Wine Pages

Mike Steinberger's Wine Diarist


Why Not Wine Too?

Everyone, these days, seems to be aware of the buzz around sustainable farming practices. From Whole Foods to Wallmart, grocers devote major amounts of shelf space to organic, ethically grown and raised foods. Product packaging has moved en masse toward "earth tones" in order to prove they are part of the solution. Consumers have bought into the idea that foods grown without chemicals are a good idea. And restaurants are going to great lengths to not only source their ingredients from farmers and other purveyors who focus on purity and natural processes. In fact, many restaurants take such pride in their sourcing, that they print the details of their food's provenance on their menus.

So if so many people are on board with the whole live green /eat green program, why has the same thing happened with wine? I talk to consumers and professionals regularly on this topic. Most are surprised to learn that wine isn't all made naturally (let alone always made without synthetic additives). Where I live, in Portland, OR, there is a lot of talk about and support of local wine. After all, the thinking goes, if it's local, it hasn't travelled a long distance, and is, therefore, sustainable. Right and wrong. We have many producers who work naturally in their vineyards and cellars (a larger percentage than in other North American wine regions), but there is plenty of wine made here from much more than blood, sweat, and grapes.

If only those restaurants who are so concerned about natural products on the plate would consider the same for their wine lists too.

Here is a great post from wine pro John Kafarski on the difference between natural wines and the various kinds of manipulated wines.