In this short article we discuss gut health, natural fermentation, miso, Buddhism and bacteria in natural wine.
Sounds a bit strange, but leaves you quite curious? Read on.
We all know wine is a result of fermentation of freshly picked grapes. Fermentation occurs when yeast, sometimes naturally present on the skins of the grapes*, starts to ‘eat’ sugar and hence produce alcohol.
*lt is an ideal, but the most risky scenario. In majority of cases yeast is added. In natural winemaking oftentimes it is wild yeast, very similar to the natural one; in commercial - special strains of industrially manufactured yeast.
Do you know that yeast imparts a lot of flavour to the wine? You can make a similar comparison with sherry - that citrusy, almondy and yeasty flavours are coming more from yeast and barrels rather than grapes. Grapes in that production process are chosen to be very neutral. It is the same with Champagne too - the task is not to showcase the grape, but rather the winemaking process, so you can taste all those brioche-alike flavours.
What happens also in natural winemaking is that due to absence or bare minimum of sulphites and preservatives the wine is still alive with a set of very beneficial bacteria. If you want to learn more, inspire yourself with knowledge about bacteria, there is a book called ‘10% Human’. The author discusses how all of us are made of just 10% truly human cells in total, the rest are bacteria cells actually. Striking, isn’t it?
What’s more important to know that our moods are dictated by our bacteria. If our gut bacteria is happy, we feel happier too. We really do not want to upset our bacteria.
Usual enemies of our gut bacteria are antibiotics; yet it is also handy to know that refined and processed foods are simply feeding the wrong kind of bacteria, the one that does us no good. So we don’t want that either.
Wine, being a type of alcohol, is generally in the latter category, meaning it doesn’t do much good to our gut bacteria. Yet there is a more pleasing exception - naturally fermented wine still contains strains of very beneficial bacteria. When people say that 1- 2 glasses of wine a day with dinner is OK, we agree, but with a stipulation that you need to choose natural wine without added sulphites. These aggressive preservatives kill that beneficial bacteria. That is why you are much better off with pure wine with no preservatives. Real wine is still alive, that life is composed of millions of bacteria cells.
Please note that we do not advocate drinking over the limit just so you can consume a lot of beneficial bacteria. In case of a real need you can opt for a supplement instead. Just to make sure we are clear on that!
Similarly to wine, it is beneficial to add the following foods to your diet: naturally produced yogurts, kefir and other especially non-dairy based fermented produce (you can find coconut or even soya yogurts easily), but also kimchi, miso, different pickles, sauerkraut and kombucha. We have started selling the latter as well - it has a nice sparkle in a glass and a lot of benefits for your gut. In that way you can feel healthier and happier as well by feeding your good bacteria.
Buddhist practices promote macrobiotic diet as a whole, so all vegetables and fermented products are given a centre stage. In addition to that, they have a very useful commandment that forbids Buddhists to over-intoxicate themselves with drugs or other substances as it brings heedlessness. This is a very important factor and we were trying to make it as a key one from the beginning of Organic Wine Club that you need to pay attention to what kind of wine you drink (read, notice the quality and the amount of chemicals added) and drink less but better wine. Paying attention is a key aspect of Buddhist meditation and a very good addition to a healthy lifestyle with no regard to your religious beliefs. It helps to de-stress and adopt a more grounded outlook on life regardless how busy it is at the moment.
Real Wine with this bacteria is not only alive itself, it also will make you feel better the next morning. Check out our member's reviews and hat they say about having no headaches or hangovers caused by excessive sulphites - it means that these preservatives and additives are really no good at all for your health.
So to sum up, good bacteria means healthier gut and as a result healthier and also happier you. You don’t need to go over board with sulphite free wine to feel that touch happier. It is possible to naturally treat your gut. If you like many others this festive season are thinking about getting healthier, think about your gut bacteria, get outside and enjoy the nature, adopt a pet, eat organic and drink natural. Cheers to that!