We have a large selection of books about wine, natural wine and indeed a whole host of other subjects, from psychic archeology to tree identification to old dictionaries and curiosities here in The Gallery Wine & Tapas Bar. Please call in for a browse, sometimes we sell the books too!
This little piece is about natural wine, it’s a few comments, perhaps a bit of rant really about natural wine and how I feel about it.
Natural wine is ACTUAL wine…it doesn’t really take a genius to figure out that if you have a wine that is grown on a huge scale, in (sometimes) very poor soil, that is then pumped (more often than not) with (generally harmful) chemicals to attain some kind of ‘flavour’ and then sold as ‘wine’, you’re not really getting:
a) your money’s worth
b) a natural product, grown with love
What you do however is support large scale businesses, not small scale growers. You do support the chemical industry and you do help to put more chemicals into the environment, this isn’t hearsay, this is actual fact.
Herbicides, pesticides and so on, are harmful, this is well documented. Organic, biodynamic and natural i.e. low or no intervention growers on the other hand have a deeper understanding of their environment and a deeper respect for the land, by definition they are less damaging to our planet.
This also isn’t a rant, just because I happen to have read a few books about natural wine either, I qualified from University in Environmental Science, Analysis and Monitoring, and also, I have supported organic, low intervention food for many years.
A wine importer recently told me, “I don’t like orange wines”, referring to ALL orange wines, natural wines weren’t exactly a turn on for him either, to the point that I was actually told that you can’t make a good wine WITHOUT lots of intervention.
Silly me, those folks that have been making wines for the last 5000yrs have obviously been getting wrong!
Now, I am not saying that wines with additives, sulphites and so on and that have been sprayed with herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and so-much-more-besides CAN’T taste good, I am simply stating that if wine CAN be made naturally and without the use of a load of chemicals, why would you want it any other way.
The more I learn about natural wines, the more I also REALLY do not understand the role of the sommelier, in terms of more than someone regurgitating facts and figures about ‘terroir’ and taste profiles etc of wines that have generally been mass-produced using manufactured yeasts, it actually seems very laughable now, thinking about it.
Now, I am not belittling the immense knowledge and skills of the sommelier but I do believe that there should be more emphasis on natural wines within their roles, more emphasis should perhaps be placed on soils, vineyard production, health of the vineyard/farm environment etc, within the whole structure of the sommelier exams, we are after all talking about a plant.
I love natural wines, that’s why I focus only on natural wines. I have no interest in supporting the chemical industry, I do not sell any products that use palm oil or that have GMO’s in either. We have a responsibility to protect the environment, this is one of the small ways that I can.
More to follow in due course.