Why choose organic wines? What are the benefits of drinking organic? What are organic wines anyway? These are questions that people ask me at fairs and at wine-tasting events.
I can understand the confusion. For a start, the definition of organic can vary from one country to another as is explained in this blog post http://winefolly.com/update/organic-wine-vs-non-organic-wine/
Here, in Europe, it used to be that, to be able to be labelled organic, the wine had to be made with organically produced grapes and that was it . It all changed on the 8th March 2012 though as the European Commission published new rules that stipulate what practices and what substances are allowed in the wine making process itself.
The rules wine producers have to observe to be certified organic are extremely strict, even more so for biodynamic wines. I shall endeavour to explain those rules in another blogpost. If you are wondering about biodynamic wine, you can read about it here: http://www.demeter.net/node/4175
In this blogpost however, I am going to tell you about my personal journey towards organic wine….
Wine is something that has been part of my life since my teenage days and it is also something I have also studied in a more formal way.
When I go back home to France to see my family, one of our greatest pleasure is to share a bottle and talk about it over a nice meal. This is something my British husband very quickly learned to enjoy as it also had the added benefit of making the endless hours of talking in French around the table pass a little quicker.
In 2009 though, my husband became extremely ill with Borrelia (Lyme disease) complete with co-infections that were allowed to spread and cause serious damage to his nervous and immune systems. Thus followed some very dark years when, in the first instance, he had to take an awful lot of antibiotics. Obviously, drinking was out of the window, for him but also for me as it would have been rather cruel to carry on indulging in having wine with my meals when he could not even enjoy the odd half-glass anymore. He found that a holistic approach recommended by some pioneering doctors in Germany was working better for him. Little by little, through sheer determination not to give up, extremely careful nutrition and carefully selected supplements he made progress.
Fast forward 3 years…
Although not fully recovered, my husband is now able to work again and we can go and we can afford to holiday again in France. We hire a self-catering gîte and, one night, whilst doing the food shopping, he decides that he wants to try some wine again. We choose organic food whenever possible so it makes sense to him to buy organic wine and, since we are in France, it’s easily available. He has a few glasses that night, the wine tastes nice, he might regret it in the morning but what the hell, we are on holiday! The next morning though, he’s fine! ( And so am ! ) There’s none of that nauseous dizzy feeling he has had recently after trying the odd larger on a Friday night. We both think it could be a fluke, maybe the fresh air and the holiday feeling has helped…. So we repeat the experience again and again during our two weeks there with red organic wine, white organic wine, rosé organic wine, sparkling organic wine and that’s it: we are converted!
Why should we go back to drinking conventional wines when we feel so much better drinking organic wines? Why choose organic wines when it’s not always the easiest option? Yes, they are slightly more expensive than other wines: They are simply more expensive to produce because they are more labour intensive and the yields tend to be even more unpredictable than with other wines. But drinking organic is obviously better for your health and, in our opinion, they also taste “purer” than conventional wines; perhaps because organic producers tend to be obsessed with their products. But that’s not all: it is better for the environment and for the producers too: the use of pesticides has been proven to make some non-organic wine-makers very ill. In organic wines, chemical pesticides are simply not allowed and that’s better for everyone, we certainly have noticed it’s better for us too. I am a very “headachy” type of person but I can honestly say that I only suffer from hangovers when I have to drink non-organic because that’s all that’s on offer.
It’s not that strange that we feel better after drinking them than after drinking “regular” wines. Why choose organic wines?
- They are lower in sulfites (especially the red wines)
- No chemicals are spayed on the grapes
- The list of substances allowed in the wine making process is very strict, especially for the organic wines that are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. If you have allergies such as an allergy to lactose, drinking such wines might also make you feel you can enjoy wine without feeling terrible the next day.
The proof is in the drinking. Try a healthier bottle today, visit http://shop.mimisorganicwines.com/