Is Natural or Organic Wine Worth It?
The list of products that benefit from a label that says “natural” is lengthy. Lately, an assortment of natural and/or organic wines has been added to the list. Along with these labels is usually a small price increase.
While usually, this may look straightforward, wine shopping may be a little trickier. Expensive wines are unlikely to “greenwash”, but marketing them as “natural” could be a way for newcomers to find a space on the shelf. For example “Fitvines” markets a “healthy, sporty, wine” but an authentic quality wine wouldn't bother the same.
Due to the nature of what qualifies as expensive wine, none to very few established vineyards are striving for an FDA Organic label on the bottle. This speaks to the use of the label as a marketing tool, many brands that practice better-than-organic principles forego the sticker because the quality is self-inherent. Wine might be the exception to the rule that organic is better.
The Hangover Question:
Advocates of natural wines claim that with fewer sulfites and sugar, natural wines lead to a less severe hangover. This may be true depending on the bottle, but it’s probably not related to any additives or sugar levels making the difference. Many organic wines tend to have a lower alcohol content than conventional wines. Checking the ABV label on any bottle of wine will show a spectrum of ABV from 5% to 14% with the midrange falling to around 10%.
Is Natural Wine Worth It?
Unlike other organic or natural products where there can be a significant price markup, wine is almost the opposite. At the end of the day, wine is just about personal taste. Buying natural supports small-scale, organic farming practices. The wine industry is more of a craft than widely produced and manufactured foods. Quality vineyards already employ a lot of detailed attention to their practices that are probably more authentic than an organic label that’s designed to distinguish crops that are heavily fumigated by Monsanto pesticides or GMO crops. Non-natural wine contains sulfites and... um... alcohol... but it's not that significant compared to the amount of toxins in other foods, cleaning products, cosmetics, and so forth.