I think as you get older, you develop a greater natural sense of cynicism towards new trends in life. Maybe it’s because you’ve seen things come and go over the years and get less and less excited with each new craze because they often turn out to be a ‘flash in the pan’.
The world of wine is no exception and the word on the street (especially in London, where many a new trend is set), is that Natural wines are the next big thing.
What is Natural wine I hear you cry?
Well, this is where things start to get a little difficult as there is no actual definition of what a Natural wine is. Probably the best way to describe it would be to say wine that has been produced with little or no intervention in both the vineyard or winery which would normally mean organically produced fruit and lack of filtration and addition of sulphites to the finished product.
So, why do it?
One of the main arguments for Natural wines are the alleged health benefits, as well as a respect for nature and using traditional wine producing methods.
If you produce your fruit organically and don’t use Glyphosphate, the grapes will naturally produce more polyphenols (antioxidants) to ward off fungi and bacteria, which as we know are beneficial to us. There are also claims of Natural wine being beneficial to the gut and the use of natural yeast only, instead of commercial yeast, may reduce headaches as these GMO yeasts are often regarded as the main culprit for the morning after brain fog.
Now, before you start searching in the attic for the old Afgan coat you wore at Uni during your hippy phase and become an Eco-warrior you need to look at the flip side...
Commercial wine is produced in a certain way to make a product that is appealing to the end user at a price that is not punitive. Natural wines, in general, are considerably more expensive due to the lower yield of fruit from the vineyard and also to some people, don’t look particularly appealing due to their often cloudy appearance. This may not be an issue for the cool hipsters in the trendy wine bars and restaurants of Soho, but up north, in God’s country, we are a little more circumspect.
So, what’s my personal take on all this?
Most good quality wine producers will adopt many of the principles used in making Natural wine. Many wines are organically produced without us knowing it because they haven’t felt it necessary to get the organic certification to sell their product. Many winemakers will only lightly filter their wines to maintain structure and help develop flavour with ageing and may tinker around the edges to produce something that we, the consumer, are going to enjoy.
So my suggestion would be to buy quality wine (£12 and upwards) rather than some of the dubious special offers you may be tempted by in a supermarket. Buy quality over quantity every time and you won’t go far wrong.
If you want an example of what I’m talking about, take a look at the Avondale Estate wines from South Africa. Avondale take huge pride in the top-quality wines they produce and strictly follow a Biodynamic regime. Their mantra is “Terra est Vita” – Soil is life.
The Jonty’s Ducks red and white are super value at the moment as they are on offer at £16.99 (from £19.99) but if you want to treat yourself, the La Luna (Bordeaux blend), in my opinion at £29.99 is the one to go for.
I will sum up by saying that I think Natural wines are exciting and will become more mainstream over time as we have seen a huge move in people’s attitudes and awareness of what they are putting into their bodies, but it will take a little more time before the masses will be quaffing gallons of the stuff on a Friday and Saturday night in clubs and wine bars across the nation.
Regional Account Manager
Back to blog