What is natural wine, and which ones should you be drinking?
Give natural wine a try and you’ll be rewarded with a certain purity and fragrance you don’t otherwise get. Distinct and unadulterated, natural wines offer huge rewards for those seeking a unique and authentic taste experience. In this article, we’ll explore what natural wine is, why it’s gaining popularity, and offer a selection of natural wines you should consider trying.
What is natural wine?
Natural wine is an increasingly popular category within the wine industry, characterized by minimal intervention in the winemaking process. While there is no official definition, natural wines are generally made from organically grown grapes with minimal or no use of pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers.
Unlike conventional wines, natural wines are fermented with natural yeast instead of commercially cultured yeast. This spontaneous fermentation process allows for the unique and diverse flavors that are the hallmark of natural wines. Additionally, natural wines are typically produced without the use of additives or chemicals commonly found in other wines, such as sulfites, clarifiers, or stabilizers.
Why is natural wine gaining popularity?
Natural wine has been gaining popularity in recent years due to several factors:
- Taste and complexity: Natural wines often offer a more complex flavor profile compared to conventional wines. The use of natural yeast and minimal intervention during fermentation allows for a wide range of flavors and aromas.
- Health and sustainability: The use of organic grapes and minimal additives make natural wines a popular choice for health-conscious consumers. Additionally, the emphasis on sustainable winemaking practices appeals to those concerned about the environmental impact of conventional wine production.
- Craftsmanship and authenticity: Natural winemaking is often seen as a return to traditional winemaking techniques, emphasizing the craftsmanship and authenticity of the wine. Many natural wine producers have a hands-on approach, resulting in small-batch and limited-production wines.
Which natural wines should you be drinking?
With so many natural wines available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Here are a few recommendations to get you started:
- Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge: Produced in the Bandol region of Provence, France, this red wine is made from a blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Cinsault grapes. With flavors of dark cherry, blackberry, and spice, it’s a bold and complex wine that showcases the potential of natural winemaking.
- Cullen Diana Madeline: From Western Australia’s Margaret River region, this Bordeaux blend is made with certified biodynamic grapes. With a focus on sustainability and minimal intervention, Cullen Diana Madeline offers flavors of blackcurrant, plum, and cedar, with a long and elegant finish.
- La Stoppa Ageno: hailing from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, this orange wine is made from a blend of Malvasia and Ortrugo grapes. Fermented with wild yeast and aged in oak barrels, it offers a unique flavor profile of dried apricot, honey, and a touch of spice.
Natural wines offer a unique and authentic taste experience that cannot be replicated with conventional wines. With their focus on minimal intervention, organic grapes, and sustainability, they appeal to those looking for a more conscious and flavorful wine choice. Give natural wine a try and explore the diverse and exciting world of natural winemaking.