I HOPE YOU all had a great Christmas break and hopefully you did not suffer with stuffed up noses or allergies. If you did, it may have been a reaction to what you were drinking.
I don’t know how it started over Christmas, but I was sitting with a few of my wife’s friends and the usual wine chat started. Why not? It was a hot day and we were all relaxed, each having bought along a little tipple. Then one lady said she gets her wine for less than $10, while another lady said she had been really stuffed up lately and kept getting the odd headache.
I said nothing, because she was so proud of her “cost only approach”.
But then the other lady said something quite alarming: “You should try those drops you can put in your wine to counter the preservatives,” she said.
I could not hold my tongue any longer. Instead, I said that perhaps they should both think about buying a better quality wine, or even consider an organic or bio-dynamic made wine that might better suit them.
I added “It may be a little more expensive, but you may enjoy your wines more and perhaps without the sniffles and headache.”
Wines are like most items in that you generally get what you pay for. Yes there are always exceptions, but generally speaking, the better the quality of grape and care taken in the growing and making of the wine, the better the product and the drinking experience.
Wines are all made with some degree of ‘preservative’, generally SO2 or sulphur dioxide, which is added despite alcohol being a natural preservative. This protects the wine against oxidisation and spoil from bacteria.
It affects people in different ways and generally speaking, the lower the care and quality of the wine, the ‘more preservative’ is needed to keep it from spoil and preserve its shelf life.
So, it follows that better wines generally require less of this additive and as a result, there is less likelihood of adverse allergies.
How much less preservative is there in organic/biodynamic wines?
It differs from wine types but generally there is usually less than half the preservative in biodynamic and organic wine than in standard wine production.
Organic or bio-dynamic?
Most wineries are not biodynamic or organic. In fact, very few apply the method of agriculture. The difference from regular wineries is the processes employed in the agriculture. It is a cost to the winemakers to go this way. Why do they do it? They all make a conscious decision to gain long term quality sustainability and while it is a short term cost to makers, the long term product quality and savings benefits are there for them.
How do I know it is organic or certified?
There are many certifying organisations across the globe, but in Australia the best known is NASAA, the National Association of Sustainable Agriculture of Australia and New Zealand and Bio Gro. It takes wineries some five years and a rigorous testing process to become certified with ongoing certifications are required each year. Certified wineries will carry the certifiers emblem.
If you have some concerns with allergies, it may be worth considering whether you are drinking quality wine or whether perhaps you should give an organic or biodynamic crafted wine a try and see if that helps. These are the symbols to look out for:
Below are links to a few biodynamic/organic certified wineries, whose product is available through ABF Wines.
Below is links to choose the Best Wine Coolers on Amazon