Wine'ot? A Salute to Summer

For a final salute to summer, Andy and I went to take in the sunset against the beautiful backdrop of our “secret” spot tucked behind Humboldt Park in Chicago. Of course in typical fashion, we were running late, caught the tail-end of sunbeams shining through the trees, forgot a blanket and found the stone expanse to be rather unforgiving. But for this view, I’d put up with pretty much anything, and after an exciting but very busy summer, it was nice to sit back and listen to the cicada concerto, watching Violet leap from stone to stone in constant pursuit of various insects while we sipped on one of my all-time favorite discoveries… healthy wine.

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You read that right (though maybe I should say

I love wine, but I hate being hungover.

I know what you’re all thinking…. “No sh*t.”

But after doing some serious digging, I may have found a solution.

I’m famous for purple lips. It doesn’t take much red wine for my teeth and lips to turn a vibrant shade of indigo, but I just found out that this isn’t supposed to happen. If your mouth turns purple, it’s often a sign that the wine has artificial dyes like “mega purple” in it. Yuck. And it gets worse. There are about 300 pesticides and 250 chemical additives (in the form of color, flavor and taste additives, thickening agents, preservatives and other GMOs) in mass-produced wine, and most bottles have more sugar in them than a glazed doughnut. Hangovers are starting to make more sense now.

Even more shocking is that not all wine is vegan! Fining agents like blood and bone marrow, milk protein, fiber from crustacean shells, egg albumen, fish oil and gelatin from fish bladder membranes are usually used in production.

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Isn’t it curious that while every other product in the grocery store is covered with dietary claims like “organic,” “gluten-free” and “non-GMO,” wine bottles are so nondescript? I’m no expert, so I’m always left gazing at the vast array of wine bottles lining the shelves in a complete and utter stupor, analyzing the labels as if they’ll speak to me and wondering if the $20 bottle really has any qualifications on the $10 bottle.

I recently read about Blue Zones (or communities around the world where people live longer and healthier than average) and was surprised to read that one of the commonalities between these groups is that they all drink 1-2 glasses of wine a day. So while people have a lot to say about drinking these days, I think the social aspect of it is good for the spirit, and what’s more important is the quality of the wine we’re drinking (people in blue zones drink wines from their local regions, and I’d be willing to bet that it’s not packed with all the crap we get here).

All of this is to say that I was super excited to stumble upon Scout & Cellar, a company that sources “clean-crafted” wine from around the world!

It takes the guesswork out of wine shopping for me, and it’s delicious (I’ve tried the Middle Jane Pinot Noir and the Dove Hunt Dog Sauvignon Blanc so far). They’re all farmed with organic or biodynamic farming methods (meaning they’re more sustainable too!), they’re vegan, low-sulfite, and it’s all grown and made with no synthetic pesticides, added sugar or added chemicals (....only 2% of wines are produced like this).

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Finally, wine without the purple lips and headaches. I felt a major difference. White wine usually keeps me awake or wakes me up in the middle of the night, but I slept just fine after drinking Scout & Cellar’s, and I definitely felt more spry than usual the next day (making me wonder exactly what I’ve been drinking all these years...).

If you’d like to try it, I can not recommend it enough! Check it out here. All new orders will be entered into the running for a free bottle! Just enter “zenzista” in the gift message section between now and September 30th when ordering.

Summer, I salute you, and Scout & Cellar, I salute you too! Thank you for making my love for wine more sustainable (and less painful too).