DECANTED: WHY YOU SHOULD BE DRINKING ORGANIC WINE
We at Brown Bag Wines believe in having a sustainable vision and only growing what is needed, reducing wastage. As you may know, our wines are organic or bio-dynamically farmed with no use of pesticides, herbicides or artificial fertilisers. All this without compromising on the taste and quality of our wines.
However, in case you’re wondering what all the hype surrounding organic wines is about, we’re here to break it down for you. Five reasons why.
The organic food industry has indeed skyrocketed in the past few years. According to data sourced from Nielson in their report ‘Unpacking The Sustainability Landscape’, organic wine performed exceptionally well in supermarkets with its sales reaching 47% at the end of 2019. Large retailers are now extending their organic wine range to meet the demand.
WHAT IS ORGANIC WINE?
The basis of defining organic wine is one that is made using grapes farmed organically. The process from start to finish excludes the use of any pesticides, artificial or chemical fertiliser, herbicides and fungicides.
In countries across Europe, many winemakers have been farming this way for decades without using the term “natural.” While some wines have organic or biodynamic certifications on the bottle, many small producers can’t afford certifications or don’t want to bother with the process. - Katy Severson ‘Is Natural Wine Better For The Planet’, January 30, 2020
ORGANIC WINE CERTIFICATION
To find out if a wine is genuinely organic, one should look for certification to prove this. There are a few global certifications, you can check out our previous blog here for more concise information on the different certifications and what they mean.
(See example above of an Australian Certified Organic symbol on the back of a wine bottle)
Winemakers skilled enough to follow this practice of organic winemaking have been on the rise — a rise includes a rise in artisanal and small scale production markets that are carving out a niche for themselves. Organic winemaking at its core is working with instead of against the environment. People are starting to see value in organic wine as it cannot be made easily and on a mass-produced scale. The effort that goes into making it and ensuring no short cuts are taken bring about a delicious wine. This process also gives back to the land instead of taking away from it.
1. ORGANIC WINE IS GOOD FOR YOUR BODY
Organic grapes are much healthier, and the natural process ensures the fruit itself produces heartier skins which are full of anthocyanins and antioxidants. These compounds have a myriad of positive effects on our body, from fighting free radicals to offering anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.
Organic grapes are also abundant in polyphenols and resveratrol. These are compounds found to have other fantastic properties to our bodies. They range from slowing down ageing to managing your weight. The great thing about drinking organic wine is that you are getting far more of this good stuff from it than just regular wine. Not to mention you are eliminating taking in any pesticides and additives as well.
2. ORGANIC WINE HAS LESS ADDED SUGAR
Winemakers may add sugar to achieve their desired alcohol content or to cover up imperfections in taste. Organic winemaking purely focuses on the grapes without manipulating the product, allowing the sugars to come naturally from the fruit itself. People concerned about their weight and sugar intake can take organic wine as a better alternative instead.
3. LESS LIKELY TO GET HANGOVERS
Sulphur dioxide is a common preservative used to kill or inhibit unwanted bacteria or and yeasts. Organic wine does not even contain half the maximum legal limit of this preservative. It is less likely to get hangovers from drinking organic wine due to it having a much lower content of sulphur dioxide. It doesn't mean we should drink irresponsibly, but wine lovers can afford to have more than a glass.
4. ORGANIC WINE IS BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Less water is needed to grow organic vines.The organic matter and compost builds up the soil which holds the water far better. Not polluting the land with chemicals and artificial fertilisers help build healthy soil which aids in biodiversity and increases its quality.
Long degraded by industrial agriculture, regenerating our soil is one of our most promising solutions to climate change, and the natural wine movement fits...naturally...into that conversation. - Katy Severson ‘Is Natural Wine Better For The Planet’, January 30, 2020
Organic vines have proven to be more resilient against sudden temperature increments as well as droughts. Overall the practices help to preserve surrounding land and protect the local ecosystems as ultimately whatever we put into the soil comes back to us.
5. THE WINE SIMPLY TASTES BETTER
Untarnished by conventional processing methods, they are the only wines that honestly taste of their terroir and are an ode to their land. Most organic foods produce flavours that are pure, complex and delicious. Organic food helps to nourish our bodies in a way that conventional food cannot, and the same can be said of organic wine. Many sommeliers are also in favour of serving organic wines with the food in their restaurants as they taste great and compliment the dishes perfectly.
Organic wine is most certainly an authentic taste of its land. Due to the fruit being produced healthier, the grapes come rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, which give you the best benefits wine has to offer.
The phrase “we reap what we sow” bears a true meaning here. In this case, an organic practice of producing wine will most definitely benefit its consumers. We should also support a sustainable practice of farming as it will ensure our environment continues to survive and thrive.