If you are someone who enjoys kicking back with a nice glass of wine or two, you’ll be happy to know that research continues to show that wine drinkers reap certain health benefits. That being said, while drinking wine (in moderation) may contribute to positive effects on your health, not all wine is created equal.
Contrary to popular belief, wine is made of much more than just grapes. In fact, some conventional wines can contain up to 70 added ingredients – including unnatural yeasts, preservatives, add sulphites, residual pesticides, food dyes and sometimes added sugars.
This is where the natural wine movement was born, wanting to consume and create beautiful wines that are how nature would have intended them to be. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to manufacture large quantities of wine without the use of additives and chemicals; this is why organic and natural wine producers are small and only produce a limited number of wines.
There are a number of issues with standard wine when compared to their natural alternatives:
The grapes aren’t grown organically, standard wine can contain residue of pesticides from grapes that have been sprayed with various types of harsh chemicals. Natural wines are made with organic grapes that have also sometimes been treated to biodynamic growing methods which include promoting healthy soil and dirt.
Higher in Sulphites
The sulphites found in wine are used as stabilisers to preserve wine and prevent spoiling; as they prolong the shelf life of foods and drinks, sulphites are found in many processed foods. Some wines do contain more sulphites than others, as manufacturers will add in extra sulphites in order to make sure that their product lasts longer. Wines that are labelled as ‘sulphite free’ are those that have not had any additional sulphites added in during the fermentation process.
Not Biodynamically Produced
Biodynamic farming follows a specific methodology; it is a better alternative to industrial farming. This method was developed in 1925 by a German-Austrian scientist who created a system that involves spraying the vines with special mixture that promotes healthier crops and soil. It also means that the grapes are harvested according to the lunar cycles of the moon.
Many conventional standard wine makers are focused solely on large-scale production for one primary reason, profit. Machine-harvested wines are often much lower quality than their hand-harvested alternatives. When a machine harvests the grapes, the skins can be bruised, damaged and broken – this causes early oxidisation that goes on to affect the taste and the quality. Due to machine-harvesting leading to poorer tasting wine, more additives will be needed in order to improve it.
May Contain Additives
Have you ever noticed that some red wines cause your teeth and gums to turn purple? This is because some standard wines contain added dyes. Natural and organic wines rarely contain any dyes or other synthetic additives to improve colour or mouth-feel.
Natural wines are the future, they celebrate wine in the way it was first intended to be drunk; when you start drinking natural you won’t want to go back to the standard stuff again.