This episode is all about natural wine and the art of living as a connected community through pleasure.
As the founder of Dry Farm Wines, a writer, speaker, and a leader in the organic/Natural Wine movement, Todd White has widely educated communities on conscious consumption.
Todd is a self described biohacker who practices daily meditation, Wim Hof breathing, cold thermogenesis, a ketogenic diet, and daily 22 hour intermittent fasting. He is also a frequent speaker on topics including meditation, and the Dry Farm Wines unique company culture. Built on a foundation of honesty and peace, Dry Farm Wines has seen remarkable growth, making it one of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S., without any debt or investors.
Dry Farm Wines is endorsed by many leading U.S. performance influencers with pure Natural Wines that are lab tested to ensure each bottle is sugar free (0-0.15g per glass), lower in sulfites, and lower in alcohol (under 12.5% alc/vol). The wines are friendly to low carb, Paleo, ketogenic, and low sugar diets.
Dry Farm Wines is proud to be the largest Natural Wine merchant in the world, bringing awareness to Natural Wine consumption and supporting farmers who honor the soil.
In this podcast, The Art of Living A Pleasure Filled Life, we cover:
Why you shouldn’t interrupt ketosis by day drinking
How alcohol can be a great way to build community through socialization
Why there’s nothing wrong with pleasure and wine can fit into your lifestyle
“Natural” doesn’t mean anything in the food industry; however, it does mean something in the wine industry
How we can prevent the leading cause of death worldwide
What you need to know when looking at wine lists
Biodynamic Agriculture: how this affects wine farming
Don’t Interrupt Ketosis By Drinking During The Day
Alcohol is a dangerous neurotoxin. Anytime we take in an exogenous substance or energy source, such as alcohol, it will stop fat burning. Your body will turn its attention to expelling this toxin. Todd spends his days fasting and only eats at night. He doesn’t drink during the day because he doesn’t want to interrupt the ketogenic state by introducing anything, including alcohol. Todd only drinks wines from Europe and Africa. Europeans have been making and consuming wine for at least 3,000 years. Dry Farm does not sell domestic wines because they don’t meet their certified criteria for health and purity.
How Alcohol Can Be A Great Way To Build Community Through Socialization
Europeans are just more relaxed about almost everything related to lifestyle and socializing. Most cultures drink natural wine daily. In Europe, they emphasize a sense of community. Life is about loving each other and gathering together daily for socialization. Remember, alcohol is a dangerous neurotoxin; it ruins millions of lives a year, and not everyone should drink alcohol. Todd drinks low alcohol natural wines. Every morning, Todd works out and meditates. He never sacrifices his mornings for pleasures at nighttime. You can find published articles on whether or not alcohol is beneficial or harmful. Overall, healthy relationships with alcohol can be great for socialization and building community.
There’s Nothing Wrong With Pleasure: Wine Can Fit Into Your Lifestyle
Todd says that life should be fun! We should enjoy our existence and find ways to increase our pleasure and the pleasure of those around us. For Todd, drinking wine is something that brings joy. Unfortunately, the act of living with pleasure is shunned by some as indulgent. Life should be more fun and purpose-driven. The single number one thing that will impact your life, longevity, and health is eating less and less often. If you drink too much, that’s clearly a problem. Most regular wine drinkers feel bad and think they drink too much. When they discover a better, natural wine, it’s actually beneficial for your health.
“Natural” Actually Means Something In The Wine Industry
The term natural is thrown around a lot in the food industry. If something says “natural,” they suggest that it is a better product for your health. However, it’s nebulous, and natural means nothing when it comes to food. While on the other hand, natural wine has a precise farming and fermentation protocol that is globally understood. Natural wine is better for you, and it is better for the planet. You most likely don’t have natural wine options at the grocery store. Unfortunately, there are 76 additives approved by the FDA for use and winemaking – and they don’t have to be disclosed! If you’re going to drink wine, you should drink lower alcohol, natural wine.
How We Can Prevent The Leading Cause of Death Worldwide
We can prevent the number one cause of death that killed three times as many people last year as COVID did worldwide, cardiovascular disease. There are three primary ways to prevent it: smoking, hypertension, and air pollution. People know that they should eat less food, eat less often, stop smoking, spend time outdoors, and lower their cortisol levels. Cardiovascular disease last year killed 35 million people, whereas COVID killed 10 million. Fasting is the single best way to get healthy. Calorie restriction is one of the only known effective ways to increase lifespan.
Dr. Mindy Hi. So have you overall you’ve been good. Terrific. I
Todd White was just listening to David Sinclair’s new podcast, called lifespan has set it up a second episode. He’s a friend that podcast was recommended to me. It’s just a refresher. You know, the very first thing he said, when asked what okay, what is the number one thing that we can do to extend longevity and health span? Eat last often? Yes, I was like, of course, yeah. I’ve been eating once a day for five years and do regular. It’s so water fast. But it’s like, it’s just like, it’s just so simple. This message. So simple. It’s so simple. And it’s free. It costs less access. Yeah, free and it costs less. Yes, thank
Dr. Mindy you. Thank you for seeing that. Because that’s been my message is like, it doesn’t cost money. It doesn’t take time. So everybody can do it. We just have to teach people how to start skipping meals, a Peter
Todd White A T of heater a TIA calls it the most powerful drug we have. We just don’t understand how to dose it.
Unknown Speaker Whoo, I love that.
Todd White And so then that comes an act of self self self experimentation, you know, because we just don’t know how to dose it really? Oh, my God. I mean, you got the Cahill study, you’ve got other, you know, you’ve you’ve got some data, but not a lot on how to dose it? Yeah,
Dr. Mindy well, I can, I can tell you that. In December. I have a book called fast like a girl. It’s coming out Hay House bought the book. And it’s going to be six differently fast teaching women how to dose these differently fast to their hormones to her one thing I’d
Todd White like to get a clearer, more clear picture on is the the the the biological, neurological and hormonal response to the duration of fast, right? Yep. Just a little bit better data on that. So the because having experimented with a whole bunch of different fasting protocols, some are easier than others. Yes, they are. Alright. And then for multi day fast. I feel like personally, I get most of the benefit in a three day fast. Like no doubt. Yeah. Beyond that. There’s benefit. It just feels declined. Yeah, yeah, it feels like the kind of the pulling out the like, the like, the extraction is happening in the first three days.
Dr. Mindy I honestly think the only reason to continue past three days, is because you’ve now in created stem cells. So if you go four days, five days, it’s like every moment is a stem cell search. So I’ve used five days to heal an Achilles tendon injury. And on the on the third day, I didn’t feel any change, but by the fifth day, the pain was gone. And then once I broke the fast, literally, the pain never came back. So there are metrics like that. And it’s all based off stem cells after three days. That’s really that’s really all we’re going for
Todd White that and you know, there’s some emotional satisfaction and kind of caring about achieving a goal and, and, and weight loss. If you want to accelerate that, if that’s a goal.
Dr. Mindy Yeah, yeah, sure. There’s Yeah, definitely.
Todd White But yeah, all right.
Dr. Mindy So cool. So let me tell you what I think our audience would love to hear a little bit more. There. I don’t know if you know this, but there’s actually a lot of discussion amongst women hormone experts right now that women shouldn’t be drinking alcohol at all that it when you’re drinking alcohol, you the liver is not breaking down estrogen. So they have been specifically attacking clean wines. And one thing that has my brain trying to figure out is when you look at culturally the difference between like America and Europe, you know, in America, we tend to be a little more like Puritan about how we approach things like alcohol, whereas in Europe, you got women drinking bottles of wine all day long, and they’re not having to think about the hormonal consequence. So I really want to kind of go down a path of like, what are the cultural differences around wine that you see?
Todd White People had to remember it? We’ll talk about this too. Alcohol is a dangerous neurotoxin. Let’s be clear. Okay, very clear. And my life might even be improved if I didn’t drink but that’s not the issue because I like to drink wine and I’m going to drink and I find a pleasure center in it. And living without pleasure is not joyful. So forget about it. Yes, I know it’s toxic. Now. Let’s talk about how to dose that toxin.
Dr. Mindy Oh, I love it. Yeah. Okay, this is gonna be great. Again, let’s just jump right into it. I am I
Todd White already had enough right here to do two hours.
Dr. Mindy I love talking about wine by the way, and right? Well, I want to tell you, and this is why I want to start this conversation here. That whenever I talk about wine, I always say I love talking about wine. Because after listening to you for so many years after being a huge advocate of dry farm wines, I would say that’s 99.9% of what we drink in our house. If we’re short, if we’re forced to drink something else we will, but people are really misguided on the toxic load of wine. And whenever I say I love talking about wine, I inevitably get somebody who sends us a message and says, I’m concerned, you’re an alcoholic? Because if I love talking about
Todd White maybe, but but, you know, that’s, that’s I’m really not trying to assess that. What I’m going to assess is that I’m going to drink I like wine. And I’m no worse for the wear for 61. Right. So it’s, I believe eating less has a whole lot more importance than dosing alcohol correctly. Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, it’s just a lot to talk about. Let’s get started.
Dr. Mindy Okay. So let’s start with culture. I would say, and you can correct me if I’m wrong. In America, we tend to be a little more. No alcohol, tons that just comes
Todd White from our puritanical wounds. I mean, this is right back to the church, by the way, who also, you know, religion and wine have been paired together for centuries. But yeah, go ahead.
Dr. Mindy Yeah. So I want to get started. Yeah. You have a question? I know, Todd, this is how I roll. We just go into the conversation.
Todd White We’ll just add, alright, we look like three. Okay, one,
Dr. Mindy there we got 321. Thank you, Todd White, for joining me on the resetter podcast. And
Todd White this is so much fun. Since we already just had a podcast before we started recording. This is talking about all the things we could talk about. And then we started talking about them. So but here we are. We don’t even have wind in our hands. It’s like, well, it’s too early for me. I don’t drink during the daytime. And I don’t recommend it. Other people do it either. Yeah. So it’s a nighttime gift for me. Beautiful. But and I’ll tell you one of the reasons and there’s so many things to talk about is that, you know is that anytime we take in an exogenous substance or energy energy source, such as alcohol, I mean, it’s going to stop fat burning, right? It’s going to the body is going to turn its attention to expelling what we’ll talk about this toxin, right. Yep. And so I want to spend my days fasted I want to eat at night. And I don’t want to, I don’t want to interrupt that ketogenic state by introducing anything, including alcohol, which will stop my fat burning. And so, you know, that’s the reason I only drink in the evening, I unless I’m on an extended water fast, I drink every night. And but it’s not a question of, if I drink, it’s what I drink, and how much right and so that’s what we can talk about. But, you know, one of the things that you mentioned earlier, I think it’s really interesting is this cultural difference between, say, Europe, which is sort of the birthplace of wine, as we know it today, mainly, well, you know, wines, 9000 years old, and it came from Macedonia and actually part of Asia. But as we know, modern wine, modern wine, meaning the last few 1000 years, right, let’s call it the last 3000 years, that center has been in Europe, and Europeans have been making wine for 3000 years and consuming wine on the regular. Now, we talked about this, and you asked me what did I spend a lot of time in Europe, because as you know, we do not drink or sell domestic wine, because there’s no domestic wines and meet our certified criteria for health and purity. And so we only drink and so wines from a few places all across Europe, South America and South Africa. And, and we’ll talk about what a natural wine means. But this cultural thing about, you know, how Europeans view a lot of things, including marriage. You know, how Europeans view many things because they have had 1000s of years of social evolution. Right? Where we’ve only been, I don’t know 200 And whatever. 50 years here, 240 whatever the number is a young country. That’s a very Yeah, we’re very young and we got settled by some People who are breaking away from the church, but we’re still very grounded to religion. We’ve, you know, so we took on this sort of overtime and it seems to have intensified in recent decades even this sort of puritanical approach to living, where the Europeans are just more soft with how they interpret the pleasure of life. And you can see this in how they eat, you can see this and how they drink. You can see this and how they express themselves in many different ways, including marriage, for that matter, you know, they’re just different, because they’re softer and more evolved. They don’t have as many hardline positions, about the social structures. And so they’re, they’re a bit more laissez faire. Be and let be. Right. Right. And, and they also European Europeans, particularly the French and the Spanish, and especially the Italians, you know, they they have won France, they call it suave, the spirit of life. So this thing to enjoy life. I talked to Mark Sisson a couple of weeks ago, I moved to Miami Beach this winter. And Mark 66 Maybe 6566 Looks great.
Dr. Mindy He looks really good for that age.
Todd White And he said, Yeah, I mean, I would. Yeah, a lot of people don’t, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna have to speak in a way that, you know, people will be surprised. And I was like, Oh, really? What is that? And he said, Well, you know, look life, you know, as you age. I’ve done a lot. You know, I, you know, some setting. I mean, it’s like, life is about pleasure. And some days, I have a piece of pie now, right? I’m a Keto author. If I do intermittent fasting, I promote these things. But you know what, I don’t live strictly by those standards. Sometimes I have a piece of pie was like, Okay, well, sometimes I have a few French fries. Right? He said, sometimes I drink too much. You know, but this is life. Yeah. And we can’t stay. So strictly puritanically focused on, you know, the absolutes, or life won’t be worth living. Yeah. And I think that’s more the approach of the Europeans and large property. But Europe is I spend a lot of time in Europe in 2019. I was in Europe, about 200 days before the pandemic resumed my European travel and speaking scheduled in May, at the human optimization conference, and that’s based in London. So conferences are starting back.
Dr. Mindy This may you’re going they’re open. Yes. Yeah. It’s awesome.
Todd White It’s already open. I went last August, I went to Italy for a month, really just on vacation, but and drink wine. But so you know, this thing, the culture difference is just that the Europeans are just more relaxed about most everything. Yeah. As it relates to lifestyle, as it relates to how they socialize. You know, another great work of Dan Buettner and others who’ve studied longevity and cultures is that, you know, one of the single most important things in addition to most of these cultures drink wine daily, but natural wine in a wine they make themselves not these factory added to products that you see in the grocery store and wine stores. Wines, like we drink and sell. So this you know, is the sense of community. Oh, so this culture that Europeans have in places like, where are these sanitarians and Supercentenarians Supercentenarians? Anybody who’s over 105 Santeria is 11051 of the five and pluses supercentenarian. So where they study these, you know, it’s about community. Yeah, it’s about people loving each other, and being kind and gathering daily for, you know, rituals of socialization. Yeah. So really another important aspect, but let me stop the clock here and say one thing that surprises everyone to hear me say. Alcohol is a very dangerous neurotoxin. It ruins millions of lives a year. Some people shouldn’t drink at all. That being said, maybe even I don’t know. Maybe even my life could be enhanced if I didn’t drink but all I drink is wine and drink low alcohol natural wines. I’ll only drink at night only drink A food, a whole bunch of wine rules. Only drink lower alcohol, natural wine. So that’s it. I happen to like wine. And I happen to like alcohol in fairly moderate doses. And with the glorious exception, sometimes it’s an occupational hazard. I’m overserved. Yeah, but, but this has its place in time as well. But on the regular I’m not interested in that, because I live a mindful peaceful life. I meditate in the morning, I work out every morning. I don’t, I don’t want to sacrifice my morning for the pleasure of my night. Yeah. And we think a lot about that. And so is there a lot of debate if you do a PubMed search on, you know, drinking versus non brain drinking, women drinking, not drinking, hormonal changes, not drinking, you can find published articles peer reviewed on both sides of whether it’s beneficial or harmful? Yep. All right.
Dr. Mindy Well, I’ll tell you, what’s interesting on that note, is that I absolutely agree. I mean, you go to PubMed, you can find anything that will will back up your opinion on anything. So just because it’s a science based site, doesn’t mean that it’s the most accurate information for your lifestyle. And what I would say with the pleasure piece, and what I love what you’re saying, and you actually taught me this years ago, when I first started to learn about dry farm wines, is that when I have a glass of dry fire, or have a natural wine or whatever, we’re going to call this so we’re going to unpack the name here in a moment, because I call it dry farm. So we’ll unpack that name. But my when my cortisol goes down, my blood sugar goes down, and I can actually see it on my CGM after a glass of wine, sitting at a meal, having a meal with a glass of wine on our back deck with my husband, and my blood sugar goes down. To me, that is pleasure in blood sugar action. And I think to your point, we have lost sight of the art of enjoying something like wine in moderation and using it as a enhancing relationships and community and getting your body to just calm down. Do you feel like that’s the wrong approach?
Todd White Oh, people believe I’m here trying to sell wine, which I’m not really but educate people. So yes, of course, I believe that’s the business man. Not only that’s the life that I live. And so I think life should be fun. I’m hedonist. I like pleasure. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. puritanical values, you know, Shawn hedonism, or the act of having a pleasurable life? I just don’t agree with that. And, you know, I think that, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re programmed to serve. Right? I mean, I think the greatest most noble act of being a human is to serve others. And second to that, is, is to enjoy your very, very short time on this planet. Right? Because it’s really, really short time, when you look at the two and a half billion years that the Earth has been developing itself. And, you know, the couple of million million years, we’ve been walking around in two feet, and it’s like, and he just looking back over a few years of history, just know that the time any one person spends here is super, super short. Yeah. And, of course, the older you get, the more you appreciate that. Yeah. As I always say, youth is wasted on the young. Right, so. So, you know, the act of having pleasure. First of all, I firmly believe the act of service is our most noble calling. But once we get that out of the way, which you’re doing, and I’m doing and and we feel, purpose, a purpose driven life, then then, you know, we should enjoy our existence and find ways to increase our pleasure and the pleasure of those around us. And for me, drinking wine, we’ll talk about the type of wine in a moment what natural wine is and what it means to be a dry farm certified wine but this, you know, this act of living with pleasure is shunned by some, right as, as indulgent. Yes. Just don’t sign on to that camp. Yeah. And I think life should be more fun. Purpose Driven with fun. Yes. And so, you know, might my life be enhanced if I didn’t drink at all? I don’t know. That’s not gonna happen. Right? Because I like wine. And wine is doing nothing as far as I can tell to interrupt my healthspan and maybe increasing it. Yep. And so you know, The thing that is we talked about earlier, and David Sinclair starts his lifespan podcast with this, the single number one thing that’s going to impact your life the most and longevity and health span is eating less less often. Yes. So. And if you drink too much, that’s clearly a problem. Right? And so in that case, you need to drink less less often. Right? Or just stop drinking altogether? Yes. And look, it’s fair to note, most regular wine drinkers, who are drinking conventional poisonous wine, feel bad and think they drink too much. Yeah, but when they discover a better natural, organic, sugar free lower alcohol expression of wine that’s filled with living bacteria that’s friendly to the gut microbiome, and wine that hasn’t been sterilized with sulfur dioxide, right to kill everything in it, it’s beneficial for you. Which is why wines taste difference is actually alive. You know, they have bacteria and you can taste the spirit and life of the wine. They don’t taste like these dead products that you get out of the store. You know, there’s a very distinct difference in two, because you’ve drank a lot of both, I’m sure.
Dr. Mindy Oh, I could you I almost I’m not a sommelier in any way, shape, or form. But you could put four different wines and in front of me, and I’m pretty sure I can pick your wine out because of exactly what you’re talking about. There’s a different taste profile to it. I definitely could pick it out the next day, and how I feel
Todd White right? For sure, for sure. So But anyway, let’s talk about what natural wine means. And because we, you know, we talked about this before, but it’s a super confusing term, or a bunch of different reasons.
Dr. Mindy Yes, enlighten us.
Todd White Yeah. So one, it’s concise. It’s considerably confusing, because I tell people, I’m in the natural wine business, or like, Oh, really, well, aren’t all wines natural. Like, no, they’re not. And I’m going to tell you why. But so that’s the first point of confusion. Number two in the food industry. In the food industry, the term natural is often used as a fuzzy marketing term, to describe products that are not organic, butter suggestively butter for you. The same as when you see wine. Companies, like we have a button to copycats, because we’ve been kind of successful, and people want to follow us and see if they can get their toe in the water. And, you know, so. So it was nobody does what we do, but they’ll say things like sustainably farmed. They want to lead you to believe that their organic, sustainable farming is not organic. Let’s be clear, sustainable farming means we use chemicals when we want. Or they’ll tell you when we need. Or there’s a fuzzy line between want and need and farming.
Dr. Mindy Yeah. Is that the same in food too? If it’s yes, yes.
Todd White But they use the button food this term natural is thrown around a lot in the suggestion of better for you food products, when in fact it’s nebulous and natural means nothing. However, in wine, natural wine has a very specific farming and fermentation protocol that is globally understood for what it means for natural wine. Okay, and more people than ever, because the education we’ve done, more people than ever know what natural wine is, when I started selling natural wine and drinking natural wine six years ago, nobody knew what it was. So it is it has proliferated across many major cities and people who are interested in taste, and style and hipsters and taste. And you know, better for you and better for the planet products. They know what natural wine is. Because it’s better for you better for the planet. And there’s a big movement of people who care about that like us, right? So. But natural wine. Here’s the problem with conventional wines. Before we get in Let, let me tell you what’s happened to the wine business, the same thing that happened to our food supply. So basically, in the food business, nine or 10, companies control nearly everything that flows to the grocery store. Right? And the same thing has happened in our wine supply. So using cheap money off of Wall Street, these big aggregators have come in and consolidated or what they call roll up the industry. Right? So they buy everything up. They gain scale, using cheap public money. And because the way alcohol is distributed, this is very important is not how we distribute wine, but this is how conventional wine gets in your grocery store. It’s called and this is really important to understand why this poisoning is is exclusive. Fleet commanding all the shelf space is that in the three tier system as it’s known, which is federally mandated and adapted and managed by each state individually, the three tier system was developed. And what are called the tight house rules were developed in the 1940s post prohibition to keep organized crime from dominating the alcohol business. Now, these laws are no longer needed. Because organized crime has no chance of dominating any of the alcohol business. But these, these three tier systems have been kept in place to protect the entrenched interests of the distributors and the wholesalers that exist in a multi generationally family owned in each state. So here’s how it works. I’m gonna get back to the role of the industry and how this fits in all this in a moment, but I just give you education about why this wine is in your store. And you don’t have other options, you don’t have natural wine options, when you go in the grocery store. They’re not there
Dr. Mindy at any any grocery store. No,
Todd White zero. So now, that being said, if you live in New York City, if you live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, if you live in a major progressive market, you will have a scattering, a very small scattering of natural wine retailers. Now, these wines are not dry farm wines certified, we’ll get into what the different but they are natural wines. And if you’re going to drink wine, we believe you should drink a lower alcohol, natural wine. And if you live in major markets, it is possible to go in and find through Google search, you can find natural wine retailers in New York. Yeah. Now let me get back to the three tier system why you can’t get better for you beverages in the grocery store. Here’s how three tier works. The M border or the wine producer must is required by law to sell to a distributed. These distributors are typically fairly small in numbers as a control most a handful of them control all the activity in your state. So you must in order by law, in order to get licensed and sell wine at the store at retail, you must sell to this distributor. This distributor sells to a wholesaler, the wholesaler in turns to a retail and the retailer, sells to the consumer. But let’s start back start back at the top of the food chain with a distributor because these are the people who control what comes into your state and gets on your grocery shelf. Now we go back to the role of the industry. So fuel because this is all about money and greed and power. Yeah. About why you don’t have better few products. You can just walk in your store and buy. Yeah, there’s no money in it is the problem. So here, these these, these big consolidators, these huge wine conglomerates. They’ve rolled up the industry went and bought up all the players, right 52% Of all the wines you see in American retail are made by just three giant companies. And the top 30 Wine companies in the United States make over 70% of us wines. They don’t want you to know that. So they have had 1000s of brands and labels. Oops, there’s something else. They have their 76 additives approved by the FDA for use and winemaking. And they don’t have to disclose those. Because through their lobby efforts, wine industry spent millions of dollars lobbying money to keep contents labeling and nutritional information off of wine bottles. This is corruption 101. Yeah. So here’s how the problem with the distributor three tier network is that see the consolidators these three companies. So these top 30 or 50 companies, they control most of the supply. So they’re cozy with the distributor. So small suppliers can’t get in can’t get shore store space. Because these big suppliers have these cozy convenient relationships with the only people who can get your wine to the store. And so it’s one is one beast feeding the other. It’s just and it doesn’t give small producers an opportunity to compete. Right. And so that I mean, that’s a very simplistic view of a large part of the problem about why systematically and fundamentally you can’t get better for you wine into your store is because there’s just not enough money in it. Yeah. And so these and also the other problem was that’s the primary problem. The other problem is that Americans bar brands they know. Yeah, right. Yeah. And these, these natural wine growers, that once you drink from us, you never heard of them. No, not a single one you’ve never heard of, because none of them have advertising budgets. None of them have store space. None of them have in caps in grocery stores. You haven’t heard none of my magazine advertisements. None of them have, you know, media, because you’re too small.
Dr. Mindy A lot of them are blends. And I realized that sometimes I not even, I’ll just drink it just to taste it and have the experience of it. And I realized, I don’t even know what grapes are in this. And then I go to look at I don’t even
Todd White know you’ve never heard of any of the greats, you don’t even know what they are. That’s right, which is another, which is another incredible aspect of what we do is that you see natural wines are made from very often see what Americans know are the top a Cabernet, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Surat, at the top can top eight grapes, that that’s what’s grown in America and what they know, and what’s sold here because people buy what they know. natural wine farms, which are very often more often than not multigenerational family farms. And they’re dedicated. And also natural wine growers believe in old vines. Right? So conventional winemakers don’t because older vine gets while it’s character of fruit indisputably becomes better, its yield decreases significantly lower the yield, the less money there’s on it. So everything including like irrigation is about money. We’ll get to irrigation in a moment. But So anyway, this you this natural wine, you can’t you just probably you can’t get access to it.
Dr. Mindy Because in America,
Todd White right? Well, even in Europe, you get better access, but still not still in European the EU is, you know, also greed driven and, you know, a place of immense wealth. So this scale, and consolidation is not strictly an American issue. Yeah, it’s just we do it better than anybody else. Yeah, we do scale better than anyone.
Dr. Mindy Would you say that? Would you say it’s sort of the equal to conventional farming versus regenerative farming is what I’m hearing when you’re going with a natural wine that has this appreciation of the way the grapes are grown the history of the vines, what we’re looking at is that’s like a farmer who just tends to all of the
Todd White it’s a great point. What I was about to finish thing, on the great types, the all the ones that you don’t know, because their ancestral grapes that are indigenous to the region where these natural farms are, so they’re not grown, because they’re easier. They’re not grown because they’re more marketable. They’re grown because they’re ancestral. Oh, I love that. Right. And so, now with with respect to farming, we can cover irrigation under the same conversation. So and I’m going to talk about industrialized organic farming. What does that mean? This is really interesting, I thought of it from point that you just made industrialized organic farming is what I call the organic foods section, in your vegetable aisle, in the grocery store. So let’s take it this is where living soils and the love of a living soil and the love of how a family farm communicates with nature. It’s beyond organic. This is reason it’s super important to support small family farms to your farmers market or by drinking natural wines or these are people who are protecting the planet. These are people who are trying to save the planet and need and deserve our support. They don’t make a lot of money. Well, right. I mean, our wines are super affordable and deliver to your door at $25 A bottle. They’re all the same price and he’s not trickery, right? It’s super affordable for a handcrafted product. So nobody’s making a lot of money here. So what what is important is this industrialized organic is I call it so and here’s how you know what I’m talking about. When you go to the farmers market. You will see vegetables there and fruit, I think particularly vegetables that are so teeming with vibrance and color and life you take pictures of it. It’s right you get your iPhone out and you take pictures of this cabbage. Yeah, right. Because the the nourishing Thane structure on it is popping so robustly and the color is so deep and rich. Because this is real food grown in a loving environment by a small family farm. These cabbage or carrots, or artichokes or broccoli or anything that you see at the farmers market is teeming with this vitality. It’s just so beautiful. Yeah. And Lush. I take what I
Dr. Mindy do. I’m like enamored with it. Yep,
Todd White of course you do. It’s fascinating. You’re drawn to it because it’s filled with life. Yep. Well, when you go into the organic section of your grocery store, it doesn’t look like that. No, it doesn’t. I’ll tell you why. Because that’s what I call industrialized. Organic. Is it organic? Yes. Is it better for you than then chemical farming? Yes, for sure. Is it the same as something that came out of living soil that has been nurtured by the love and spirit of this family? No, it’s different. And natural wine growing is exactly the same way you can think of natural wine growing as the farmer’s market grapes. Yeah. And so this is because, you know, when you go to, I have a home in Napa Valley, when you go to Napa, it’s, it’s a beautiful place. It’s a wonderful place lives a wonderful place to visit. But you have tasting rooms that are, you know, multimillion dollar, you know, kind of shrines to architecture. And that’s not how it is when you go to a natural wind farm. There’s these fancy tasting rooms, when you go to a natural wind farm, the very first thing, always the very first thing and I don’t care if it’s raining snowing in the middle of winter, in Central Europe, where it is cold A F, right? The first thing the farmer wants to do is take you to the vineyard and talk about the soil and pick up the soil when it’s wet and cold, run it through your hands talk about and stand out there in the driving snow or rain, most buying trips occur in the winter time to Europe, because that’s when the farmers are not working. So that’s when they have time to sell you wine. Right. So almost all buying trips occur between December and April. Interesting. In January and February in Central Europe is super cold. And so, you know, they want to take you there is no tasting room. Almost never. You usually end up tasting either in the cellar. That’s after you’ve been in the vineyard for an hour talking about soil and, and fines. And you know, and I can just tell you, I’ve suffered that this many times in the cold. And it’s always the very first place that they take you. Yeah, and of course, they’re farmers. So you know, as cold as me anything to know. Yeah, they got fixed. Some city boy like, man, like it’s cold out there. Right. So, so the so then if you do taste, it’s at their kitchen table. You know, it would be in the cellar, you know, on a board is propped up, you know, between two barrels. I mean, literally, is nothing fancy about it. Yeah. But you can feel the spirit of the farm.
Dr. Mindy Right, so vibrant. There’s a vibration, there’s what I’m hearing,
Todd White there is a vibration there because nature has vibration. Nature loves rhythms. And when nature is in rhythm, you can feel its vibration.
Dr. Mindy Like, drop. That was good. No, it’s true. It’s true. And that’s what you’re feeling at the market. What I’m hearing is when you see that beautiful cabbage at your farmers market, you’re attracted to the vibrancy of that, which is what in a natural wine, what I hear is it’s not just the care of the soil. It’s the family. It’s the community that is surrounded around the
Todd White taste. It’s called terroir in France, it’s like its terroir is a French term used to describe that the wine tastes like the place that it’s from. Right, and each vineyard is a place. So let’s go to irrigation. Right. So why do you irrigate? Because it’s cheaper, and it’s more profitable. Why do you farm conventionally with chemicals because it’s cheaper and more profitable? Yeah. So this irrigation has all kinds of problems. As its associated to the health of the vine, the quality of the fruit, the character, the fruit and the polythene, all content inside the fruit. The health compounds inside the fruit are diminished, both in non organic fruit and in irrigated fruit. It might not surprise you that When you fill a grape berry with water, it dilutes everything inside out, including its flavor character and compounds. Why would you irrigate? Because it’s cheaper? It creates a bigger yield yield is the size of the cluster. And the cluster weighs more because it’s filled with water. Yeah. And you know, and bigger yields from nitrogen from nitrogen that has been used to fertilize, making for a lazy vine.
Dr. Mindy So I don’t want to lose the point on the poly phenyl. If the the content, the vitamin, mineral, poly phenyl, all the nutritional aspects of this grape, the vibration of the community, the richness of the soil, it’s all going in your wine. So does that make wine a health food?
Todd White I have no idea. Neither is anybody else. You know, resveratrol, which is the most widely known and famous poly phenol found in red wines. We can talk about why Polyphenols are higher in red wines in a moment we talk about fermentation. But so I’m not I’m not here to tell you that that wine is a health food. Nobody knows. We don’t know much about nutritional. We don’t know much about nutrition in general, because we just don’t have control group studies, the only way to get real nutritional information over a long period of time is to use it on prisoners, which is thought to be unethical. Right. And so we don’t have we don’t have quality control group studies on any kind of nutrition, including alcohol, including wine, including broccoli, you know, we just don’t have it. We have, you know, we have you know, I love the proverb, when I think about all these things to feel is to understand. And we have, we have data, just not good data, but we do know how we feel, right? And so we do know that you feel much better when you drink a natural wine versus a conventional wine 100. This is indisputable. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t have that experience. 100. Unfortunately, it’s enabled us to have a nice family business where we can survive and make a living selling natural wine. Because the product is indisputably better. Yeah, it tastes better. It makes you feel better. Period, end of story. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t agree with they might not like it. There are cases where someone like you know, I want to have your richer wine. Well, natural wines aren’t heavy and rich. Yeah. Because those manipulations that get you to heavy and rich are not what natural wine is.
Dr. Mindy By the way. No, no, don’t take offense to this. But I stopped bringing natural wine to other people in hand in the dry farm wines. Because they don’t appreciate it. And they and it’s got more complexity and if you’re used to drinking up Napa Xin are cab you’re gonna dry farm wine is going to taste way different. So
Todd White they’re gonna say I don’t, it’s watery. It’s like, well, yeah, because you’re not drinking all these additives. That’s our agents, body stabilizers, sugar. Yeah. Which gives mouthfeel to wine and gives that long finish to wine. That’s sugar. Yeah. And glycerol. So it doesn’t contain all those things. But those are also the things that are bad for you and make you feel bad. Right? Right. And people will drink it. Because they get palate adjusted. Right, just the same thing happens. The same thing happens when they do drink our wines for a week or two. Right? And then they go back to drink this other one. They’re like, whoa, yep. This is like cough syrup. I didn’t know. See we, most of us. We like to believe that. We’re very adventurous in our in the way we eat. Oh, you know, I’m adventurous. I’ll try anything. The fact of the matter is most of us eat and drink same thing every day. Yeah. Yeah. With very little exception, right? which destroys, same restaurants say we ordered the same dishes. Yep. Right, because we’re creatures of habit. Yes. And so. And many of us are challenged to break these habits, even if we know they’re bad for us. Yeah. There’s an article.
Dr. Mindy I just want to say on that point, that that behavior is killing us. Because if it is, if you just look at the
Todd White hair, right? No, we don’t know. Well, we do know, let me give you an example. Let me
Dr. Mindy give you Why don’t you give people a little more credit. I think people don’t.
Todd White They know, they know. As an article in the Wall Street Journal this weekend. It said we can prevent the number one cause of death that kills three times as many people last year as COVID did worldwide, which is cardiovascular or disease we know how to prevent. There are three primary ways to prevent it. We know what those are smoking, hypertension, and air pollution. This is known science. That’s pretty widespread. People know that if you eat less, less often you don’t smoke. You spend time in nature, you maintain lower cortisol levels by spending time in nature and not putting yourself out. But cardiovascular disease last year, killed 35 million people COVID killed 10 known. Yeah, worldwide. But even though we know and look, fasting is for most people is the single most like, I mean, forget it, you just try to get them to eat slow carbs and just, you know, be just be moderate, that’s hard enough to tell them that they can eat. I mean, this is, you know, only the most converted only the now, as we discussed earlier, I only eat once a day, and I would never return to eating more than once a day. Yeah, I mean, just like my energy level would just be off. Yeah, I just, I’m not even interested. It’s two o’clock in the afternoon, and Florida and I have zero interest in eating and haven’t eaten since last night.
Dr. Mindy Oh, you’re just getting your ketone high. Now you’re in the sweet spot.
Todd White Even when I do eat tonight, around six o’clock. It won’t be because I’m hungry. It will be because I want to drink wine. Right. And so. And if I didn’t drink wine, I’d probably eat my only meal about three o’clock in the afternoon. And probably some days I just forget to eat. Yeah. Usually not because I’m hungry because I’m gonna have a glass of wine. Yeah. So because I’m a hedonist, which is the only other reason I only eat once a day because I feel better. Yeah. And people like, aren’t you hungry? No, I’m not hungry, ever. Right? That’s like, Well, how do you do that? I mean, do you get enough calories? will actually, I hope not. I’d actually like to be eating fewer calories. Yes. All right. So I mean, I mean, we know that calorie restriction is one of the only known effective ways to increase lifespan and organisms never been shown in humans, of course, but you know, and worms and yeast and mice, so on and so forth. So, but so irrigation, let’s go to.
Dr. Mindy So let’s, I want to really make it applicable in the time that we have how so? How does somebody pick a wine when we look at natural, sustainable, biodynamic? How do you? Is it even possible to navigate a wine list and figure it out? No, yeah,
Todd White it’s not impossible for me to navigate it. Interesting. So there’s a couple of reasons for that. And I can give you some practical solutions for it. But there’s a couple of reasons for it. First of all, there are hundreds and hundreds of 1000s of wines in the world. So you can look at a wine list unless it’s unless it’s a brand new, no, that’s been publicized through media. You won’t have any idea what any of the wines are. I care about lower alcohol. So if there’s a wine person there, if there’s a some or you know, wine director, I might ask, although generally gets nowhere, I might ask Do you have any lower alcohol wines and I consider lower. The demarcation for lower alcohol in the wine world is 12 and a half percent. So do you have wine? That’s they’ll never have anything below 12? Do you have a wine that’s 12 or 12 and a half percent. They will look at you like you have a third I know, alcohol
Dr. Mindy all the time, we actually had to bring the bottle or like just bring it all to us.
Todd White So here’s what I do. Next, you could ask Do you have organic wine? Now just because wine is organic, doesn’t mean it’s natural, but we’re one step closer. Okay. And then the third and the best cheat is to look for colder regions. Generally in central France, Beaujolais laoire Valley, these are cold central wet and cold. Burgundy, these are Bergen, Bergen Donia. wines have some other issues because the style of the way the wines are made. They’re They’re typically higher in alcohol. They’re highly extracted, and they got a lot of oak in them. So but Beaujolais which gets kind of a bad rap because of new Volvo chalet and the way that the region has been industrialized, but but it’s a colder wetter place in France. So if you want to get to lower alcohol you need to get places where
Dr. Mindy it’s colder. What is the way the grapes grow?
Todd White Well, here’s how you get higher alcohol is higher sugar. So the sugar at the time of harvest, the sugar in the berry will determine the, the corresponding alcohol level at the end of fermentation. The more sugar there is to ferment meaning how you ferment wine as you you have yeast and and juice it’s filled with sugar and the yeast to activate whether their native yeast which is natural wine, or commercial yeast, GMO, which is conventional wines. Either way, yeast activates and it starts to eat sugar as the food source. And so this is how you ferment wine. The byproduct of this eating of the sugar from the yeast is carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol. That’s how you make wine, the more sugar there is to eat, meaning the higher the sugar content at the time of harvest, also known as Brix in the industry, you can measure it in the field. Okay, this is another problem with irrigation when you fill a great berry with water you have to get the sugar higher. This is not this is common sense. You have to get sugar higher the fruit riper, to have proper flavoring because the berries filled with water. And so but either way, the higher the sugar is at the time of harvest will determine the corresponding alcohol at the end of the fermentation more sugar the higher the alcohol, the point of a colder, colder region is that grape. That grape must in warmer regions is optional. In a colder region that great must be harvested earlier because the cold weather comes in earlier. Okay, the earlier is harvested, the lower the sugar is in the grape. And then when you ferment it, the lower the outcome of the alcohol is interesting. Okay, the other thing that’s interesting, I don’t know why this phenomena is true. But even if it’s a conventional wine, and it’s lower in alcohol, it is more likely to be more natural people who make lower alcohol wines make wine in a more natural way. I don’t know what the phenomena there is. But the lower alcohol wines, even if they’re not, quote, natural, they taste better. They’re more natural, even though they may not meet all the qualifications of natural. But the other thing to be aware of and when you get a dry farm wines certified wine, so there’s no certification for natural wines. Yet 2023. France is going to be the first country to certify natural wine beautiful, this is a great move. France also says in 24, that they’re going to be the first country to put contents labeling on a wine bar, which is also a great step forward. I don’t think it’ll happen in the US, but it’s a great step forward. But dry farm wines has a certification process that’s over and beyond just natural. And the one thing I wanted to touch on before we wrap up here is that sugar and alcohol are nasty dance partners. Yeah, right. And so you’ll know this to be true. And all of our wines are sugar free and lab tested by us. The only way to know if a wine sugar free is the lab test. But the reason that you know this nasty partnership between sugar and alcohol, if you have a shot of tequila, well let’s say two or you drink two margaritas how you feel from taking just a shot of tequila is going to be very different than how you feel from drinking a margarita. Yes. Both while drinking it as well as the next day. sugar and alcohol just don’t make good playmates. And so well said. So, you know if sugar is poisonous in the first place, and I’m rabidly anti sugar, but when it combines with alcohol, the effects and the outcome become disastrous in terms of how you feel and the stress it puts on your body to process. Yeah.
Dr. Mindy So is biodynamic. Just so because that’s one that gets thrown around? Is that just mean that they used ancient grow farming strategies that don’t require spraying What does biodynamic mean?
Todd White Well, so biodynamic is I like to think of it this way. So biodynamic is not that biodynamic farming was created by a scientist called Rudolf Steiner in 1925. And it was in response to say in the early 20s, is when you had The Beginning next it accelerated later. But the beginning of both monocultural farming, which is the farming of the single crop. monocultural farming and chemical farming in particular got introduced in the early 1920s. In response to this, there were some activists and leading thinkers like Rudolf Steiner, who said, Whoa, we can’t do this. This is going to kill the planet. It’s going to lead to, you know, poor, poor farming practices and poor product, poor food products for industrial product. So he created biodynamic farming and biodynamic farming, the simplest way to think of it is it’s a prescriptive, advanced form of organic farming. So all biodynamic farming is always organic. Okay? And biodynamic farming basically involves two tenants. One is farming by lunar cycle, right? So by the moon cycle by the tide, right, so biodynamic farmers believe that the energies from the lunar cycles impact decisions in farming, like when to harvest doesn’t example, when to when to prune your grapes or when to manage your canopy, canopy is the leaf cover over over the fruit? Right, so the canopy is there to protect the fruit from the sun. But you have canopy management throughout the growing season to sometimes give the grapes a little bit more sun. Right. And so this is those techniques and styles vary from grower to grow. The second tenant, one is the loner farming. The second is that they spray what they believe there’s no scientific proof to this. What they believe are prescriptions to the vines. And what I mean by prescriptions, that’s what they’re called. They’re, they’re called prescriptions or formulas. They one is like a white quartz that’s been ground up into water. The white quartz rock, right. Another is manure that has been buried in the ground in a bullhorn at a specific site in the vineyard. And then it sits there for a specific period of time. And then it’s harvested from the ground and mixed and this preparation is they’re called. They’re called preparation in the preparation. This is sprayed on the grapes sprayed on the plants. And these prescriptions and preparations are thought to be natural enhancements to and they may work. There’s no evidence that they do or do not work. And biodynamic wines, in my opinion, very often tastes better. Now, why is that? And here’s the way I explain that. Also, not all biodynamic wines are natural. There’s a very large wine company in the United States that’s biodynamic, and sells widely throughout the grocery store system through three tier. But it’s not a natural wine. It is biodynamic. There’s a biodynamic certification. The biggest one is in Germany called diameter. So here’s how I think about Annemiek wines. Anybody who will obsess over their farming practices, and over lunar cycles, and these preparations, and anyone who obsesses to this degree over farming practice is just going to grow better fruit period. Yes. Right. And so anybody who’s that obsessive, and these people are obsessive. Yeah, right? Anybody who obsesses at that level is likely just to make a better why, yeah.
Dr. Mindy And they’re gonna end their vibrancy back to the frequency is going to be going into the wind. So when you talk to
Todd White natural wine growers, they talk about the spirit of nature, growing the natural, you know, the relationship, a spiritual relationship between the plants and vines communicate to each other trees talk to each other. We know this yes, this is not speculation. We know that plants talk and communicate that mushrooms communicate that. You know, we’ve got this whole infrastructure under the living soil that is billions of organisms. This is another reason that natural wind farmers don’t often plow their land, because they want to maintain the life of those organisms beneath the surface which are teeming with billions of tiny organisms. Here’s what happens when you plow, you turn that soil over and you expose that soil to the sun and you kill these living organisms.
Dr. Mindy Fascinating. Yeah,
Todd White another reason that when you go to and you should come to Europe with us sometime I would love to, and and tour these small family farms and you know you very often most often when you walk into a natural venue, grass wildflowers they’re growing chest high, they’re competing with the vines. This the because the natural farmer wants insects, butterflies, they want all that nature attracts. That’s how you keep the balancing don’t have to use chemical farming because nature will balance itself out. Yeah. Right. And so it often looks like a small forest beneath the vines. Right? It’s not manicured at all. Yeah, it’s it’s not barren at all. It always has vegetation on. Because that’s kind of how things grow. If you go into nature, that’s how everything grows. Yep. It doesn’t grow in this way. That’s manicured. Yeah. Yeah, it just everything fights against each other. Right. And that’s what provides the balance and the the sort of the kind of universal connected source energy that is nature. That is the rhythm of nature.
Dr. Mindy You know, we have, we turned our front yard into a vegetable garden. And it always looks beautiful. Like right now it’s starting to look great. And then once everything dies, we just let it go right back into the earth. And it looks horrible. I mean, my front yard will look horrible for a while. But then the next year, another wonderful thing grows out of that. And to your point, the complexity of the art of growing, anything like that is going to serve your health in a bigger way. So I think what I want everybody to take away is this isn’t just wine. I mean, taught, taught, just
Todd White came on my phone. Yeah, like good. Gosh, what does that anyway.
Dr. Mindy But what I want that what I was off with is what I hear from you is the intention, the care, the process, the energy that goes into making a natural wine, we can apply that philosophy to food, we can apply that to relationships, we can apply that to our lifestyles. So I don’t want people to lose the nuance of your passion around wine. Because what I’m also hearing from you is a whole different way to approach life that when you do that, that is longevity?
Todd White Would you agree? Yes, for sure.
Dr. Mindy Beautiful, for sure. So let me finish up on this. This is our third season of the resetter podcast. And so we are asking everyone what their gratitude daily gratitude practices, do you have a daily gratitude practice.
Todd White I do a start every morning with 28 minutes of concentrated meditation. And just following that I have probably 10 minutes of concentrated great gratitude. And just following that I have about a half hour of journaling and life planning and may also express other gratitude through the through my writings, but typically, it’s just following meditation. And then I think the other thing is really important in a healthy gratitude practice is to be sure. And tell other people how grateful you are for them. So true. You know, like my long term friendship with you. I’m very grateful for that. Yeah. You know, it’s been great and very rewarding. So, yeah, it’s just after my meditation, practice it, it’s daily. It’s not it’s five or 10 minutes, not that long. Try not to belabor it. Usually there’s, you know, there’s oftentimes some I’m at the beach that’s a helicopter flying across the doors open. Anyway, I you know, I’m very often grateful for my health. It’s probably the thing that I’m most grateful for because without health there you know, there’s not everything else is kind of come secondary to that even your even your security, just health is just like, I mean financial security, your your health is, you know, the person who’s unhealthy has only one wish. And the person who’s in great health has 1000 wishes. And so I’m very often grateful for my health and and also for the abundance that I have around me, people who loved me, these are kinds of things that I’m very typical, typically. Today I was grateful for the law of attraction, actually, I was writing about it. Awesome. Great. Before that something else this morning I was grateful to be living my truth speaking and living my truth this was something that I was grateful for this morning grateful to be present and mindful so anyway there you know there’s there’s a lot we could go on
Dr. Mindy yeah I was gonna say we could talk about why this way say like wine is one of my most favorite subjects because it is the door in the way and and I want to really do this back to you like I’m grateful for what you’ve taught me about the art of wine because really what you’ve taught me is the art of living through so many conversations and I feel like the your this discussion on wine the way you look at wine is the door in to not just a pleasure filled life but a healthy lifestyle where you can not only live long, but live with happiness and joy around you all the time.