If you're a wine lover, you've probably heard of "natural wines" by now. But what exactly are they, and why are they becoming so popular? Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating and delicious world of wine.
First off, what are natural wines? Simply put, they're wines made with minimal intervention from the winemaker. This means no chemical pesticides or fertilisers in the vineyard, no added yeast or other additives during fermentation, and no fining or filtration before bottling. The idea is to let the grapes and the terroir (the unique characteristics of the vineyard) shine through in the final product.
This minimalist approach to winemaking has been gaining steam in recent years as more and more wine drinkers become interested in sustainability and transparency in food and drink. Natural wines are often produced by small, independent winemakers who prioritise organic or biodynamic farming practices and artisanal techniques over mass production and commercialisation.
So, what do natural wines taste like? Well, that's the beauty of it - they can taste wildly different depending on the grape variety, the region, and the winemaker's style. Some natural wines may be cloudy or have a slight funkiness to them, while others might be bright and fruity. They can be red, white, orange (yes, orange!), or even rosé.
One thing to keep in mind when trying natural wines is that they can be unpredictable. Because there's no standardised process for making them, each bottle can be a bit of a surprise. Some people love this element of surprise and the sense of adventure it brings to their wine-drinking experience. Others may prefer more consistent, predictable wines.
If you're curious to try natural wines, here are a few tips to get started:
Look for natural wine bars or shops in your area. These are great places to try a variety of natural wines and get recommendations from knowledgeable staff.
Pay attention to the labels. Some terms to look for include "organic," "biodynamic," "minimal intervention," and "unfiltered."
Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you're not sure what to expect from a particular wine, ask the sommelier or wine shop owner for guidance.
Keep an open mind! Remember that natural wines can be very different from what you're used to, but that's part of the fun.
Natural wines are a fascinating and delicious world worth exploring. Whether you're a seasoned wine drinker or just starting out, give them a try and see what surprises await!
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