Organic red wine is a healthier drink than normal red wine. Although taste is a very personal issue in terms of wine, and everyone has his or her own preferences, still, most of the appreciators of wine are of the opinion that red wine is better than the white wine in many respects. These people have been eagerly waiting for something that could make it even healthier, even better. Therefore, here is something they can rejoice about: the fact that red wine is available with a pleasing “Organic” tag on it – “Organic Red Wine”.
Now those who have not had a chance to get to know red wine particularly well must be wondering what gives red wine an upper edge. Furthermore, why is Organic red wine so special? This article is for those types of people.
What is in the Color? Both white and red wines may be made from the same black grapes (it’s better to call them wine grapes), by fermenting the grape juice, and it is not necessary that white wines are made only from the white grapes, but red wines are invariably made from the red or black grapes. While in cases of white wine, only the grape flesh is used and the skin or peel is removed (not in case of white or green grapes), in cases of red wine, the peel is also fermented. The pigment in these peels is where the color comes from. It also adds to the taste and fragrance.
The “Red” Advantage: Due to the inclusion of juice from the peels, the red wine contains more minerals and polyphenols, such as catechins and resveratrol, also called flavonoids, and hence more antioxidants. These antioxidants are remarkable in fighting aging and the degeneration of tissues, as well as in boosting immunity. Another group of compounds called procyanidins are found in red wine, which are responsible for keeping the heart healthy. Resveratrol is also known to help lower Low Density Lipoproteins, which is known as “bad cholesterol”. Another group of antioxidants called saponins, along with catechins, assist in keeping the heart healthy. However, there is only one condition. That is, it should be drunk in small quantities. Another thing, red wine contains 9.5 to 11 percent alcohol, which, in most cases, is more than white wine or other alcoholic beverages.
“Organic” Red Wine: Although red wine is naturally richer in health benefits and taste than its white counterpart, a considerable portion of its antioxidants are destroyed if it is not processed organically; the presence of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides present in it, not being organic, further robs its goodness. It is also packed in environmentally friendly organic containers. For these reasons, organic red wine is a very healthy choice instead of regular wine. However, I must mention something here. In the context of wines, a mere “Organic” label on the bottle does not certify that it is 100% organic. Organic red wines come in three categories.
First, those with a “100% Organic” label on them. As the name suggests, 100% of the grapes used in these wines are organic and absolutely no chemical additives have been added to them for processing or preserving.
Next are the organic red wines that simply have the “Organic” label on them. As per the United States or European Standards, at least 95% of the grapes must be organically grown. Some permissible amounts of chemical stabilizers and preservatives (mostly compounds of sulphur) can also be used in them. These wines can contain up to 10 mg of sulphites and still be called organic.
Finally, there are organic red wines with “Made from organic grapes” written on their labels. This means that at least 70% of the grapes used in their manufacturing are organic in nature. They are not necessarily made through organic processing. They also contain permissible amounts of sulphites.
Manufacturing Processes of Red Wine: The manufacturing processes for organic red wine and non-organic red wine differ substantially. Here are the main differences.
Non-Organic Red Wine: During farming, a Copper Sulphate solution is used on grapes as a fungicide. Some other chemicals such as Bentonite and Kiesolsol are also used during manufacturing. The traditional wine manufacturing techniques also allow for the escape of harmful metals like lead into the wine, which is very dangerous. Therefore, being organic really matters in those respects.
Organic Red Wine: Ideally, 100% organic red wine should not contain any of these chemicals or metals discussed above. Organic red wine is made from organically grown wine grapes, processed in an organic way, so most of its natural goodness is preserved. In organic techniques, emphasis is laid on the use of wooden presses or similar tools, so that a minimum amount of metals get into the wine. Organic red wine also does not use any artificial flavors or colors.
Who is Filling the Casks? All top producers of regular wines are top producers of organic red wine as well. France and Italy are the most famous ones.
Who Certifies These Wines? I knew that this would be your next question and I am ready with the answer. There are certain agencies like the ECOCERT, BIOFRANC, Nature et Progres, Terre et Vie, and others that do this noble job. These are again guided by USDA and NOP directives.
The Market Buzz: Organic red wine has received a great response and it seems that people have been waiting for this. However, manufacturers are still doing only a limited production. The reasons for this are numerous. First of all, the production of organic grapes is far less than that of normal grapes. Then, there is the question of preservation and stabilization. Since nil to very small quantities of chemical preservatives are used in organic red wines, they are subsequently less stable, so producers are not investing that much in their production.
So, the next time you want to have a nice, romantic evening, make it red and healthy with a glass of organic red wine. Drink to your health and be happier knowing that you are helping the environment too. Booze well my friend. Bye!