The organic movement has brought many great meals to the tables of conscious consumers everywhere, but can the same be said about what's in your wine glass? Read on for the lowdown on organic and biodynamic wines (and three types to try) to accompany your culinary adventures.
Follow these tips before you take a sip:
Great organic wines start with organic grapes. Organic vineyards don’t use fertilizers, fungicides or anything that has been genetically modified in the growing process. Pairing your organic food with an organic wine means you get a truly clean meal.
Biodynamic farming takes organic to the next level. This holistic approach to harvesting means not only do farmers use organic methods, but also follow the lunar calendar and collaborate with the ecosystem (like fertilizing the soil with herbs grown on the farm for a better tasting grape) for a fully self-sustaining farm. Whole Foods Market Wine Specialist Jenny Blake sums up biodynamic winemaking as this: "Getting as much power and energy as possible into the wine whilst interferring with nature as little as possible."
alignyo’s roving reporter Jacki Carr met up with Whole Foods Wine Specialist Jenny Blake in Venice, California and dove deep to find alignyo readers the best of the best:
Nikolaihof Hefeabzug Grüner Veltliner trocken(2010) is an Austrian white biodynamic wine with full body and complexity. Nikolaihof is one of the oldest wine estates in Austria, and biodynamic from the start, which means they are quite revolutionary. The Grüner Veltliner combines beautiful aromatics and substance, typically dry, with notes of pepper and spice. It pairs well with fresh herb salads, fish and spicier fare - great for after class on the weekend when you have time to cook a great meal.
Patianna Sauvignon Blanc (2011) is a white organic wine with a smooth balance and a crisp finish. In the summer, Blake loves this with fish, salad and light pasta dishes.
Sesti Monteleccio (2009) is a 100% sangiovese (an Italian red grape) from Tuscany with a very cool story. This lovely wine is from a small estate vineyard in Montalcino run by a father/daughter team who studied and wrote extensively about astronomy and now use it to guide their winemaking. It features wonderful velvety fruits-- think red raspberries and cherries-- with a nice acidity to back it up. It is an ideal pairing for any Italian dish and the balance of fruit, oak and acidity leave your palate clean.
Special thank you to Whole Foods and Jenny Blake for the knowledge, passion, and pours.