I am increasingly aware of organic wines. They are featured in wine stores, given as presents, described as ‘new discoveries’ and served at restaurants (outside, at a social distance). ‘Certified Organic’ wines are made of grapes grown without all the chemicals—synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and without added sulfites – and additional ingredients are also certified organic. Note: all wines contain some naturally occurring sulfites as a result of fermentation.
Be aware of the labels which say, “Made with organically grown grapes”. ‘Organic’ sounds healthy, and most organic wines are produced using organic grapes and sustainable farming methods that are good for the earth. These organic wines can have additional ingredients like added sulfites which are not organic. In Europe, these wines with organic grapes and non-organic additives are labeled, “Bio’, which I think implies biodynamic farming. Experts tells me that small wine producers often cannot afford to go through the ‘certification process’ to prove that they are organic, but the marketplace informally accepts their purity. Find a wine expert whose advice you trust. I have relied on our expert, Warren Storch, for some of these insights.
Organic wines are said to be healthier for you (and your head the next morning) than classic wines. The downside is that the shelf life of the organic wine is reduced because sulfites act as preservatives. Some connoisseurs observe a ‘funky’ taste to some organic wines, which may relate to the shorter shelf life.
Your local wine merchant will almost certainly recommend favorite organic wines. Here are some organic wines that come highly recommended.
2017 Mas de Gourgonnier les Baux de Provence Cuvee Tradition, Rouge Made with organically grown grapes, but it does contain sulfites. The family which produces this wine have been farming organically since 1975. ~$17.
These two Italian, Rendentore wines are recommended by our expert, Warren.
The Pinot Grigio is described as having a “…fruity aroma, with nuts and toasted almonds hints. Its freshness and minerality make it ideal with elegant starters, soups, vegetables risotto and grilled fish. No added sulfites in the wine.” Redentore Pinot Grigio $14.99
The Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Merlot blends (Bordeaux Blend) are each about $17 to $19. Note: Redentore wines are Kosher.
Warren recommends the Italian Mediterra, Toscana, 2016. It is a Cabernet-Merlot-Syrah blend. $20.
Following my own advice, I got recommendations from our local wine seller at Horseneck Wine. They recommend:
Broc Love Red Blend, 2018. From the North Coast of California, it is a blend of Carignan (77%,) Valoiovile (15%), and Syrah (8%). $21.
Beaujolais Blanc, Chardonnay, 2018 Jean-Paul Brun, $19-$20.
Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2019, described to me as a Pinot Noir, made in Beaujolais – from Gamay grapes. $42.
If you’ve read this far, you are probably interested in whether the wine you drink is made with sustainable methods. Napa Green helps vineyards achieve sustainability – and then certifies them. Napa Green.