May was real wine month, but what does that mean? Real wine refers to organic, bio-dynamic, natural and orange wine. Which means that the wine has had minimal or no artificial additions either in the vineyard or at the winery. The aim is to stay as true to the grape as possible, “Ideally to obtain the purest articulation of terroir, fruit or vintage in the wine.”
So should we get excited and only drink natural wine? Well, most winemakers do try to stay as true as possible, but do see the need to help the wine along at times. It’s a subject of much debate as we know more about wine than ever before, how to express the grape, terroir etc to the max. Natural not only aims to use little or no chemicals but also tends not to use temperate controlled vats and not to be either filtered or fined. Which – if you have ever taken a wine course – you will have been told cloudy wine and wine with particulates is considered a fault.
There is a great buzz in the wine world, yet some see natural wine drinkers as “indulgent of faults”. Is there a right answer? Well the 150 growers who showed their wine in London last month at RAW think so, and I’m sure there were many positive reviews from the 2000+ visitors.
So what to do, to think, to believe? Well I can give you my opinion, but I prefer to advise, not tell you what you should do. My advice if you are in Dublin is to head straight to Stanley’s restaurant and do a flight of natural wine to check out some of the best.
Many shops and wine bars around the country are stocking it so, with a few friends, buy one or two and check them out as a group and see. Be prepared, they will look and smell different to your regular wine, but it will make for an interesting evening with some lively debate. I have tried quite a few and recently attended a real wine tasting so here are three I enjoyed.
Antine Rallo, ‘Ciello’ Catarratto Terre Siciliane IGP 2014
– Organic Certificatio & unfiltered €12.50, MacGuiness wine, World Wide Wines Waterford, Green man wines, Blackrock cellar, Baggot street wines, Le caveau kilkenny
The nose follows through onto the palate beautifully, with lovely crisp apples keeping the palate clean and fresh.
A really lovely wine, unusual, but definitely worth the modest price.
Vino Di Anna ‘PAlmento’ Vino d’Italia 2012
– Biodynamic, natural, foot trodden €29.35 down to €26.45, Green man wines Terenure, Le caveau, 64 wines Glastule
A delightful start which becomes a bit more intriguing on the palate, with plenty of red berry & red fruits. It is balanced with a soft juicy body, a very enjoyable wine with little or no tannin.
A red wine for a white drinker as well as a red wine drinker, this wine delivers plenty, a great little number on a warm day.
Cantina Vodopivec ‘origin’ Vitovska Fruili-Venezia IGT 2009
– Biodynamic, ‘Orange wine’ Natural €48.90 – Greenman wines & Lecaveau Kilkenny
Following onto the palate the wine fills with ripe and alluring tropical fruit.
A full and sumptuous wine, a great example of an ‘orange wine’. It is also orange in colour.
I should have mentioned that these wines are a bit pricey, but done well they are rare and take a lot more work than your average bottle. If you enjoy wine try them out; if you like them great, if not, at least you have an informed opinion.