What is in organic wine is a question all wine drinkers should ask. Another important question wine drinkers should consider asking is, what is not in organic wine? Or, what is in non organic or regular wine? This is strictly a case of less is more.
I will look at what organic wine is, and how it is defined. I will reveal the ingredients in organic wine. I will also explain what is in regular wine or non organic wine.
This may surprise you. I will also let you know my pick for what I believe to be the world’s best organic wine, why I think so, and where to find it.
What is Organic Wine?
Wine, wine cultivation, and wine drinking has been around almost since the beginnings of man. It is thought that Jesus Christ himself was a drinker of wine.
In today’s world of processing, refining, and bio engineering our food and drink, many people are looking for a more natural solution to what they put in their body.
A solution where you don’t have to risk creating health problems, and side effects simply from ingesting what we eat and drink.
There is a ever growing movement to healthy, organic products, and wine is no exception. Most large grocery chains now have sections devoted to organic products. There are even some grocery chains that specialize in organic.
But what exactly is organic wine? What makes it organic? Organic wines are defined as wines that are grown without the use of any chemicals or other harmful substances. These harmful substances include herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides.
Organic grapes, and no added sulfites must be used in order to achieve the USDA, United States Department of Agriculture organic designation, and to show the USDA Organic seal.
Wines do have sulfites that occur naturally in the grapes. However, in order to be considered organic, the sulfite content must be 20 parts per million or less.
Sulfite is a natural preservative, can prevent contamination from bacteria, and it’s use does extend the life of the wine. Sulfites can also prevent the oxidation of wine which causes browning and can ruin a good wine.
However, sulfites also have negative attributes such as causing headaches, allergic reactions, can intensify hangovers, and even change flavors of the wine.
Organic wines bring out the true flavors of wine, and most wine experts agree that organic wines simply taste better.
Very specific rules dictate the process of wine making, as well as the conditions of storage in order to be labeled certified organic.
What is not in Organic Wine
To fully appreciate what is in organic wine, I feel that it is important to know what is not in organic wine. Put another way, what is in regular wine that you find at your grocery store, liquor store, or online store. And, let me tell you there is a lot.
In an attempt to produce wine in larger quantities, faster, cheaper, free of pests, with more consistency, and to last longer, the wine industry has compromised it’s product to the point to where it is a concoction of chemicals that well may do more harm than good to it’s unaware drinkers.
Sadly, within the last 50 years, the mass of pesticides sprayed on grape vines has increased by 26 times. One of the highest totals of man made pesticides of any farm crop have been found on the grape.
Additives are injected to non organic wines to affect coloring, sweeten, retard or change flavor, control or add color, and much more.
The FDA, Food and Drug Administration has given it’s stamp of approval for seventy six (76) different additives for use in making wine.
38 of these additives have achieved the distinction as being GRAS, or generally regarded as safe. So this means that there are 38 other ingredients that didn’t make the list, and thus are not generally considered as safe, yet the FDA approved them anyway.
Yikes! These people are looking out for our health and safety?
Some of these additives include:
- Oak essence (real oak barrels cost more)
- Commercial yeast
- Ascorbic acid
- Defoaming agents (polyoxyethylene 40 monostearate, silicon dioxide, dimethylpoly-siloxane, sorbitan monostearate, glyceryl mono-oleate and glyceryl dioleate)
- Milk products (pasteurized whole, skim, or half-and-half, may contain hormones, and anti-biotics)
- Oak chips or particles
- Albumen (egg white)
- Grape juice concentrates
- Sugars(Refined sugar is one of the most health harmful substances you can ingest)
- Sulfites (there are those dreaded sulfites again)
- Soy flour
- Tartaric acid
- Ammonium phosphate
- Colorings including Ultra Red and Mega Purple
- Granular cork
- Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and chemical fertilizers
and many more!
World’s Best Organic Wines
Although there are many outstanding, delicious, clean organic wines, there is one that stands out to me as the best.
There are techniques of growing, and bottling wine that if correctly executed can greatly improve the taste, experience, and prevent hangovers. Did you catch that? I said prevent hangovers.
The requirements needed to bring about this optimum result are:
Dry farmed vineyards do not use irrigation as their water source. They use rain water. This generates deeper roots that absorb more microorganisms from the soil.
Bio Dynamic Farming
Dry farms or bio dynamic farms utilize only rain water.
Healthy soil is the foundation of healthy wine. Bio dynamic, organic vineyards create an atmosphere for, and create a soil that is healthy.
As a result vines that are healthy must have a lively soil teeming of beneficial microorganisms that is nutrient dense.
They use fertilizers that are natural such as compost teas, green manure, compost, and cover crops.
They utilize machine based weeding instead of using herbicides. They put grazing chickens and livestock to take the place of insecticides that are toxic.
Refined sugar as you likely already know is a very unhealthy substance.
There are few other things you can ingest that are as harmful as refined sugar.
Many U.S. wines are loaded with sugar. A good percentage of this sugar content can be from the addition of refined sugar. A shortened fermentation process allows for more sugars to be left behind.
Optimum organic/natural wines permit the entirety of the sugars that occur naturally to convert to alcohol when the wine has fully fermented.
You create a sugar free wine when all the residual sugar is allowed to ferment, and none is added.
Wine is not complicated. It is merely fermented grapes. Nothing else. Grapes that are grown from a vineyard that is natural, and unadulterated, already has everything it needs to produce wine.
There’s a lot of disruption, and adulteration with many toxic additives during the wine making stages for today’s typical conventional wines.
Alcohol by itself is toxic. The less consumed of it, the better.
It is well known, alcohol is detrimental to our health. Alcohol, like refined sugar, and red meat all feed cancer. It doesn’t necessarily cause cancer, yet it can certainly accelerate it.
To the extent that we can limit our intake of alcohol, the healthier we will be. Lower alcohol wines permit you to enjoy all the healthy aspects and pleasant flavors of wine without being subjected to the negative aspects.
And we all know how bad those hangovers and headaches feel after an evening of excessive alcoholic drinks.
The only requirement to be on a bottle of wine is the alcohol content. And even this doesn’t have to be exact.
The only way to find out everything that is in a wine is to have it laboratory tested. In addition to the alcohol content in a wine, a lab can reveal all ingredients, including those pesky 76 additives that the FDA approved.
So, if you are ready to try a wine that is dry/bio-dynamically farmed, uses no additives, no sugar, has low alcohol, and each batch is lab tested, go here.
Hopefully, you now realize the importance of drinking organic wine, and avoiding regular wine. To your health!
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