how to choose quality wine
grapes are on the EWG’s dirty dozen list every year because they test high for herbicides and pesticides. check the list out here. grapes tend to have a lot of sugar which attract pests, mold, and fungi. producers are more inclined to use pesticides and herbicides.
if we are going to drink wine, we need to purchase a good quality bottle. otherwise, it’s not worth the health risk of consuming so many toxins.
here are the labels to look for:
- natural. with real food, natural is a useful label because it means nothing was added after harvesting. check out the definition here.
- organic. no synthetic chemical inputs, no GMO’s, and other guidelines. check out the guidelines here.
- biodynamic. the official definition of biodynamic farming according to the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association is “a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, gardens, food production and nutrition.” biodynamic wine is made with a set of farming practices that views the farm or vineyard as one solid organism. the ecosystem functions as a whole, with each portion of the farm or vineyard contributing to the next. The idea is to create a self-sustaining system. natural materials, soils, and composts are used to sustain the vineyard. chemical fertilizers and pesticides are forbidden for the sake of soil fertility. for more info visit this site.
- sustainable. sustainability refers to a range of practices that are not only ecologically sound but also economically viable and socially responsible. sustainable farmers may farm largely organically or biodynamically but have the flexibility to choose what works best for their individual property; they may also focus on energy and water conservation, use of renewable resources and other issues. some third-party agencies offer sustainability certifications, and many regional industry associations are working on developing clearer standards. check out more information here.
- dry-farmed. growing grapes with minimal to zero irrigation or added water. this forces the vines to grow naturally, stronger, and more resilient. check out some information on dry farming here.
- low-sulfite. not that sulfites or sulfates are a problem. winemakers will add extra to help with preservation and to keep the wine from spoiling. a producer that refuses to add extra sulfites is usually also dedicated to other quality practices.
what to actually do:
- visit a health food store that carries organic and eco-friendly wines, then look for these labels.
- visit a wine specialist such as Total Wine and ask about their eco-friendly and sustainable wines. tell them that you’re looking for a wine with minimal pesticides and herbicides. they will help you find selections that meet the label criteria outlined above
- you’ll be surprised you can find $10-$15 bottles that are good quality.
- 1-2 drinks per night is great!
here’s a couple of great brands:
Fit Vine Wine
Dry Farm Wines