WINE O’CLOCK: The more you drink the better you feel
Sales of organic wines continue to grow and so does my scepticism about the products.
The definition is loose. EU regulations were introduced eight years ago but they are not very demanding and are mostly concerned with how the grapes are grown, rather than how the wine itself is made.
There are restrictions on what can be sprayed on the crop and how frequently, but organic producers can still add yeasts, diammonium phosphate, tannins and oak chips. They can acidify and de-acidify their products. They can add sugar, egg whites, isinglass or gelatin, providing these additives are themselves organically produced.
Many small producers say they are organic but not certified, because the certification process is too expensive and bureaucratic.
Enthusiasts say organic wines taste better but I have never been able to tell the difference. However, they may make you feel better, not because of their content but because you are helping to save the planet.
Fair enough. The more you drink the better you’ll feel.
You will usually pay a bit more for this feelgood factor, but that is not the case with the range at Aldi which is boasting this week that five of its organic wines have won Global Masters awards, two silvers and three bronze medals.
The silver winners are:
Unfiltered Sicilian Catarratto, €7.49 .
A white wine from Italy, slightly cloudy, as the name suggests. Citrus smell and taste. It pairs well with fish.
Castellore Organico Organic Prosecco, €13.99
A lot of popular Proseccos are sweet, which is why they are popular, I guess. But if you like something a bit sharper, this sparkler with a scent of fresh flowers and a taste of pear and apple, might be the perfect aperitif.
The bronze medals went to:
Toro Loco Organic Red, €6.99
I haven’t tried this Spanish wine. The tasting notes say it is “fresh and juicy … a perfect partner to pasta and burgers”. At the price, it won’t add much to your barbecue bill.
Exquisite Collection Organic Malbec, €8.99.
What you would expect from a decent Malbec. Dark fruit flavours of plum and blackberry. Smooth texture.
Organic Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie, €7.99 .
Tasting notes say “intense nose of pear and green apple, followed by aromas of acacia flowers and honeycomb”. I found it a bit insipid.