Organic farming is an farming mechanism that grows chemical free products, while minimizing the impact of farming on the environment. Read on to learn about a newly popular product, organic wine and its respective consumption advantages.
“Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” – Benjamin Franklin
Of all the alcoholic spirits, perhaps wine is the classiest and most elegant. Wine is the perfect complement to most foods, be it breakfast, lunch or dessert. It can be used in cooking certain culinary items, to impart a rich taste and smell. And there are various benefits associated with drinking wine, as well as various disadvantages. A type of wine that is all the rage nowadays and is quickly gaining kudos from the elitist and regular wine folk, is organic wine. In this article, learn more about organic wine and its health benefits.
An Introduction to Organic Wine
The practice of organic farming is to grow crops without the use of artificial help such as chemical fertilizers and growth additives, as well as chemical means of pest control, such as pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. The entire cycle of growth of a plant is natural and performed as if the plant was growing wild. Anything added to aid in the plant’s growth should be organic, such as manure being used as fertilizer or biodegradable sprays.
If at all any chemicals are used, they are biological products and their use does not harm the environment around them in any way. For example, using pesticides on crops, leads to accumulation of poisonous elements in water runoff from the crops. This harmful runoff can enter local water bodies and pollute the water. With organic farming, no pesticides means no pollution. Also, the wine itself is clear of any residual pollutant material.
Organic wine is wine produced by fruits grown using organic farming principles. Whatever the fruit involved, such as grapes, they are grown in a chemically free environment, using all environment friendly farming methods. However there are two trains of thought when it comes to the definition of “organic wines”. One point is fixed, that the grapes used in production are grown according to organic standards. The USDA has created a separate body, the NOP or National Organic Program, that deals with organic foods and looks after organic wine production. The secondary and highly debated point with organic wines, is the addition of preservatives, most notably sulfur dioxide or sulfates.
Wine can be made without preservatives but a certain amount is necessary to maintain the shelf life of organic wine. While rules and opinions differ on the use of preservatives in organic wine, the USDA has 2 main certifications. Wines certified as “Organic” must be made from organically grown grapes, a certifying agency must attest the growing procedures and production process and there should be no sulfates added to the wine. Sulfates that occur biologically are allowed (produced by yeast during fermentation) but the restriction of sulfate levels being less than 20 parts per million, must be met. The label of “Made with Organic Grapes” denotes the wine contains added sulfates but the grapes used are organically grown.
Some organic wine producers are:
- Robert Sinskey
- Coturri Winery
- Ceago Vinegarden
- Frog’s Leap
Health Benefits of Organic Wine
Free from Chemicals
A chemically-free production ensures a chemically-free product. No pesticides, no fertilizers, no herbicides or fungicides – basically anything that is not meant to be an ingredient, such elements are absent from organic wines. Which in the long run is better for you, the consumer. Chemicals, if ingested, can accumulate and collect in your system and degrade your body slowly but surely. Wine should be fruity with a rich chemical-free taste, this is promised in an organic wine.
USDA certified organic wines do not contain sulfur dioxide or any sulfur based preservatives. So for those with sulfur or sulfur products allergies, this is good news. Traditional wines contain sulfur dioxide to allow the wine to age or be kept. Organic wines have only biological sulfur, that too in minuscule amounts, approximately 10 mg per liter. Sulfur dioxide in wine can cause very serious allergic reactions and has been linked to increasing the chances of getting a hangover.
Less to No Additives
Preservatives, flavorings, chemical food substance etc. are all absent from true organic wines. So you are drinking actual wine, not 10% wine, 90% artificial additives.
Benefits of Wine
Ultimately organic wines are made up of the wine spirit, so all the benefits and advantages of drinking wine are applicable, without any risk of eating chemicals. So advantages such as:
- Reduces the impact of smoking
- Reduces risk of coronary and heart disease
- Raises HDL (good cholesterol) levels
- Reduces risk and occurrence of atherosclerosis
are all enjoyed with an environmentally friendly product. So have your wine and be eco-friendly too!
Organic wines help in reducing the ecological footprint that most winemaking processes and production install. However, one point must be kept in mind, too much of even a good thing is not good and the same applies to wine. For women, 1 glass (5 ounces) and for men, 2 glasses form the daily limit of wine intake. All benefits of imbibing this noble spirit can be lost through over-indulgence.