Kicking back at the end of a long, hard week of work with a fabulous glass of wine in hand is one of life’s great pleasures. Taking a few minutes for oneself, to relax, unwind and debrief. And, similar to the food scene which now caters to numerous dietary and lifestyle choices, the wine scene now caters to many different tastes. The wine experts at Vineful give us the low down on the new crop of wines.
1. Organic wine
“The main difference between organic wine and traditional wine is that organic wines are made from grapes grown without artificial and chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides, with a focus instead on maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Organic farming is mindful of the environment and minimising any impact on the land. A bottle labelled organic means the grapes have been grown in accordance to strict rules that adhere to organic farming guidelines. There are a number of different certification bodies including Australian Certified Organic, NASAA Organic, Certified BioGro Organic. Look for the logo on the bottle to confirm the wine is Certified Organic.”
2. Natural wine
“Think of natural wine as the cousin of organic wine, but natural wine may not always be organic. A wine is considered natural when the grapes have been handpicked and crushed and nothing is added to tanks during fermentation, such as acid, sugar or enzymes. This allows the fruit to ferment on its own using the naturally occurring yeast on the grape’s skin. Natural wines are unfiltered, so you’ll often see sediment or ‘cloudiness’ in the bottle. Unlike organic wines, there is no consistent regulation or certification in relation to natural wines.”
3. Biodynamic wine
“Biodynamic wines are like the big brother or big sister to organic wines. Biodynamic winemaking is all about enriching the processes, from planting to harvesting. Biodynamic winemaking shares the organic approach of no chemical intervention, but adds in practices for enriching the soil, planting, pruning and harvesting based on the moon cycle and astrological signs. All biodynamic wine is organic.”
4. Preservative-free wine
“Some preservatives in wine are a natural by-product of the winemaking process, which means that if you are sensitive to sulphur dioxide, look for wines that are labelled as ‘free of’ or ‘no added preservatives’. However, minimal amounts of sulphur dioxide (SO2) may exist due to the fermenting process. Preservatives can also be added during the winemaking process to stabilize the wine for longevity.”
5. Vegan friendly wine
Wine is made from grapes, so you might think it’s vegan. However, it’s the things winemakers add during the winemaking process that makes most wines non-vegan. To counteract the cloudiness, winemakers introduce fining agents that act like magnets to attract unwanted molecules to make them easier to remove. These agents are often made from animal-derived proteins and products. The good news is there are a range of animal-friendly fining agents that can be used to make vegan wine, such as clay (bentonite), limestone and silica gel to name a few.
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