the risks of heart disease; some observational studies even suggest that the health benefits are linked to any type of alcoholic drinks (when consumed in the same amounts).
Drinking patterns are what play the biggest role. In other words, going out on Friday and having 7 drinks isn’t the same thing as having one drink per day.
There are at least 100 studies in the works that show an inverse reaction between light to moderate drinking to the risk of heart conditions including, myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease, ischemic stroke, and death from all other cardiovascular events. This potentially indicates that the more you engage in light to moderate drinking, the lower your risk for dying of cardiovascular events; and this effect appears that it may be consistent – light-to-moderate drinking may possibly lead to a the reduction of cardiovascular-related death by 25-49% risk.
Awesome news, eh? Hang on, slow your roll before you reach for that bottle.
Similar studies may indicate that drinking over four drinks per day may increase your risk of developing cardiac problems such as strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, and even death.
Dangers of Wine We Need to Be Honest About
Wine and other alcohols can potentially interact in dangerous ways with medications like Tylenol, certain antibiotics, some seizure medications, antidepressants, prescription painkillers, sleeping pills, antipsychotic medications, and benzodiazepines – like Xanax and Ativan – which are widely prescribed. It’s really important to remember that a lot of overdoses and deaths that you see in the news are related to mixing alcohol with other types of medications.
So don’t mix your medication with alcohol.
One of the darker sides of wine is addiction. While many other addictive substances, such as heroin, are illegal, alcohol is legal and often encouraged by friends, portrayed as being cool, and associated with fun and pleasure, which can lead some people who are genetically predisposed to addiction down a terrible rabbit hole.
What You’ll Find in Conventional Wine–What’s Not On the Bottle
Conventional wine is incredibly processed with thousands of available chemicals that can be used and not required to be on the label.
These chemicals include added preservatives, genetically modified yeast strains, super-concentrates, like Mega Purple, foaming agents, coloring agents, acidifiers, deacidifiers, casein, pepsin, trypsin, dimethyl dicarbonate, ammonium phosphate, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, potato protein isolate, acetaldehyde, isinglass (the dried swim bladders of fish, used for wine clarification) & traces of pesticide residue.
With the exception of “added sulfites,” cochineal extract/carmine, and FD&C Yellow No.5, you won’t see any of these ingredients on the bottle label.
Genetically Modified (GMO) Yeast Found in Wine
Genetically modified yeast strains, referred to as ML01, have been commercialized and authorized for use in the United States. This yeast has been the recipient of two extra genes (known as transgenes). These specific genes give the yeast the ability to do both alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation at the same time.
The advantage of this genetically modified yeast is faster winemaking. And it also makes the wine less likely to spoil in between the stages of malolactic fermentation (normally done by bacteria) and alcoholic fermentation.
Because yeasts are considered a “processing agent” there would be no requirement to label them as GM ingredients. But in New Zealand and Australia, where regulations are more stringent, the yeast is considered an ingredient in the wine, so it will be labeled.
Additives like Sulfites Added to Wine for “Freshness”
Sulfites, also known as sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a preservative added to wine to prevent oxidization and thus keeping it fresher longer. Most conventional vineyards add hundreds of extra parts per million of sulfites to wine, especially white wine.
Most wines can have up to 350+ ppm of added sulfites in each bottle. Organic wine also contains sulfites because it’s naturally inside grapes, however, natural wine has closer to 50-100ppm of sulfites. White wine typically has more added sulfites than red wine because the tannins in red wine are already a strong stabilizer.
Sensitivity to sulfites typically develops during adulthood in the 40’s or 50’s creating an array of symptoms including bronchospasm, angioedema, urticaria, nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea. It’s not clear whether headaches are caused by sulfites because the tannins & histamines inside red wine are likelier to cause headaches, but that’s still a possibility.
Potassium Ferrocyanide Added to Wine Which Breaks Down Into Cyanide
When grapes are grown in areas that have higher iron content, vineyards use potassium ferrocyanide to remove that iron. It’s not recommended for the potassium ferrocyanide to be in contact with the wine for longer than 10 days, but that does happen sometimes.
When the potassium ferrocyanide is in contact with the wine for longer than 10 days, it decomposes under the organic acids releasing cyanide. Testing for total cyanide is expensive and extensive and requires manual sample pre-treatment (like distillation) and often long analysis times. It’s not always required to lab test for total cyanide in wine.
Cyanide is linked to serious health consequences. Cyanide poisoning includes headache, dizziness, fast heart rate, shortness of breath, and vomiting. This may then be followed by seizures, slow heart rate, low blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and cardiac arrest.
If iron is below 5 mg/l, treatment is not needed. In order to keep iron at a minimum, it’s recommended to keep wines in metallic containers protected with acid-resistant materials.
Ammonium Phosphate Added as Yeast Nutrient
Ammonium phosphate is added to conventional wines to feed the yeast nutrients and keep their metabolism going and the fermentation going strong. Why does this happen? Well, sometimes fermentation slows down or gets “stuck” stopping before all the sugar is converted to alcohol.
When winemakers have problems with fermentation, it’s typically because of a problem with the yeast. It can be an old, weak or a bad match to the grapes it’s paired with. It can also be something in the environment like cleanliness or temperature.
“Mega Purple” Adds Tons of Sugar
Just like whiskey is colored with caramel coloring, wine is colored with “Mega Purple.” Made from a teinturier grape called Rubired, “Mega Purple” is extremely rich in color. To make Mega Purple, Rubired grapes are prepared lots of residual sugar (about 68 percent) and very rich color.
Vinyards add “Mega Purple” because Americans prefer really deep red wine and that’s hard to naturally produce. It’s also used to cover up the flavor of pyrazines, the compounds that give a green bell-pepper flavor to certain wines.
Arsenic Found In California Wines?
In 2015, some of the country’s top-selling wines were discovered to have high levels of arsenic–up to four and five times the maximum amount the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows for drinking water at 10 parts per billion (ppb). California, through Proposition 65, considers 10ppb of arsenic a dangerous level and lawsuits can be brought against companies that test over that limit.
We browsed the California Attorney General’s website and found several very popular brands of wine were given notifications by consumer watchdog groups after testing their wines and finding high levels of arsenic. They were all included in the “bad” list below.
Arsenic is natural and you can find it present in the soil, but that’s not the full story. You know what else can contribute to a higher content of arsenic in the soil?–Glyphosate herbicides, the most popular herbicide in the world. Glyphosate herbicide formulations break down into arsenic and can increase the amount present in the soil. In fact, the amount of arsenic added as “inert material” into glyphosate alone is incredibly toxic.
Glyphosate in Wine–What Is it AND Why Is it Dangerous
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in RoundUp Weed Killer and the most popular herbicide in the world. This multi-billion dollar product was originally created by Monsanto, nominated as one of the most hated companies in the world alongside Exxon and Nestle.
Glyphosate is not only sprayed on most “bioengineered” or GMO crops in the United States, but it’s also used heavily on conventional crops to kill weeds and again to force desiccation allowing for early harvesting. These uses make glyphosate incredibly ubiquitous and virtually impossible to avoid. In fact, chemical residues are routinely found in rainwater, food and water supplies, soil, air, breastmilk and urine samples. And it’s been proven the chemical can reside in the body of animals for up to one year or longer meaning it’s likely also ending up inside your food.
Glyphosate was originally patented as a chelator and an antibiotic, which means it has the ability to stop nutrient absorption and decimate delicate gut flora. These two simple facts explain why glyphosate is so damaging to the overall health of the body and has been linked to spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Glyphosate has also been deemed a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organization and added to the Prop. 65 List of Carcinogens and reproductive toxins in California. In other words, this chemical is not something you want around your family or inside the food they eat. There’s lots of controversy on whether glyphosate is actually toxic though. The companies and partners profiting from the chemicals are very vocal about it being safe, however, independent scientists point to the clear conflict of interest present in the safety studies they rely on because most of them are internally funded.
Findings of the CALPIRG Education Fund Glyphosate Study
The CALPIRG Education Fund study on wine and beer turned up concerning results. Conventional beer and wine came up with higher glyphosate levels as organic as expected. Most organic brands came up with smaller detectable levels. The results are summarized below.
- 19 out of 20 samples contained glyphosate residue
- Sutter Home Wine had the highest levels of glyphosate, 51 parts per billion (ppb)
- 3 out of 4 organic beers and wines contained glyphosate residue
- Samuel Smith Organic (3.5 ppb) & Inkarri Estate Organic wine (5.2 ppb) contained glyphosate
- Larger brands like Coors, Tsingtao, & Miller Lite contained glyphosate at levels above 25 ppb.
- Peak Organic Beer did not contain any detectable levels of glyphosate
Wine Certifications & What They Mean
So what do all these certifications mean? We broke down the most important ones you’ll find.
SIP (Sustainability In Practice) Certified Wine
SIP certification strives to cover social responsibility, water conservation, clean water, safe pest management, energy efficiency, habitat/wildlife, and fair business practices. However, they do NOT test for pesticides, which makes this a good certification, but not good enough on its own. SIP Certified wines do not prohibit the same bad synthetic pesticides that the organic certification does. So we recommend also looking for other certifications like organic or biodynamic.
USDA Organic Wine Certification
Wines made with organically grown grapes come from vineyards that follow the guidelines set by the National Organic Program (NOP) same as organic food. Therefore, they are certified by a licensed third-party organization and have been grown, harvested, processed, and packaged according to standards.
- No synthetic pesticides
- No synthetic fertilizers
- Only NOP-approved materials (some synthetic materials are allowed)
- No added sulfites (however grapes naturally contain sulfites so you’ll likely find a small amount less than 10 parts per million)
If a winemaker opts to add sulfites but otherwise follows organic farming practices, the wines can’t be labeled “organic” but they can be classified as wine “made from organic grapes.” This is not the same as USDA organic wine and should not be treated as such. Check your organic label and look for the USDA organic seal.
However, when it comes to Europe and Canada, winemakers are allowed to add sulfites provided the entire bottle doesn’t exceed 100 parts per million (ppm) for reds and 150 ppm for whites.
Biodynamic certification is produced by the Demeter Association, a branch of Demeter International-the nonprofit started in 1928. It builds on organic certification and adds more standards to protect the soil and earth during the winemaking process. Biodynamic farming treats the vineyard as a closed-loop, employing organic practices and natural alternatives for eliminating waste and promoting a healthy ecosystem. You can think of it like organic farmers that go above and beyond the call of duty for the health of the vines. These growers use the doctrines established in the late 1920s by Rudolph Steiner, an Austrian philosopher and academic, known for connecting the synthesis of science with spirituality.
- No synthetic pesticides or nonorganic chemicals
- No synthetic fertilizers
- No added sulfites (however grapes naturally contain sulfites so you’ll likely find a small amount less than 10 parts per million)
- Use compost teas and natural preparations to enrich the soil and promote microorganisms
- Insectaries to control pests
- Planting, harvesting & pruning determined by the phases of the moon and position of planets.
Biodynamic farms must be diversified and self-sustainable, which means no monoculture farms, and instead will use diverse plants and animals and those interactions to support bacteria growth in the soil. This is the highest quality of wine.
Glyphosate-Residue Free Certification
The Detox Project certifies brands for glyphosate residue at no detectable levels. Because the beer and wine industry have such widespread contamination of glyphosate, we are hoping that some of these brands decide to look into getting certified.
Right now, only SmartVine has received “glyphosate residue-free” certification to prove they are at non-detect levels under 2ppb. We encourage you to vote with your dollar by supporting this brand!
Other Ways to Protect Yourself
If you are sensitive or allergic to sulfites, there are additional things you can do if you don’t have access to organic or biodynamic wines. These products lessen the amount of sulfites within your wine.
- Purchase wine purifiers, which will cut out the sulfites
- Purchase a wine aerator, which cuts out the sulfites
Mamavation’s Featured Clean Wine Brand–SmartVine
As you scroll down, you’ll notice below that there are very few “best” brands in terms of wine, but SmartVine is one of them. We love SmartVine because they have taken the effort to get Glyphosate Residue Free certification from The Detox Project meaning they have no detectable glyphosate in their wine. No other brand of wine has done that! (And glyphosate is EVERYWHERE!)
We know SmartVine is glyphosate residue-free because the Detox Project makes them test their wines at least 3x per year. SmartVine is a direct-to-consumer brand, so you won’t find it at your local grocery store. It’s only available on its website here. Do check them out because SmartVine has some great selling points:
- Certified free of detectable glyphosate (common herbicide found in California wines)
- No added sulfites
- Free of 72+ other chemicals currently allowed and found in wines
- Certified vegan
- If you are on Weight Watchers, its 2 points per glass because of the lower sugar content
Check out SmartVine here
Mamavation’s Investigation of Wines
Mamavation looked at over 300+ different wines to ascertain which were the most suitable for people who want to avoid added sulfites, additives, preservatives, GMO yeast, pesticide & herbicide residue.
Chemicals inside conventional wine can contain the following: preservatives, genetically modified yeast strains, super-concentrates, like Mega Purple, foaming agents, coloring agents, acidifiers, deacidifiers, casein, pepsin, trypsin, dimethyl dicarbonate, ammonium phosphate, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, potato protein isolate, acetaldehyde, isinglass (the dried swim bladders of fish, used for wine clarification) & pesticide residue. Some of these wines have also been caught containing high levels of arsenic, glyphosate or lead.
- 7 Moons
- 19 Crimes
- 1881 Wines
- Acronym’s GR8RW Red Blend
- Almaden’s Heritage
- Amapola Creek Vineyards and Winery
- Arrow Creek’s Coastal Series
- B Side
- Bay Bridge
- Beaulieu Vineyards
- Beringer & Gallo
- Big Smooth
- Black Box
- Blasted Church
- Blossom Hill
- Bronco Wine Company
- Buena Vista Vineyards
- Callaway Vineyard & Winery
- Capricco Sangria
- Cedar Creek
- Cavaliere d’Ora
- Charles Krug
- Charles Shaw
- Chateau St. Jean
- Chateau La Lagune
- Chateau La Tour
- Chateau Pinchon
- Christian Brothers Winery
- Coldstream Hills
- Colores del Sol’s Malbec
- Cooper & Thief
- Concannon’s Selected Vineyards
- Corbett Canyon
- DeLoach Vineyards
- Devil’s Lair
- Domaine Carneros
- Domaine Chandon
- Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery
- Fallbrook Winery
- Fifth Leg
- Folie A Deux Winery
- Fit Vine
- Francis Ford Coppola Wines
- Franzia Vintner Select
- Frenchie Vineyard
- Glen Ellen
- Gloria Ferrer
- Green Fin
- Green Truck
- Grey Monk
- Golden State Vinters
- Greg Norman Estates
- Gunsight Rock
- Hahn Family Wines
- Hester Creek
- Hewitt Vineyards
- HRM Rex Goliath
- J. Lohr
- J. Pedroncelli Winery
- Jaimeson’s Run
- JCB BY Jean-Charles Boisset
- Joliesse Vineyards
- Josh Cellar
- Justin & Kim Crawford
- Kendall Jackson Winery
- Kenwood Vineyards
- Leo Warring
- Les Vignerons d’Estezarges Grandes Vignes Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge
- Liberty Creek
- Lockwood Vineyards
- LVE: Legend Vineyard Exclusive
- Lyeth Estate
- Maison de Grande Esprit
- Mason Cellars
- Menage a Trois
- Miji Sangria
- Moët& Chandon
- Mogen David
- Newport Vineyards
- Oak Leaf’s
- Opus One
- Parducci Winery
- Pepperwood Grove
- Peter Vella
- Piper Sonoma
- Provenance Vineyards
- R Collection
- Raymond Vineyard
- RavensWood Winery
- Rawson’s Retreat
- Reckless Love Wine
- Richards Wild Irish Rose
- Road 13
- Robert Mondavi Estate
- Rodney Strong
- Rosemon Estate
- Run Riot
- Samuel Wynn & Company
- Secret Stone
- Shingle Peak
- Simi Winery
- Simple Life
- Simply Naked
- Smith & Hook
- Smoking Loon
- Sonoma Wine Company
- Squealing Pig
- St. Huberts The Stag
- Stags’ Leap
- Stella Rosa
- Stellina di Notte
- Sterling Vineyards
- Sutter Home
- The Crusher
- The Original Smoking Loon
- The Path
- The Prisoner Wine Company
- The Velvet Devil
- The Walking Dead Wine
- Thomas Jaeger Winery
- Trader Joes
- Traveling Vineyards
- Wattle Creek Winery
- Whispering Angel Rose
- Whispering Tree
- Winking Owl
- Wine Cube
- Wolf Blass
- Woodbridge Winery
- Wynns Coonarawarra Estate
- Yellow Tail
Most of these wines are organic or biodynamic, which means they are not adding sulfites, using GMO yeast or spraying synthetic pesticides like glyphosate on the crop. As far as we could ascertain, these brands have not been independently tested or are public with those tests or standards by which they would reject. We love them but want to see them go further and be more transparent with testing for arsenic, lead & pesticide residue.
- Ah-So Rosé
- Albet i Noya
- Albert Mann (Biodynamic)
- Azienda Aricola
- Adriano Marco e Vittorio Sanadaive
- Agricola Brandini Dolcetto d’Alba
- Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
- Azienda Aricola
- Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico
- Basile Ad Agio Montecuocco Sangiovese Riserva
- Basile Cartacanta Montecucco Sangiovese
- Basile Comandante, Maremma Toscana
- BasileArteteca, Vermintino Toscana
- Biblia Chora Estate White
- Benziger Estate (Biodynamic)
- Biblia Chora Areti Red
- Biblia Chora Estate White
- Big Table Farm, Cattrall Brothers Vineyard, Pinot Noir
- Big Table Farm, Wirtz Vineyard, Pinot Noir
- Biokult Gruner Veltner (Biodynamic)
- Bonterra Chardonnay North Coast
- Bonterra “The Butler” Single-Vineyard Red Blend
- Bonterra “The McNab” Single Red Blend (Biodynamic)
- Bonterra Organic Vineyards Zinfandel
- Bonterra Vineyards, Merlot
- Bonterra, “The Roost, Single-Vineyard Chardonnay (Biodynamic)
- Bruno Paillard Premiere Cuvee
- Castello Collemassiri “ColleMassari”
- Cellario E Bianco (Biodynamic)
- Cellario E Rosso (Biodynamic)
- Chacewater “Teal” Chardonnay
- Chacewater Organic Merlot
- Chateau de la Roche aux Moines
- Château Haut Colombier
- Chateau Laubarit Entre-Deux-Mers (Vegan)
- Château Laulerie Blanc Sec
- Chateau Laubarit Entre-Deux-Mers
- Cooper Mountain Pinot Noir
- Cooper Mountain Pinot Gris (Biodynamic)
- Clos du Jaugeuyron Haut
- Clos du Gravillas, L’Inattendu
- Clos du Gravillas, Lo Vielh
- Coffele Castel Cerino Soave Classico
- Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir
- Corte Sant’Alda Amarone (Biodynamic)
- Corte Sant’Alda Valpolicella Ca Fiui (Biodynamic)
- Cos Frappato (Biodynamic)
- Cos Nero di Lupo (Biodynamic)
- Cos Rami (Biodynamic)
- Cruz de Alba Finca Los Hoyales (Biodynamic)
- Dal Prete Negroamaro
- David Leclapart L’Artiste Blanc De Blancs
- DeLoach Vineyards Estate Chardonnay
- DeLoach Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir
- Domaine Anderson, Pinot Noir (Biodynamic)
- Domaine Bousquet Malbec
- Domaine Coteaux des Travers Rasteau La Mondona
- Domaine Ostertag (Biodynamic)
- Domaine Sauvète Les Gravouilles
- Domaine Spiropoulos Meliasto Rosé
- Domaine Spiropoulos Ode Panos Brut
- Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Reisling
- Dominio de Pingus, Tempranillo
- Dominio Romano, Tinto Finto
- Emidio Pepe (Biodynamic)
- Dry Farm Wines (Sometimes biodynamic, but not all)
- Ernest Vineyards
- Fable Mountain Vineyards ‘Jackal Bird’ Tulbagh
- Flaco Tempranillo
- Fleury Vintage Brut
- Foradori Teroldego Granato (Biodynamic)
- Foradori Teroldego (Biodynamic)
- Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc
- Furlani Alpino Sparkling (Biodynamic)
- G. D. Vajra Barbera d’Alba
- Granza Tinta de Toro
- Granza Verdejo
- Granza Matarromera
- Gravner Bianco Breg (Biodynamic)
- Gravner Ribolla Gialla (Biodynamic)
- Grochau Cellars Commuter Cuvée, Pinot Noir
- Grochau Cellars Melon de Bourgogne, Melon de Bourgogne
- Gulfi Nero Baronj
- Gulfi Nero Blejo
- Guy Chaumont Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise (Biodynamic)
- Grgich Hills Estate Wines
- Hamel Family Wines
- Hawk and Horse Vineyards (Biodynamic
- Herdade do Esporão Colheita Branco
- Horse and Plow Pinot Gris
- Keeler Chardonnay
- Keeler Dolia Pinot Gris
- Keeler Reserve Pinot Noir
- King Estate Domaine Pinot Noir
- Kirios de Adrada,
- Leclerc Briant Brut Rosé Champagne (Biodynamic)
- La Colombera
- La Staffa Brioso Sangiovese Sparkling (Biodynamic)
- Le Famille Perrin
- Le Petit du Chateau de La Garde NSA Organic Bordeaux
- Les Haut de Lagarde With Bordeaux
- Les Hauts de Lagarde Rosé
- Les Hauts de Lagarde
- Live a Little
- Lucinda & Millie Chardonnay
- Marcel Deiss Riesling (Biodynamic)
- Matetic Vineyards, EQ Sauvignon Blanc
- Matetic Vineyards, Syrah
- Maysara Cyrus Pinot Noir
- Maysara Winery Jamsheed (Biodynamic)
- Michel Gassier Costières de Nîmes Nostre Païs Blanc
- Montecucco Rosso
- Montinore Estate, Almost Dry Riesling (Biodynamic)
- Montinore Estate Reserve Pinot Noir (Biodynamic)
- Montinore, Estate Reserve Pinot Noir (Biodynamic)
- Montinore, Parsons’ Ridge Pinot Noir (Biodynamic)
- Nuova Cappelletta Barbera del Monferrato
- Orsi San Vito Pignoletto Sparkling (Biodynamic)
- Our Daily Wine
- Pascal Jolivet Sauvage (Sancerre)
- Paul Achs Blaufränkisch
- Paul Dolan Pinot Noir
- Paxton MV Shiraz (Biodynamic)
- Paxton Shiraz AAA Shiraz/Grenache (Biodynamic)
- Peruzza Perlage
- Perlage Col di Manza Rive di Ogliano Valdobbiadene (Biodynamic)
- Perlage “Riva Moretta”
- Pizzolato Fields
- Pizzolato Raboso (Biodynamic)
- Pizzolato Rosso Convento
- Pot de Vin
- Querciabella (Biodynamic)
- Querciabella Chianti Classico (Biodynamic)
- Querciabella Mongrana, Toscana IGT, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot (Biodynamic
- Querciabella, Batàr, Toscana IGT, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc (Biodynamic)
- Querciabella, Turpino, Toscana IGT, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Merlot, Tuscany (Biodynamic)
- Quivira Fig Tree Sauvignon Blanc
- Quivira GSM, Wine Creek Ranch, Dry Creek Valley Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre (Biodynamic)
- Quivira, Zinfandel, Anderson Ranch, Dry Creek Valley (Biodynamic)
- Qupé Syrah
- Radikon Oslavje (Biodynamic)
- Radikon Ribolla Gialla (Biodynamic)
- Raimat ‘Pirineca’ Tempranillo
- Raimat Boira
- Raimat Rosado
- Raimat Saira
- Raymond Vineyards 1 ½ Acres, Bordeaux Blend
- Reyneke Vinehugger
- Rizieri Societa Agricola Semplice
- Ridge Vineyards
- Roederer Estate
- Santa Julia Blanc de Blancs
- Santa Julia Organic Blanc de Blancs, Chardonnay
- Schäfer Riesling
- Snoqualmie ECO Chardonnay
- Società Agricola Cantine del Notaio
- Sofos Greek Red
- Sokol Blosser Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir
- Spartico Tmpranillo Crianza NSA Organic
- Stellar Organics
- Stellar Organics The River’s End
- Tabarrini Zeroincondotta
- Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas
- Tarantas Sparkling Rosé
- Tarantas Tempranillo Crianza
- Tenuta di Ghizzano Nambrot
- Tenuta di Valgiano Palistrorti Rosso (Biodynamic)
- Tenuta di Valgiano Valgaino Rosso
- Terra Viva
- Three Degrees (Biodynamic)
- Three Degrees, Pinot Noir (Biodynamic)
- Tiamo Prosecco DOC NV
- Trapiche (Biodynamic)
- Valori Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo
- Valori Pecorino DOC, 100% Pecornio
- Veuve Clicquot
- Vignobles Raymond Les Hauts de Lagarde Blanc
- Vignobles Raymond, Les Hauts De Lagarde Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon
- Viña San Pedro, Cabernet Sauvignon
- Volker Eisele
- Westwood Estate Wines (Biodynamic)
- Yalumba Organic Chardonnay
- Youngberg Hill, Aspen, Chardonnay (Biodynamic)
- Youngberg Hill, Bailey, Pinot Noir (Biodynamic)
- Youngberg Hill, Jordan, Pinot Noir (Biodynamic)
- Youngberg Hill, Natasha, Pinot Noir (Biodynamic)
- Zind-Humbrecht (Biodynamic)
Best Safe Wines
These safe wine products have been tested and have less than 10ppb glyphosate. We’ve chosen 10ppb as a cut off to get into this category because glyphosate is everywhere and basically impossible to get rid of completely. But the point here is these brands have been independently tested and that information is public. (However, two brands were tested without permission, but we included them anyway.) These brands of wine also do NOT contain preservatives, genetically modified yeast strains, & high levels of other pesticide residues.
- SmartVine, Glyphosate concentration: has certification from The Detox Project, so under 2ppb
- Frey Vineyards, Glyphosate concentration: 4.8 ppb, Certified Organic, Biodynamic
- Scout & Cellar, told us they glyphosate test at 2ppb and reject if over 10 ppb, not certified
- Inkarri Wine from Argentina, Glyphosate concentration: 5.3 ppb, Certified Biodynamic
I was just recently introduced to Juan Gil Monastrell organic wine from Spain. Jumilla is also on the label. It is a red wine that is great chilled. Do you know how it ranks for safety?
Marta Hofman Fanucchi
How about Victorio Sattui wines?
What about Clos du Bois merlot or cab?
Two of my favorite wines are the 19 Crimes out of Australia and 14 Hands out of Washington. How do they rate?
I wondered the same. 19 crimes is always in my cabinet.
You got Fetzer on both lists bad and better. So which is it?
Thanks for all you do to clean up my life Leah!
So thankful for you – leukemiah survivor rockin’ it with ALL your lists!!
Thank you for this article. Do you have a source for who is testing the wines on the bad list?
How about Vella boxed merlot? High or low in glysomate… round up ingredients?
Why don’t I see any New York State wines listed? There are a great number produced.
I could spend hours critiquing this essay.
Smart wine? No ingredient labeling. Multiple additives. No list of pesticides used.
There is only one wine estate on Earth producing wine with all the pesticides, usually none, and all other ingredients listed.
Paradisos del Sol Winery and Organic Vineyard
Alexander de Bordes
Helpful lists. Will have to look at more in detail. Just a note: in the “bad” category, you put “Chassagne-Montrachet”… which must be somewhat of a mistake since Chassagne is a village in Burgundy, not a producer, and therefore too comprehensive.
I watched a dr. being interviewed about toxins and he said there is so much glyphosate it comes in the rain and contaminates our organic food?
Heather Rae, INHC
We look at toxin levels in functional genomics (analysis of genes/enzymes involved in inflammation and detoxification) Dr. Neil Nathan who wrote the book, “Toxic” is on our research team. It helps to know how glyphosate and other toxins manifest in the body and how well you as an individual can get rid of them. Glyphosate will convert to oxalates (as well as arsenic). High oxalates can come from the diet AND/OR genetic makeup. I found this article posting this morning on Telegram about the cellular damages wrought by arsenic and was looking for guidance on red wines that may have less of arsenic, glyphosate and sulfites. There’s a gene that converts sulfite to sulfate (needed for detox) and I’m one the rare ones with variants in that gene (it’s called SUOX) I could get into glutathione and the other issues related to detoxification. I post a lot on Telegram … in case anybody cares to read some more about contemporary biochemistry and bio-energetics.
I always got headaches from US wines. If I drink Italian or French wines there is no problem.
Try Scout & Cellar. It has a satisfaction guarantee!!! These clean-crafted wines don’t give me a headache.
Not really fair to simply list Raymond Vineyards and DeLoach Vineyards under the BAD category and then list some of their wines under the BETTER one. You’ve clearly gotten some of your information from bd.wine so you should have seen the additional language about how DeLoach and Raymond’s estates are both certified organic and Biodynamic. While there are only a handful of bottles produced under those brands that are totally organic or Biodynamic, a lot of that type of fruit goes into other bottlings as well.
I love this article! I could not drink wine for years without bad headaches until I realized the cause wasn’t actually the wine itself, but rather all of the nasty chemicals and additives in mass-produced wine. Once I discovered Scout & Cellar I was hooked!
Great article and truly helping spread the Clean-Crafted™ – Biodynamic wine movement! So much helpful information! I am copying the good and the bad list into iPhone to have at restaurants…. maybe they will start paying attention to what they offer! Thank you for sharing your research. Biodynamic Cheers!!!
That’s incredible pressure! Thanks!
The wine aerator you are advertising is filtering wine through a nano resin and plastic straw. It is used one time and goes into the trash! It also states that it filters out only 60% sulfites and is $10 per bottle. Why would this even be suggested to use on this site?
Thanks for that catch. We replaced it with another one however far more expensive.
Great Article. Thank you for bringing an important topic to so many.
I am a Founding Leader/Independent Consultant with Scout & Cellar I am passionate about non-toxic living and putting health and the environment first. This is why I was drawn to what Scout & Cellar is doing from supporting small farms to bringing Clean-Crafted delicious wines to your doorstep in curbside recyclable packaging. Together through education we can make a change and clean up the wine industry.
Hey thanks for doing what you do!
Hi Leah. Thank you for researching and taking the time to share this information.
Are these all American wines? The article is so long is exhausting to read through. I’d just like to know if all of these tested wines are American. Thank you.
Kim Crawford is on there and it is New Zealand… and a few I noticed from other countries that I know about. What a depressing list. Especially since the few good ones are not “good” wines for the price : (
Thank you Ann. I’m wondering if Kim Crawford is on there because it’s owned by Constellation Brands.
Not all are American, but we did grab the most popular. However you’ll notice there are LOTS of non-American wines in the better section.
Great eye-opening article to what is not talked about in wine. I am an independent wine consultant with Scout & Cellar also. If you drink our wine which has a S&C sticker on it, rest assured none of the junk and garbage that is harmful will be in the bottle. Education is Power!!
Thanks for stopping by!
I work for Scout & Cellar as an independent wine consultant and have been with the company since the start. We test all wines for over 150 different chemicals that are commonly used in mass produced wines. It is so important that consumers are educated on what they are injecting. By purchasing natural wines from small producers, you are telling the big corporations adding harmful ingredients that people are starting to notice. Thank you for a great article!
No good moscatos. I’m doomed.
Mascato has lots of sugar. Try a Scout and Cellar white! You’ll taste the fruit and ❤️It!!
The resident white blend from Scout & Cellar is an option for a more fruit forward white. Although no added sugar with Scout & Cellar.
Thank you for doing what you do!! Xxoo
Any word on fitvine? This is a very popular wine in my area. Thanks for all you do!!!
Check the BAD list… it’s there. Made more in a lab (I’m told) vs natural….
Scout & Cellar is really the way to go to ensure your wine is clean with no added sugars.
Yeah…Fit Vine is under the ‘bad wines’ list…!
Hey Lisa! They have marketed themselves very different which gives them a competitive edge, however they don’t test and share labs for arsenic, Lead, total
Cyanide & pesticide Residue…those tests are very important to us!
They just got back to me saying they “test” but that doesn’t mean anything if they use technology that can’t detect things…which is a common trick with brands and labs. I’m still trying to get info from them. IF they are transparent with me, I’ll bump them up. If they are not transparent with me, they stay.
Hi Leah! Thank you so much for such a great and thorough article on wine!! You had to have done a lot of research. I have had many issues when drinking wine and see that most of them are on the bad list, so makes sense. I’m curious about one thing, I see Scout & Cellar under the better and the best wines? What is the reasoning there? I don’t see the other best wines on the better list but I could be mistaken. Thank you again for the article!