Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Organic Wine Tasting

I attended a wine tasting last night hosted by the Midtown Winers, a group of friendly wine loving people in the Sacramento area. Our theme last night was Organic Wines. 18 people attended last night's tasting. We were exposed to 21 different wines from all over the world (only 8 were white.) Our theme wasn't defined narrowly, but we were to do research and explain what made our wines "organic." Aside from a very tired and purple tongue, I also got grapes # 40 (Carignan) and 41 (Black Muscat) in towards my century club membership!

In my research about organic wines I came across several arguments that organic wines don't taste good because they are low in sulfites. Sulfites are a natural occuring by-product of fermentaion, so they are present in all wines. However, most wine makers add additional sulfites to help preserve wines. Almost all the wines sampled last night had extra sulfites added, but the one that didn't was really bad tasting.

I also came across an article that argued that biodynamic farming might be the best way of producing "wines of terroir" or wines that express the true expression of the area they are grown in. I'll have to leave that argument to those who have a lot more experience and a much better palate than I do!

There were several great wines, some okay wines, and some defenite stinkers. My favorites were the Rhone blends and the Sauvignon blancs we had. I'll give my tasting notes and impressions in future postings. My over all impression of last nights tasting is that there are a lot more organic growers than I thought there were and that an organic wine doesn't guarentee that the wine will be bad or good. You just have to taste and see what you like!

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