Posts Tagged ‘choose’

At the roots of organic wine ...

At the roots of organic wine …


“Do you offer organic wine?” It’s a question I hear frequently while on the wine trail.

Wine retailers, once cautious about the idea are suddenly eager to stock organic wine. A smattering of selections has burgeoned in recent years, crowding store displays. Once on the fringe, brands featuring words like nature, earth and the prefix “eco” now edge closer to the wine mainstream as consumer interest intensifies. But the simple question remains: which wines labeled as organic are really worth a look?

Not many, it turns out. Wine brands marketed as organic are seldom worth bringing home again. It’s unusual to find a drinkable red — with Organic splashed across the front label — which begs another taste.

For supporters of organic consumption, there’s a bright side; one you’ll find useful if you support some notion of organic farming and expect well-made wine to boot.

The far more exciting end of organic viticulture is the juice made from organically farmed grapes — from France, Italy and Spain, as well as from domestic producers — where organic may be barely noticeable on labels. It’s wine sold on the merits of taste and authenticity first. Validating these wines requires reading fine print, or decoding unfamiliar symbols. Quite a few estates feature organic production without fanfare or gaudy marketing campaigns. The challenge is finding them.

In the 1980s, the fledging category began to appear in stores, with wines from California among the first examples available in mass distribution. Initially the concept raised a murmur of excitement, in part because organics were considered healthier options than conventional versions. People bought organic wine as they did food, mostly to avoid a perceived surplus of chemical herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and other additives thought to be common in conventionally made wine. From the outset, however, customers encountered unstable, highly variable bottles. Many of the wines were hard to identify from the varietals listed on the labels. Opening the early organic bottles was like spinning a roulette wheel — one bottle stinky and cloudy, another one browning, dull, others grapey but odd examples. Moreover, the wines were expensive for the times. Organic wine seemed more an experiment than a reliable new category. Consumers had every right to worry about chemical additives in winemaking, but it remained that bottles had to taste as good, or better than conventional versions.


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Original Source: How to Choose Wine



What glasses do you need to make the most of your wine?

Marilyn in a glass
Glasses must have their curves in all the right places. The bowl must be round to help aerate the wine and let its aroma develop. It must also taper inwards towards the top, to stop its precious essence escaping.

Crystal clear
Keep glasses plain, simple and colourless – you don’t want to hide a prized claret, you want to enjoy it in every sense. A slight pattern or fluting can make Champagne more intriguing, but leave it at that.

Easily lead
The brilliance of a wine is further highlighted by good quality lead crystal. You can tell the quality by the number of facets that are reflected and how thin the glass is.

Upholding standards
One size can fit all when it comes to wine tasting and smaller glasses are usually favoured. There is one style of glass recognised as the benchmark, the ISO (international Standards Organisation) glass. The stem is about 5cm tall and the bowl 10cm (at its broadest 6.5cm wide).


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