Conventional Vs. Natural Wine
Australia is the driest inhabitable continent in the world. With the climate being sunny almost the entire year, Australia is a great country for growing grapes made into wine. Australia is considered one of the largest wine exporters, with around 800 million litres of wine exported overseas. Most of Australia’s wine regions are located in the southern and cooler parts of the continent, including South Australia, Tasmania, and Queensland.
The Chemical Reality of Wine. When the topic of Australian natural wine production is brought up, you may think that it involves only the picking of grapes, ladies dancing on top of the grapes to extract the wine, and then letting the wines ferment with yeast. However, most large wine manufacturers have been adding chemical additives to create uniformity in mouthfeel, colour, and flavour profile. Chemical ingredients, such as ammonium phosphate, copper sulphate, tanning, carbohydrase, gum Arabic, and polyoxyethylene 40, are just some of the chemical ingredients added to mass-manufactured wine brands. With all these chemical additives, can we say that the wines we drink are even natural?
Why Are These Chemicals Not in the Label? There are no definite rules in wine labelling. Lobbyists for large wine manufacturers have prevented governments from enforcing mass wine marketers to divulge what chemicals they add to their wine brands.
What is Natural Wine? Many wine manufacturers claim that their wines are made from organically grown grapes free from pesticides and other chemicals. While this may be true, winemaking is not only about the grapes but should also include how the harvested grapes are made into the wine they put in bottles for the market. If you add a lot of chemical additives to organically grown grapes, you are no longer making natural wine.
For any wine to be considered natural, the grapes must be organically grown. The wine’s fermentation process must rely on the indigenous yeast found in the vineyard, and the bottling process must not include any additives. During the process of winemaking, nothing should be added, and nothing should be taken away.
Conventional vs. Natural Wine. So, what type of wine have we been drinking all along? If you want to be technical about it, the wine that our forefathers have been drinking hundreds of years ago can be classified as natural wine since the advancement of food processing technology then was not as advanced as it is now. However, as the mass marketing of wine became popular, wine manufacturers needed to ensure their products’ consistency to keep their loyal customers satisfied. Chemical additives help ensure product consistency and shelf life. So, in effect, the conventional wine that we normally drink is “sort of” natural.
The Benefits of Natural Wine
Choosing natural wine over conventional wine is a good choice and the start of having a healthy wine drinking lifestyle. The benefits of natural wine are as follows:
- Healthier Option. The term natural should be incorporated in the dictionary as being synonymous with being healthy. Foods that are natural or organic will most likely be healthier than their synthetically-produced counterparts. Wine has a lot of antioxidants that may promote longer life. Wine, when drank moderately, can reduce the chances of getting heart diseases. Natural wine is a much healthier option since your body is not ingesting synthetic ingredients that may be toxic to your body when large amounts of them are accumulated.
- Distinct Taste. Since natural wines do away with chemical ingredients, such as stabilizers, each batch of natural wine has a unique taste that may not be replicated with the next batch. The great thing about drinking natural wine is that you are involved in how the batch was grown, harvested, and fermented into the wine you drink.
Fortunately, there is a growing movement to bring back the Australian natural wine by sticking to the organic and natural way of growing, harvesting, fermenting, and bottling of grapes without the need for chemical additives. However, natural wines cannot be mass-produced, and each batch will taste different from the others. While not being able to mass-produce natural wine may appear as a disadvantage, each batch’s inconsistencies may appeal to a lot of wine drinkers who find excitement in tasting a one of a kind batch of wine every time.
Author Bio: Shirley Daniel is a copywriter and content strategist. She helps businesses stop playing around with content marketing and start seeing the tangible ROI. She loves writing as much as she loves the cake.