Do you believe that natural wine is just a trendy hipster magnet? Think again. In the same way that we’ve seen a resurgence of three-ingredient cocktails, this minimalist approach to wine making is making a big play for the mainstream market – though, not without these annoying misconceptions.
In this article, we’re going to crush some myths and show you that it’s fun and tasty to embrace the natural stuff – less really can be more when it comes to a good wine.
Sulphites, Pesticides and Herbicides are a Necessary Evil
Absolutely not. You’ve tried those yummy organic apples, or peppers from the local farmers market; did they need added pesticides and nasty chemicals? No, so neither does your wine.
We’ll admit, it is much harder to grow grapes without chemicals, especially in regions like Rias Baixas and Virgina, Spain, where rain and really oppressive humidity levels can very easily lead to mildew and rot. But it can be done. Organic farming is much better for the soil as it actually helps to bring it to life, rather than dousing it in chemicals that can effectively kill the soil.
Biodynamic Farming is a Load of New Age Rubbish
Just because it’s slightly unconventional, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its advantages. Biodynamic farming can be likened to taking a whole body approach to self-care and improvement, treating the whole body will keep you healthier – so a holistic approach in the vineyard can lead to some truly killer tasting wines.
Biodynamic farming focuses on maintaining the delicate balance and harmony of the earth – natural wines made with biodynamically farmed grapes can give you that smug ‘my wine didn’t damage the ecosystem’ feeling.
Organic, Natural and Biodynamic Mean the Same Thing
Don’t say this in an artisan wine bar, you might end up getting a very in-depth lessons about wine making. Whilst there is some crossover between the styles, they are definitely not interchangeable.
Organic wine is produced from grapes that have been grown organically – without the use of nasty chemicals like herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides.
Biodynamic wine is made from grapes that have been farmed using only biodynamic methods – following the lunar calendar for harvesting, planting and pruning.
Natural wine can be produced from grapes that have been farmed organically or biodynamically – and follows a main philosophy that minimal intervention is best.
Wineries can be officially certified as organic or biodynamic, but there is no accepted definition of natural wine yet.
It’s Just a Fad!
Sorry to break it to you, but natural wine has actually been around for thousands of years. Did you think the first wine drinkers had access to chemicals and pesticides? No. They threw some crushed grapes into a vat and let nature do its thing. Currently, natural wine is more of a grass roots movement amongst true artisan wine lovers and makers, but this movement will only continue to grow. Remember when organic food first properly appeared on supermarket shelves? Natural wine is surely going to follow in its footsteps.
Natural Wines Taste Kinda Funky
So, this myth does have some truth to it. But since when was some funkiness in a wine a bad thing? Natural wine has a much wider range of acceptable flavours – so, just like some sour beers might not be your thing, others might be super mouthwatering and exactly what you’ve been craving. There is a natural wine out there for everyone.