• Is There Such A Thing As A Healthy Glass of Wine?

    “Wine cheers the soul, revives the old, inspires the young, makes weariness forget his toil”
    ~ Lord Byron

    Fancy making a toast with a tipple that is essentially “grape to glass?”

    Organic and natural wines are gaining in popularity and introduce some fantastic flavours. Uninhibited by harmful chemicals, they are determined to be a healthier alcpholic option. The term “organic wine” covers different systems of producing a beverage which is free from synthetic pesticides, fungicides and chemical fertilisers.

    Traditionally, organic wine is produced without those headache inducing sulphites. These are added used to preserve standard wines. Sulphur Dioxide is the most widely used preservative and perhaps the most controversial. Whilst some naturally occurring sulphur can be present in organic wine, it is largely free. Therefore, it is considered safer and an ideal choice for those who have allergies to conventional wine.

    However, a consideration if you are buying sulphite free wine is that they should normally be consumed within a 2 – 3 year time frame. Given that they will be lacking in chemical preservatives, they are not an ideal choice for you wine collectors out there.

    When looking for a “healthier” option be sure to check out wines labelled as Biodynamic and natural wines.

    If you are vegan or vegetarian, wines which are free from animal based products are also available. Remember, if you want your tipple to be truly organic, you must look for the USDA Organic Seal in the US or the Soil Association logo for the UK.

    As was the case for organic fruit & vegetables, organic wine has taken it’s time to become readily available. You really have know where to look. Wine clubs are a good option for exploring the market and the better supermarkets here in the UK stock organic options. It is worth mentioning that the majority of the wines may be labelled “made with organically grown grapes.” This means that sulphites are allowed to be added to the finished product. Anything labelled “Organic Wine” is basically what is says on the bottle. Totally organic with no sulphites.

    There are some great reasons for choosing organic wine

    • Organic red wine has the same, well documented health benefits of standard red wine.
    • Because of the lack of sulphites, your hangover risk is reduced. Cut your chances of waking up feeling nauseous and with the typical heavy feeling, foggy head.
    • Grapes are one of the top 10 fruits which are commonly loaded with insecticides, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. This is regardless of how much you wash them. Thankfully, this is not the case with the organic grapes used in this wine making process.
    • By opting for organic wine, you are supporting organic farmers and the eco-system.

    So……important question – how does it taste??

    There have been many documented blind tastings of organic v’s conventional wine. It has been said that some of the natural wines have an “acquired” taste and certainly the fruits come through. However, in the main there is no real comparison between organic and non-organic wines.

    Now, I am sure that you would agree that it would be totally remiss of me to not follow through on my research with my own taste test. So, on your behalf I opted to try out an organic Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa and an Italian Pinot Grigio. Tough work but well somebody has to do it.

    The red Cabernet Sauvignon was labelled organic and stated that there was no sulphur added.

    It was a 13.5% volume and described as smooth and mellow. I enjoy a glass of red wine and for me this was really quite palatable. It tasted rustic but in a good way. All of the flavours were there and I would definitely drink it again. It was comparable in price to the average everyday wine here in the UK, retailing at £6 or $8.

    Next was the Pinot Grigio, which I can only describe as fantastic.

    It was crisp, refreshing and I had to remind myself more than once that it was still alcohol. Certainly, it was going down a little too well. It has a 12% alcohol volume content and described on the bottle as crisp and delicate.  This one for me was the clear winner. It was priced similar to the Cabernet Sauvignon, so not much in it in terms of cost.

    With so many positives and much going for organic wines, it is important to point out that whichever wine you opt for it is still an alcoholic beverage. So, a gently reminder that responsible drinking is always encouraged.

    In conclusion, I would definitely recommend giving organic wine a go and let us have your endorsements.


    This article was edited and published by Kale.Life in January 2017.