WINE O’CLOCK: The wine with the feelgood factor
Organic wine was once the preserve of small shops and even smaller cafés where it was served by men with beards to women with backpacks.
It has become popular in recent years and some organics can now be found on most restaurant menus and in all self-respecting wine stores.
An organic wine is made from grapes that have been grown without the use of artificial or synthetic chemicals, such as herbicides and pesticides.
To keep the weeds and bugs at bay, organic farmers work with what nature provides.
Some introduce crops that create a habitat for insects that are the natural enemy of the other, destructive, species. In Australia, organic farmers have small sheep grazing between the vine rows, eating the grass and weeds. And organic farmers everywhere work harder, doing a lot more weeding by hand.
So there’s not much doubt that organic vineyards are better for the environment than production that uses chemicals. Enthusiasts claim organic wines are also better for the health of the drinker and that they taste better.
I’m not qualified to comment on the health claim and, to be honest, I have never noticed any difference in the taste. But there’s not much difference in the price now either.
Organic wines used to be expensive but now you can afford to give them a try. If it makes you feel virtuous, that probably is good for your health.
It is proof of their growing popularity, that organic wines have moved onto the supermarket shelves.
Aldi has three organic sparkling wines that are worth a try. Castellore Organico Organic Sparkling Rosé (€11.99) is a spumante – that’s the fizzy one that pops like Champagne. It’s a nice light shade of pink and tastes, appropriately, of strawberries and cherries. A good little aperitif.
If red fruits aren’t your thing, try Aldi’s Organic Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie DOCG (€7.99) . The flavours are apple and pear and it also makes a good aperitif.
Organic Prosecco DOC (€13.99) is a dry sparkler that also tastes of apple and pear. According to Aldi it is “sourced from the Corvezzo family’s 150- hectare estate, 30km north- east of Venice … grown with no pesticides or herbicides … the grapes are predominately hand- picked and gently pressed”.
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