Drinking sustainably with the Wine Not?
If you're anything like me you are going to care about what you’re putting into your body. Not to the point that you are bothered that you’re drinking a whole bottle of wine, but that you would preferably like the bottle that you’re drinking to be organic and sustainable. Across the board when you are searching out an organic wine it means that the grapes have been grown without pesticides in the vineyard. However the label organic does not restrict the wine making practices in the cellar...most of the time. Organic wine from The United States is from grapes grown organically in the vineyard and without the use of ‘added’ sulphites. This may seem ideal...and to me is great, because I really do enjoy a “no added sulphites” wine, however it will affect the shelf life of the wine and when you open that bottle it may seem slightly effervescent because that bottle will continue to undergo small amounts of fermentation without the addition of added sulphites. Sulphites and sulphur are natural and both being the same are widely used in winemaking to manage fermentation and ensure that we do not end up with vinegar. European and Canadian wines labelled Organic only refer to the practices in the vineyard. That means the grapes used to make wine were organic however, there could be sulphites added. Sustainability in wine is also an issue we are faced with...would you prefer to drink a wine that is made from great hand harvested fruit or fruit that has been machine harvested? Not only is a hand harvested wine going to provide more jobs for people across the board, we will be making wine from fruit that is sourced and picked only because the fruit was good and not just because more wine needed to be sold. For the most part good grapes = good wine. So wine not? Next time you're out looking for that great bottle of wine search out the stamp of approval.
To organic or not to organic? ...is that really a question?
By Lindsay Schwenker, Wine and Spirits writer and connoisseur