Most people love a glass of wine, but considerably less are willing to try organic. Here are five reasons why it’s time to give organic wine a go
A French report in 2013 found low levels of pesticides lurking in 90 per cent of the wines the researchers tested. So, when I was invited to ‘sample’ a range of wines from independent organic wine maker Vintage Roots, I was intrigued. I loved the taste of it more than anything so set out to find out more about the benefits.
1. It’s cleaner for your body
Organic wine is made only using grapes that have been grown without the assistance of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or chemical fertilizers. This means that the wine is free from man-made toxins which keeps your body free from them too. Nutritionist Rick Hay points out that, ‘because organic wine is cleaner, our bodies can work on processing the alcohol through the liver rather than having to also process all of the harmful chemicals and pesticides that are added to conventional wine’. He adds, ‘organic wine doesn’t have fertiliser used on its plants, so it contains a higher antioxident content which makes it better for your body.’
organic wine doesn’t have fertiliser used on its plants, so it contains a higher antioxident content
Indeed, Rick is a strong believer in organic produce. ‘Anything that’s organic is better for you – our bodies are designed to have stuff that are as close to nature as possible and so by going organic, you are bound to get a better health outcome. Of course organic wine is better than non-organic wine because it’s how nature designed it. Why would we mess around with what nature attends us to have?’
2. It’s cleaner for the environment
The fact that no chemicals are used to grow the grapes for organic wine means no harm is caused to the environment. By drinking organic wine you are helping support and protect a cleaner environment – that’s definitely a reason to pour yourself a glass.
3. It is better for those with allergies
Organic wines have no added suplhites. Sulphur is often used in wine making as it works as an antiseptic (to kill off unwanted bacteria) as well as an antioxident (which stops oxygen from spoiling the wine). However, organic wines do not contain added sulphur, and contain only the level that is present in all fermented wines. Many people don’t realise that they are sulphur intolerant, Rick Hay says. ‘Sulphites can cause allergic reactions such as puffy and runny eyes, swollen lips and rashes in certain people, especially if they have a weak respitory system or asthma. In fact, sulphite allergies can set off a similar attack to pollen’.
sulphites can cause allergic reactions in certain people, especially if they have a weak respitory system or asthma.
It is believed that the sulphites added to non-organic wine could also be responsible for that awful ‘morning after’ feeling many of us suffer from. Rick believes that ‘our bodies struggle to process the sulphites and preservatives that are added to non-organic wine through our systems and this is what makes us feel crappy the next day’.
the sulphites added to non-organic wine could also be responsible for that awful ‘morning after’ feeling many of us suffer from
So by going for a certified organic wine (which will contain no more than 10 parts per million of sulphites) you are less likely to suffer an allergic reaction from your tipple.
4. It has higher resveratrol levels than other wine
Often when wine producers use a pesticide on a plant, the plant itself stops making it’s own natural pesticides. Rick says, ‘the vine itself may produce less resveratrol [an antioxidant linked to lower risk of heart disease] to protect it because it’s getting that protection from the outside. However, we then wash off that protection and what we end up with is a weaker grape.’
plants that have been grown organically without the exposure to pesticides contain higher resveratrol levels
This means that plants that have been grown organically without the exposure to pesticides contain higher resveratrol levels. Resvesterol is a wonderful anti-aging antioxidant and, according to Rick. ‘Resveratrol will help keep a telomere link longer. A telomere is found inside our cells and protects the end of a chromosome from deterioration as we age. By the keeping the link longer, good cellular health is achieved for longer. This in turn promotes good organ and gland health which leads to good health overall. Beyond that, its also been shown to be a wonderful cardiovasular tonic so it’s very protective to the heart. Resveratrol is also useful for the circulatory system and wonderful for diabetics so it’s not just beneficial for anti-aging but a really brilliant antioxidant.’
5. It tastes great
Above all else, the thing I care about most is the taste of the wine, and organic wine honestly tastes just as good as any other. If anything, it probably tastes better because it’s cleaner and it feels that way. There is such a variation of organic wine to choose from it’s definitely worth a taste.
All the Vintage Roots wines I tried were amazing, but I particularly enjoyed the Hoopoe Pinot Grigio Catarratto (£8.49). It is just like the Pinot Grigio that we all know and love but with a twist that makes it even better. The use of 25 per cent catarratto organic grape adds to the apple, peach and pear flavours of the wine, making it deliciously fruity and refreshing. Not only is this wine organic, but it is also vegan-friendly.