At Brown Bag Wines, we’ve always been focused on a sustainable vision for the future – and going organic is integral to that journey. Something that we often get asked is whether organic red wines are worth seeking out. To that, we say, absolutely!
So whether you’re a casual drinker or fully-fledged oenophile, a lover of all things organic or just intrigued, here’s the lowdown on what makes an organic red wine so great.
ORGANIC IS HERE TO STAY… AND GETTING BIGGER
In line with growing concerns over how farming methods can contribute to climate change, we are seeing a remarkable rise in organic and minimal intervention production methods across the winemaking areas of the world.
That’s great news for the curious wine drinker, as there are more and more interesting organic wines making waves on the international scene.
Whether it’s a smokey syrah from St James or a savoury-sweet sangiovese from Baruffo, there’s an ever-growing list of intriguing reds that are taking the wine world by storm. You only have to look at the minimal intervention wine bars and restaurants in Singapore today to see a robust and vibrant scene. Now’s the perfect time to join!
GOING GREEN: WHAT MAKES IT ORGANIC?
Organic wine certification is slightly different around the world. Still, one thing remains consistent: you need organically grown grapes to make organic red wine.
Just like other organic produce, organic wine producers have to work that bit harder to ensure healthy vines without the safety net of pesticides, fertilizers and the rest of the artificial gamut. Like us, the winemakers producing organic reds are committed to the same vision we have here at Brown Bag Wines – clean, delicious and sustainable.
THE WINEMAKER’S CHOICE: HOW IT’S PRODUCED
After growing the organic grapes, organic red wine can be made in a number of ways, including biodynamic (involving ecological farming practices, with strict regulation from bodies like Demeter and Biodyvin) and natural winemaking methods (a broader term for the most minimal-intervention farming and cellaring practices).
The option the vintner (winemaker) chooses will ultimately determine how the organic wine looks, tastes and (most importantly!) drinks. Organic wines can be an unparalleled expression of terroir (the geography and area in which the grapes are grown) as usually very little is added to the final product.
But just as importantly, the vintner’s care for the land and low intervention in the natural growing process will ensure their vines and the surrounding growing areas will be ready for next year’s grape; another nod to sustainable practice.
THE WORLD OF ORGANIC WINES: HOW TO ENJOY IT
Much like with non-organic wine, the variation in production of organic wines means you can find a rainbow of styles and flavours to choose from. Whether you’re a fan of easy-drinking, juicy pinot noir or a spicy shiraz, there are plenty of options for even the newest organic red wine drinker.
HERE ARE OUR TOP TIPS FOR ENJOYING ORGANIC REDS:
Feiring, Alice (2019). Natural wine for the people. Ten Speed Press.
Bonné, Jon (2017). The new wine rules. Ten Speed Press.
The world of wine can appear to be an intimidating place! Realistically though, you’ll only ever need a handful of words to describe wine well. So to get you started, here’s the Brown Bag Wines guide to the only wine terms you’ll ever need: you’ll be ordering like a pro in no time!
An ever-changing world, population growth and a warming planet: it’s evident sustainability needs to be more top of mind. We're here to sort the natural from the biodynamic, explaining the key sustainable winemaking methods so that you can make the right choices when drinking sustainably.
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