Photo by Terry Vlisidis on Unsplash

How to Have Your Wine and Drink It Too

I love wine.

One of my favorite things is to unwind at the end of a long day with a glass of good wine.

But I don’t love the negative effects of wine. I experience lower-quality sleep after just a glass or two. And I am concerned about the possible long-term health consequences.

I lead a very healthy lifestyle overall, but it is hard to determine the right approach to alcohol. Certain studies show moderate drinking has health benefits, while other reports say no amount of alcohol is safe.

Ultimately, since wine is one of the great joys in my life, I want to continue enjoying it while finding the healthiest way to do so.

As I started researching the healthiest wines, I came upon a “Clean-Crafted” wine company called Scout & Cellar.

Scout & Cellar was founded by a woman named Sarah Shadonix, an attorney-turned-sommelier who set out to solve the same issue I’ve been facing.

While studying to become a sommelier, Sarah found that even a single glass of wine would lead to a headache the next day. She knew something was off, so she began doing research into why wine was having this effect on her, consulting everyone from naturopathic physicians to vintners.

Eventually, she discovered the source of the headaches: the up-to 300 chemical pesticides and 250 chemical additives loaded into nearly all mass-produced wine.

It turns out that there are some dirty secrets about the wine industry.

Mass-produced wine typically contains GMO ingredients, up to 350 parts per million of sulfites, as much as 16 grams of added sugar, and other additives such as ammonium phosphate and copper sulfate.

We have a pretty good sense about what is in our food these days, but we have no idea what is in our wine.

That’s because the wine industry has spent millions of dollars lobbying to keep ingredients and contents labeling off of wine. And the US wine industry is powerful, with just a handful of major corporations dominating the bulk of wine production.

All of the pesticides, chemicals, and sugars are added to make wine that tastes the same, bottle after bottle, year after year. Winemaking is inherently unpredictable, but these additives help to maintain consistency and sameness over time, while covering up bacteria and other flaws in the wine.

This means chemically altered, unnatural wine has become the norm.

Learning about these truths led Sarah to find a cleaner, healthier wine option.

She spent years scouring the world to discover the best and purest wines — establishing a whole new set of requirements for what she calls “clean-crafted wine.” She studied growing methods, walked the vineyards, and scientifically tested wines.

Now her company, Scout & Cellar, is on a mission to bring back good, clean wine.

Scout & Cellar requires organic, sustainable, or biodynamic farming, and their wines are always tended by actual people and not mass produced by industrial agricultural methods. Their wines are grown naturally without any synthetic pesticides or GMO ingredients, no chemical additives, and zero grams of added sugar (each wine goes through two rounds of independent lab testing to ensure this is the case).

Additionally, Scout & Cellar only sells wine that is low in sulfites (always less than 100ppm of sulfites and usually less than 50ppm), vinified by hand, and slow crafted to extract the naturally occurring antioxidants.

This means that Scout & Cellar wine might taste different from season to season and bottle to bottle, but that’s what gives wine it’s character and distinctiveness, and it’s what nature intended.

I recently started drinking Scout & Cellar wine and I’ve been blown away — there is a wide selection of different styles, the wine is delicious, and I can honestly tell the difference in terms of the way I feel.

I have tried other natural wines in the past, but the quality was so hit-or-miss that I abandoned them quickly. Scout & Cellar has delivered the first wines that I actually enjoy drinking, without sacrificing my healthy lifestyle.

I have now started to exclusively drink Scout & Cellar wines. I believe in their mission so much that I have become an Independent Consultant for the company to help spread the good word.

If you are like me and you love wine but also care about what you put in your body, I’d suggest giving Scout & Cellar wine a try.

Andrew Merle is a Certified Nutritionist and Independent Wine Consultant for Scout & Cellar. Contact Andrew to learn more and purchase clean-crafted wine, or visit

I write about simple tips to optimize your health & longevity. Subscribe to my email list at