I LOVE wine but have never been too concerned with it being organic or not. I would drink just about anything as long as it tasted decent.
However, my friend recently hosted a wine party and all of the wine was organic, vegan, and free of all of the 70+ additives they add to most wines. All the wines we tasted were delicious, and “clean”.
I ordered a bottle of red zinfandel and a bottle of sauvignon blanc. I drank almost the entire bottle of zinfandel one evening and I felt different while drinking it…more clear headed. The next day I didn’t have the slightest headache or hangover at all! The next weekend I drank the other bottle and the same thing!
Now I make an effort to stick to organic wines when possible, simply for how much better it makes me feel. Here are 6 health benefits of organic wine.
6 reasons to drink organic wine
- No Added sulfites: Lots of people get headaches from drinking wine and many believe that sulfites are to blame. Sulfites are naturally present in the skin of grapes, so all wine will contain at least some. However, organic winemakers don’t add any sulfites.
- Doesn’t Contain Additives: Organic wine doesn’t contain synthetic additives (pesticides and herbicides) since they won’t be found in organic grapes. Pesticides are toxic poisons, and exposure to pesticides can not only cause a number of health effects, but is linked to a range of serious illnesses and diseases in humans, from respiratory problems to cancer.
- Better for the Environment: Organic farming supports a thriving ecosystem of birds, bugs, critters, etc., while a conventionally farmed fields kill everything but the grapes. Organic farming practices also use green manures, animal manures, animal grazing, water conservation, use of renewable resources and crop rotations. These practices help fertilize and maintain better quality topsoil long-term, naturally managing weeds and insects, reducing harmful bacteria or molds, and promoting biodiversity.
- More Likely to Contain Wild Yeasts: Yeasts convert the grape juice sugars into alcohol. Wild yeast occurs naturally in the skin of grapes. Non-organically grown grapes don’t have much natural yeast present at all because pesticides usually destroy them. The biggest benefit of natural yeast being present in organic wine is in the complexity, such as the aromas, flavors, and textures
- More Likely to be Vegan: The reason why most wines are not vegan has to do with the clarification process, called ‘fining’. All young wines are hazy and contain tiny molecules. This fining process makes the wine clear. The most commonly used fining agents are casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder protein). These fining agents are processing aids, not additives and in no way harmful. If you are a vegan, this process will keep you from consuming wine. Non-vegan practices are also tied to many environmental and ethical factors.
- No Added Sugar: Wine should have very low sugar levels. A grape that starts with low sugar levels, and ferments to the point where all the sugar is consumed by the yeast, will result in a wine with lower alcohol levels and little to no residual sugar. Less alcohol in your wine may mean fewer side effects overall from drinking it.
The good news it that many of the world’s wine grapes are produced organically, even if the bottle doesn’t say so. Traditional vineyards throughout France, Italy and elsewhere often stay in the same family for generations and have stuck to organic farming practices, but don’t bother with the expense and bureaucracy of certification.
my favorite affordable organic wines
Bonterra Chardonnay: Mendocino County, CA
Rich, buttery and creamy quickly turns to aromas of honey and lightly toasted almonds, followed quickly by tropical aromas of pineapple, citrusy lemon. Pear and citrus note balanced by a dollop of oak.
L’Auratae Organic Vegan Catarratto Pinot Grigio: Sicily, Italy
This blend of grapes creates an enjoyable, everyday drinking wine that offers intense aromas of both citrus and tropical fruit flavors. Perfect with seafood or as an aperitif.