While many wine lovers will enjoy getting into the more traditional debates surrounding the drink, such as whether or not red wine is superior to white or which vintages make for the perfect accompaniment to a certain meal, one of the more spirited debates in recent years has been whether or not people who drink more organic wine due to the reported benefits that it has to offer.
We at Xtrawine are not here to tell you to do one or the other, but we thought it would be a good idea to shine a spotlight on some of the great things that organic wines have to offer to people who have never tried them before.
One of the common points made about organic wines is that they more accurately represent the terrain that used to grow the grapes that make up the wine. This is because a lack of man-made chemicals, such as pesticides, allows the terrain to infuse itself more fully into the vine. As such, you will often find that a good organic wine has a slightly more earthy feel to it than you might have expected, with notes of various minerals often begin easily detectable.
Whether this makes for a superior taste is often a matter of personal choice. Some people enjoy those more earthy notes and appreciate being able to taste the wine as they feel it is intended, whereas others feel that there is little difference and that the wines they have traditionally enjoyed beat those that are produced organically. As with non-organic wines, it is often best to try a few different vintages before coming to a decision one way or the other, but the common consensus is that organic wines offer a new range of unique flavours and it is up to the taster to decide whether those new notes are more appealing to them.
No Chemical Pesticides
One of the biggest advantages that organic wines hold over other varieties is the fact that no chemical pesticides will have been used in their production. Such pesticides often contain ingredients that can be harmful to the human body if consumed in a high enough dosage, so people who are a little but more concerned about their health may consider going organic just to avoid consuming pesticides.
All told, it is generally accepted that the grapes used to make a regular bottle of wine may be exposed to anywhere up to sixteen chemicals and pesticides during the course of its journey from the vineyard to the bottle. In fact, vines are often considered to be one of the most sprayed crops because of how vulnerable their fruit can be to pests.
The reason this is important is because man-made pesticides have been found to contain neurotoxins and organophosphates, both of which can be harmful to humans. Neurotoxins have been linked to brain damage and are believed to cause issues with nerve cells, whereas organophosphates were adapted from chemicals used to create toxic nerve gas, which was used during World War 1.
While this chemicals are generally used in such low doses that they shouldn’t have a pronounced effect on the consumer, those who are a little more wary may consider going organic just to be able to avoid them entirely.
Unlike with the chemicals in the pesticides used for making regular wine, sulphites are a naturally occurring substance that all wines contain. They are essentially a form of salt, containing similar preservative properties. As such, many winemakers choose to add additional sulphites to their wine in order to be able to keep them in a good condition for even longer.
Organic wines, on the other hand, will only contain the sulphites that have naturally occurred in the wine and are actually limited to having 100 parts of sulphite per million in the wine. As such, you rest assured that your organic wine will contain fewer sulphites than a regular bottle.
This is important because sulphites have been linked to a number of breathing problems and have been recognized as an allergen in many people. In these cases it really comes down to the individual, as people who are not allergic to sulphites will not suffer from any form of adverse reaction to them. However, those who are would do well to consider going organic so that they can enjoy a glass of wine or two without having to suffer an allergic reaction.
It’s Good For The Land
For winemakers, one of the main reasons that many have started to adopt organic practices is because of their love of the land that they use to create their wines. A lot of the practices that have been put into place that involve man-made chemicals actually have the potential to cause long-term damage to the land, which can affect future crops and may result in the company’s reputation faltering over time.
As such, many winemakers have adopted organic practices in order to keep their land in better condition and ensure that it is able to produce wonderful grapes for any even longer period of time.
Furthermore, adopting organic practices also allows for winemakers to protect the environment around their own land. For example, chemical pesticides that are used on a winemakers crops will find their way into the land and, eventually, into any water supplies that are nearby. This can have a devastating effect on local wildlife, flora and fauna that extends far beyond any concerns related to the wine.
The Final Word
As mentioned previously, we at Xtrawine select the wines that we sell based on their individual quality, rather than the practices and techniques that have been used in their creation. However, people who are concerned about their long term health and the environment as a whole may wish to consider organic wines as a solution to their issues. At the very least, we recommend that those who have yet to give organic wine a try do a little more research into the wines that are available, as there are some truly wonderful vintages out there that are just waiting to be tested.