It’s always a pleasure to introduce new wines and concepts to help you get thinking about what your drinking!
Last month we hosted our first Organic, biodynamic and natural wine tasting.
A recap of a few of the things we learned:
- The term natural wine is reserved only for wines with no sulphites or chemicals, it is not a generic term for organic wine.
- The EU is allowed to label a wine Organic if it contains sulphites, however in the US wines using sulphites must be labelled, ‘made with organically grown grapes.’
- Wines need sulphites to preserve them. It’s a myth that people are allergic to red wine and not white wine due to sulphites. White wine has more sulphites than reds.
- The legal term ‘Organic’ covers the vineyard management, not the winery techniques.
- Organic wines are for those that seek new and interesting wine experiences and who refuse to support a wine world influenced through ‘Parkerization’
- Bio-dynamic wines connect with the natural biology of the vineyard. They use the phases of the moon to prune the vineyard. In interesting fact is, when the moon is ascending, the vines have less water, therefore it’s the best time to prune. They also practice filling of cow horns with manure and burying them in the soil. This is then diluted with water and sprayed on the vines. There are more flowery sprays as well, like Camomile.
- White wines from Vinho Verde tend to be very crisp and dry, especially compared to the Quinta da Palmirnha Branco we enjoyed.
- The second red, Duas Vinhas 2010, which was slightly sparkling has natural S02. I personally like this slight sprizt in a wine, and it should not be seen as a fault
- The third red, Bonjardim 2006, proved that organic wine can age, with the additions of sulphites, of course.
A special thanks to Roman and Ricardo who came with their delicious and unique wines. If you would like to keep in touch with them, here is there contact information:
We created a poll to ask people about their experiecnce with Organic Wines:
It was interesting to see how these topics provoked a few good conversations, and prove some of the theories I spoke about in the tasting.
I know I’m a wine geek, but I find these very answers very interesting: (45 attended, 32 filled out the survey)
- 14 of 32 had never had an Organic wine. 9 of you had a good to excellent experience.
For those that had a bad experience, you now know that the quality of Organic wine has dramatically increased in the last decade due to the addition of sulphites.
- Only 5 would pay £3 more for a wine made with organic grapes.
Did this change for you by the end of the tasting?
- Only 9 people would seek them out if they were in a separate section of the store
Which proves why most producers who paid for their certification, don’t label their wines as such – they don’t want to lose their position on the shelf!
- Only 3 people seek out wines of usual grapes/blends (more than 50% of the time)
We really must change this!!! As there is less intervention in the final taste of the wine (like using native yeast, no sugar or chemicals added) organic wines have a more diverse taste than mainstream wines. So if you like trying different wines, go for organic!
- 17 people said they lifestyle was more than 50% sustainable. (recycles and reuses, tries to save energy)
Being sustainable is a large part of our culture. Most wineries claim to be sustainable, however, organic wineries take it to the next level.
- The preferred term for Organic wine is Artisan and Small Exclusive estates – and the best suggestion was Free Range. I love this!!!
There was one that said vegetarian, but not all organic wine is unfiltered. Organic refers to growing the grapes, not how it’s made. Wines are only vegetarian if they do not use Isinglass ‘fish bladder’ to filter the wine. (95% of wine is not vegetarian)