Posts Tagged ‘natural wines’

How natural do you want it?

How natural do you want it?

It nearly time again for what now appears to be an annual celebration of unsubstantiated and unsupported claims and assertions about wine. It’s time again to denigrate 99% of the worlds wine and winemakers.

Of course, I’m talking about the coming RAW WINE FAIR, a celebration of “natural” wine taking place in London on May 19 and 20. On the cusp of this important occasion, I think it appropriate to examine some of the claims that are being made about the wines being featured at RAW that have been made by the event’s founder, Isabelle Legeron, MW. Ms. Legeron was recently interviewed in the Londonist and she took that opportunity to make a variety of claims not just about “natural” wine, but all other wines not considered “natural”.

According to Ms. Legeron:
“Once grapes are harvested and taken to the cellar, natural wine growers try to intervene as little as possible. They see their role more as guardians — guiding a process that occurs naturally — rather than as trying to force the grapes or juice into particular moulds responding to market demands or trends”

I’m wondering, do only “natural” winemakers attempt as little intervention as possible? Or are there non “natural” winemakers that take this approach? Also, isn’t the process of “guiding” anything but “natural”? Isn’t it really a case of “manipulation”?

According to Ms. Legeron:
“I like wine that is alive and unmanipulated, characteristics that are surprisingly hard to come by in modern winemaking. I don’t like wines that are worked: heavily extracted, oaky, manipulated, squeaky clean and boring.”

Just how hard to come by are wines that are “alive”? What does “Alive” mean? Do only “natural” wines qualify as being “alive”? How many of the world’s wines, particularly those produced by the thousands of small artisan producers around the globe that do not claim their wines are “natural”, have you tasted in order to declare that finding wines with “alive” and “unmanipulated” characteristics are hard to find? Or are you really just making this up and offering an unsupported assertion?

According to Ms. Legeron:
“the vast majority of natural wine I come across is not only not faulty, but is deliciously complex and shows far more interesting taste profiles than conventional wine. To be frank, this isn’t really surprising either — if, as you would do in conventional winemaking, you kill off all your native bacteria and yeasts to then add lab-bred ones that have been developed to show specific aromas, you will necessarily have less complex aromatics than if nature — with its infinitesimal variations — is involved.“

Read on …

Spanking_Photo

 

In June of 1973 my father spanked me. I haven’t forgotten it either.

I arrived home on my bike around 8pm, a good 2 hours later than I was told to. When asked why I was late, I told my folks that baseball practice went long. That’s what provoked the spanking. I lied to my father’s face. It wasn’t baseball practice. I just wanted to hang out at my buddy’s house, knew I didn’t have time to, did it anyway, then tried to lie my way out of it.

In most cases it doesn’t take more than one good punishment for lying to drive home the point that lying is wrong. By the time we reach adulthood, most of us know that lying is wrong and most of us don’t do it any more.
Read on …

usa-wine

 

Bragging rights aside, the country’s metropolitan areas differ greatly in their consumption of wines. Often, we see consumption expressed as gallons per capita. That measure doesn’t tell the whole story, though.

The “gallons” in gallons per capita are usually “all wines”, which includes sparkling wines, dessert wines and specially-flavored natural wines in addition to the table wines we think about. Table wines are still (no spritz) wines of no more than 14% alcohol. What’s that? You say you’ve been enjoying red table wines with more than 14% alcohol? Where are they classified? Well, as far as the federal government is concerned, those are dessert wines and are taxed at a higher rate than table wines. For wine marketers, however, those high alcohol wines are usually thought of as being table wines because they are displayed on the shelf alongside all of the other table wines and are sold the same as table wines.
The ratios differ from city-to-city, but the typical relationship is: table wine accounts for 87-88% of all wines. In the northeast and Midwest states, Champagne is still part of many cultural traditions, so the table wines share would be lower than elsewhere.

The bar chart (Figure 1) shows the top 20 metropolitan areas of America in estimated volume of table winesconsumed during 2011. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside and New York-northern New Jersey-Long Island are in a class by themselves.
Read on …