Book Reviews

Book Review: Natural Wine


Most wine drinkers think of their favourite beverage to be a pure, natural fermented grape juice. This may have been the case when mankind started making wine. But soon after wine was available in markets, people started to add ingredients to improve its taste or looks, or change its taste.

Water was and to some extent, is a frequently used additive.

The author is a crusader for the natural wine movement, as it is now well known that winemakers, especially those working for huge corporations, have available to them hundreds of chemicals, and mechanical devices to alter wine.

Wine is made int eh vineyard, goes the saying, and a small minority of winemakers follow that mantra.

Today the world wine industry is very big and powerful. Even wine laws permit the use of “crutches” to make more palatable wines in poor vintages, and products that withstand all kinds of temperature fluctuations during transportation.

In this excellent book the author explains how organic and biodynamic wines differ from each other, extols the virtues of “pure” wines.

She mentions Jolly (a Loire property owner and famous biodynamic winemakers), and T. Coturri (California) favourably, because of their firm belief that wine must be made from naturally grown fruit with minimal, and preferably no human interference.

Richly illustrated, this book provides detailed information about labelling shortcomings, the “weakness” of North American and European legislation, the power of lobbyists, and where consumers can buy naturally made wine.

The modern North American wine drinker looks for consistency, and prefers to buy the same brand all the time.

The upshot of this well-known shopping habit winemakers of huge wineries blend for consistency to erase vintage differences.

Several experts have contributed articles and made the book very valuable for all who cherish wine, especially natural wine.

Highly recommend to all wine drinkers, especially those who like versatility in their wine.

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