Uncork the Magic – Why It is Better to Go All-Natural with Preservative-Free Wine
Today, the process of wine-making has become unnatural. Excessive use of synthetic treatments in vineyards and the overuse of sulphites and gelatine affects the wine’s taste, quality, and experience in many ways. However, natural wine is a wine that is made as nature intended. They are made using grapes that are farmed organically, harvested manually, and fermented naturally without preservatives or additives. It’s delicious, unadulterated, and provides you with a unique drinking experience.
What Is Natural, Preservative-Free Wine?
Natural wines are made using grapes grown organically or bio-dynamically, and the fermentation process involves minimal intervention. In natural wine, there are no additives or preservatives. The grapes grown to make natural wine are handled without herbicides, pesticides, sulphites, sterilisers, commercial years, or yeast nutrients. Also, the grapes used for making natural wine are hand-picked and do not use mechanical grape harvesting. Unlike regular wine, natural wine uses wild yeast for fermentation and is not filtered before bottling.
Is Natural Wine and Organic Wine the Same?
No. Often, natural wine is confused with organic wine, but there is a slight difference between them. The grapes are grown organically without synthetic chemicals or treatments for both organic and natural wine. However, organic wine contains a few preservatives to prolong its shelf life, whereas natural wine does not use preservatives or additives. Also, the wines with organic certification cannot include sulphur dioxide, pesticides, herbicides, and other chemical fertilisers.
Is There Any Official Certification for Natural Wine?
Unlike organic wine, natural wine has no official certifications or category requirements. There is no Governing body to certify that a wine is natural or affirm that the winemakers meet these standards. Here are a few tips for identifying a natural wine.
- Natural wines have minimal label design as the producers focus on the quality of the wine and have no flashy marketing practices.
- Read the label for the terms ‘organic’ or ‘bio-dynamic’ as some natural winemakers who follow organic or bio-dynamic farming practices mention this in the label.
- Also, check if the label features phrases like ‘no added sulphites’ or ‘no preservatives.’
- Natural wines are not filtered; hence they may appear cloudy or have sediment in the bottle.
- Get to know reputable distributors and importers of natural wine who consistently focus on sourcing wines made with minimal intervention, organic farming practices, and sustainable methods. You can find the importer’s information on the back label of the wine bottle.
- You can also look for local wine distributors with a curated selection of natural, preservative-free wines. Contacting these distributors or checking their websites can help you find the best natural wine nearby.
Common Types of Natural Wines
Natural, preservative-free wines are available in different varieties, classified based on the production methods, philosophies, and characteristics. Here we’ve listed four common types of natural wines.
- Orange Wine – In traditional winemaking, the skin of the grapes is removed early in the process and then fermented. But orange wines are made from white grape varieties that undergo extended skin contact during fermentation. This prolonged contact imparts colour, tannins, and a unique range of complex flavours to the wine. Due to the tannins, the orange wine exhibits a note of dried fruits, floral aromas, tea-like qualities, and textural richness.
- Pet-Nat (Pétillant-Naturel) – Pet-Nat is a slightly rustic style of sparkling wine that is bottled before primary fermentation is complete, allowing carbon dioxide to naturally develop as a result of ongoing fermentation in the bottle. They are available in different flavours, from fresh and fruity to yeasty and earthy.
- Natural Sweet Wine – Natural sweet wines are made from grapes with high sugar content that are left to ferment until the yeast is naturally stopped by the alcohol content or cold temperatures, leaving residual sugar in the wine. Unlike conventional organic red wine, there is no additional sugar or grape juice concentrate to increase sweetness. As a result, natural sweet wine maintains a solid connection to the grape’s natural flavours and aromas and exhibits a balance between sweetness and acidity, creating a harmonious taste profile.
- Wild White Wine – Wild white wines are simply a fun experiment with nature. The wine-making process employs wild fermentation that uses naturally occurring yeast present in the vineyard and winery to initiate the fermentation process. This results in an unpredictable range of fermentation characteristics and displays different aromas, textures, and flavour profiles.
Tips to Store Natural Wine
Properly storing natural wines is essential to preserve their unique flavours and characteristics and get the most enjoyment from each bottle. Here are a few tips to store natural wines:
- Store natural wines at optimal storage temperatures to prevent premature aging. Natural wines do well when stored slightly more relaxed, around 14°C, which helps maintain their freshness.
- When the wine is stored in dry conditions, the cork can shrink and let air into the bottle, potentially spoiling the wine. On the other hand, excessive humidity can lead to mould growth. So, choose a humidity level between 50% and 80% to strike the right balance between cork preservation and mould prevention.
- Always store wine bottles horizontally to ensure the cork remains moist. A dry cork causes the wine to oxidise and spoil.
- Store natural wines in a wine fridge that has consistent and controlled temperature conditions. This prevents temperature fluctuations adversely affecting the wine’s aging process and flavour development.
- Store natural wines in a dark environment away from direct sunlight and fluorescent lighting.
When you choose natural, preservative free wine, every sip connects you with nature’s beauty and the hands that shaped it. It’s a gentle reminder to slow down, enjoy the moment, and cherish the unfiltered joys of life. Tamada carries a wide range of authentic, natural wines, making buying natural wine more accessible and convenient. Check https://www.tamada.com.au/ to find unique flavours that celebrate nature and savour the taste of genuine, unfiltered, and wonderfully made natural wine. Every drop tells a story!