Friday, October 9, 2015

Green Wine Locator

Towards the back of our store nestled in next to the $4.99 wines is a small rack that is our entire certified Organic section, sort of...

This little rack contains a dozen or so "Certified Organic" wines that we have deemed "good" organic wines. As consumers get more conscious of what they are putting in their bodies, it has become clear that this rack is becoming more and more relevant. Once a dusty and rarely asked about selection of wines, this display is getting more attention all the time. Some are looking for health reasons and others are having reactions to sulphites and want to continue to be able to drink wine.

The biggest problem we run into is that even though the intentions are good and the selection that we have put together is at least adequate and in our own opinion, "good", there simply aren't very many top tier "certified" wines in the category.

What to do?

Take a look around the store and you will notice a bunch of these green tags on our other display racks. What are they? Simple, They are a code to let our customers know that these are careful producers that use Organic, Bio-dynamic, or sustainable practices in their vineyards. Many producers choose to, for one reason or another, not to be certified organic. Usually it is because of cost and the very stringent rules governing the production of this tag.

Imagine if there were some sort of infestation and the owner was trying to save his or her valuable vines. It might be necessary to use a control mechanism like insecticide that is not permissible by the USDA standard. That entire vineyard would go down in a big hurry. Another reason might be that there are no added sulphites to your wine and in the big picture it is just not a good plan if your are trying to make age-worthy wines. Those sulphites are a stabilizer and allow the great wines of the worlf to age gracefully for many years and even decades.

Going back to our little rack for a moment...

For all of the good intentions of the certified organic wines, they just don't hold up well and are typically less enjoyable that another wine that isn't certified in it's same price category and style. Many people go to the rack with good intentions and them find out that they aren't satisfied with the wines so they don't go back and try the other selections.

The wines on the racks with green gel coats on the shelf tag are an indicator that our research has shown that these are careful producers that are using the practices in their vineyards but not getting certified because they feel that they need small amounts of sulphites to stabilize their wines. We often tell our customers that if you think about it, it doesn't make sense to do all of this great work in the vineyard all through the growing season just to add a bunch of chemicals when they get their grapes to the press. They are producers that are even handed and judicious in the making of wine but are unwilling to make a sub par wine because of the rule book.

If you are having a reaction to your "Big box" brand and finding that those wines have an adverse affect on you, we recommend trying some of these well managed wines to see if they do the trick.

- Cheers 

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