Wines produced from grapes grown without herbicides and insecticides, fermented only with natural yeast, and produced with no additives truly capture their vintage and terroir. Natural or organic wines are increasingly sought after by consumers who want to know where their wine comes from and how it was produced, and have become more widely available.
In a recent article, So What Exactly is Natural Wine?, in Bon Appétit magazine, Belle Cushing and Marissa A. Ross write that a natural wine culture has replaced the oaky Chardonnay and trophy Barolos of yesteryear.
And IWSR Drinks Market Analysis (IWSR), the leading source of data and analysis on the beverage alcohol market, reported recently that by 2022, organic wine consumption is posed to reach sales of 87.5 million cases annually, representing 3.6% of total wine production (2.43 billion cases).
According to IWSR, Germany is the world’s largest market for organic still wine, and 6% of still wine consumed in the country in 2017 was organic wine, with locally produced German wine representing more than 50% of that volume. In Japan, the organic wine market represents around 10% of still wine sales. In France, organic wine sales have grown steadily and now represent approximately 4% of still wine sales. In the United Kingdom, although total wine consumption is in decline, consumption of organic wine volume is expected to increase by 10% by 2022.
In the United States, before wine can be sold as organic, the United States Department of Agriculture requires that both the growing of the grapes and their conversion to wine must be certified. According to IWSR, organic wines in the U.S. are expected to post 14.3% growth by 2022 and organic wine is taking share from non-organic.
No surprise that residents of New York City can find a wine shop that sells wines made with good farming practices in the words of Austin Flechler, who operates Spirit Animal in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Food writer and cookbook author, Florence Fabricant, in her Front Burner column published in the New York Times (6/24/19) noted that this Brooklyn wine shop was opened as a result of dining customers at Albert Di Meglio’s Barano restaurant in Williamsburg asking where they could buy wines they had enjoyed. According to Di Meglio, restaurants can get wines on allocation that people won’t find in ordinary wine stores.
In upstate New York, the wonderful wine shop, 22 2nd St. Wine Co. in downtown Troy (Rensselaer County), works with small wine producers and sells only natural wines, not only for the reason that they are produced without herbicides, insecticides and additives, but also for their dynamic profiles, with smells and flavors that are not often found in conventional wines. Touche!
The Troy wine shop’s inventory can be shopped in three different ways: by Story, by Country and by Type. Shopping by Type includes these categories: (i) Red; (ii) White; (iii) Pink/Rosé; (iv) Champagne; (v) Bubbles/Sparkling; (vi) Cider; (vii) Orange/Skin contact (white wine grapes that spend time macerating on the skins, ala red wine); (viii) Biodynamic; (ix) No Sulfur added; and (x) Large Format.
(Frank W. Barrie, 7/17/19)