Is there real value in premium wines?

Posted on 10 July, 2018 by Alexander Thomson-Mclean | 0 comments

The thought of buying premium wines for me starts from with an exclusive postcode, in a stuffy old shop with the smell of cigar smoke, lined with cedar paneling with the best possible service from a wine professional extraordinaire who directs you with their own personal recommendations about what they like rather than what I do.

Well thats just my thoughts, and putting pen to paper and reading this back, seems that my mind may be closed off to the idea of buying a premium bottle of wine. I think that I have a sightly different approach than most in this industry, but it's also worth noting that I have visited and purchased from two London wine boutiques within esteemed central London postcodes. So I am relatively objectionable. 

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Posted in about organic, lifestyle tit-bits, organic winery

So, is Chile the new France?

Posted on 10 May, 2018 by Alexander Thomson-Mclean | 0 comments

Over the last 2 years, learning all about wine has been pretty much all I’ve been able to get up too. Not only that, but also studying up on organic wine practices and certification. At the same time, I was also trying to understand a whole load of extra stuff about customer service in the retail environment. 

To be honest, that was mostly rubbish. Trying to open a shop would be much easier if you didn’t spend your time listening to these ‘guru’s’ about enhancing your sales techniques and understanding their body language and quirks. Honestly, just be honest and have a chat with them if they want too!

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Posted in about organic, organic winery

The Goodness of Grapes

Posted on 07 March, 2018 by Alexander Thomson-Mclean | 1 comment

Over the last few weeks, I have been on a rather bizarre journey. There are a few parts of our business that I have intentionally swayed away from at times. But now, with many of the aspects of our business left in my ‘very able’ hands, it’s a somewhat intimidating prospect. Mostly having to give any new wines the full respect and scrutiny that they need and deserve, but also having to create some new, hopefully exciting and most importantly accurate blog posts.

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Posted in about organic, environment, lifestyle tit-bits, our club

Petition for proper wine labelling legislation

Posted on 09 October, 2017 by Dimitri Safonov | 4 comments

petition for a proper wine labelling legislation

Have you noticed that wine is almost the only food product that doesn’t have a full list of ingredients on its label?

Many of us have not even considered the question before. Wine is a fermented grape juice, what could be the problem?

We have created a petition on to get access to a wider audience and engage everyone in this discussion. We do not ask for money, just your opinion and feedback please. 

We invite you to support our petition for a proper wine labelling legislation and join our discussion about wine ingredients and additives.

See more here about wine additives and why it is important to include them on the label.

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Posted in about organic, environment, our club, sulphite-free

Organic farming: what's the point? Will it feed us all?

Posted on 09 September, 2017 by Dimitri Safonov | 0 comments

organic farming: organic definition and organic meaningIt has been over a year, we at Organic Wine Club have been working hard to serve customers who are very much into organic produce, healthier living and overall well-being for themselves, their families and wider environment. We have been writing about sulphites in wine, ethical and vegan wines, different health tips and diets, but we haven’t touched on the wider topic of what organic is as a term and what are the main issues and benefits of organic farming.

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Posted in about organic, environment

6 Most Popular Myths about Organic Wine

Posted on 16 August, 2016 by Dimitri Safonov | 0 comments

Organic wine: 6 most popular myths and misconceptions based on customer questions

It is an absolute pleasure to serve our customers in-store, but also by phone and email.

Whilst some customers know quite a lot about organic wine, eating organic or leading a healthier lifestyle, some are very curious.

Based on our interactions, we have composed a quick list of 6 most frequently asked questions or, better say, statements about organic wines, which are so not true.

Let's explore?

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Posted in about organic

What are organic wines? A guide on organic wine its benefits

Posted on 16 June, 2016 by Dimitri Safonov | 1 comment

organic vineyards, organic wines

We are so happy to receive calls, emails and social media messages from you guys with questions about organic wines. We shop for organic food (or try to as it is not always available) in our preferred supermarkets, we know that it is grown without pesticides and without harmful chemicals, but what are organic wines? Let's get down to the point here.

Just before we start, don't you think there is enough confusion with wine regions and labels, and now there are organic wines, biodynamic wines, natural, fairtrade and more types of wine. How not to get lost?

Organic Wine Club is on the mission to introduce you to delicious organic wines that will be healthier for your than conventional ones, so you can drink less but better wines. Let us quickly outline the most important points.

So what are organic wines?

EU organic wineEU laws state that organic wine is made from grapes grown organically. Organic farming presumes that no harmful pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and chemical fertilisers are allowed to grow the grapes. Research has shown that grapes are amongst other fruit that store those harmful substances, hence it is increasingly beneficial for your health to drink wines made from organic grapes. It also generally means no artificial or synthetic preservatives were used, no colours added and no agents added to alter the taste. If you are wondering, organic also means nothing genetically modified.

There’s loads of restrictions when it comes to organic wine. So what’s permitted?

Organic wine permits naturally occurring substances: elemental sulphur and salt copper sulphate (Bordeaux mixture). Plant oils, seaweed, powders based on wild herbs do not enter vine’s sap or grape pulp and thus have no effect on the resulting wine. Organic farming focuses on the techniques that are focused on prevention rather than cure. Don't you think it is a way forward? 

The main nutrient added to the soil is compost as it is an organic fertiliser. It allows slow release of soil minerals and nutrients by encouraging an array of living organisms, so in a nutshell it feeds the soil, not the plants.

It also means that vine roots penetrate deeper into the soil and thus said to make the wines taste more complex. Critics sometimes add that noticeable minerality of the wine is a sign of how well this wine expresses the soil and terroir.

On a note of our organic wines: some of our wines are not certified by the official bodies of each country or region. These wines are all certified by alternative bodies as the national bodies charge too much that it may financially wipe out the winery. We have checked out all of these alternative bodies, and the requirements will wither match the national bodies requirements, or the rules they have are stricter. If there is any wines in question, we will be happy to provide the documents we have from our stringent selection process.

What about vegan or vegetarian wines?

Don’t be surprised, a product that is made of grapes can be unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans. Winemaking process involves filtration and fining step, which can be conducted using animal based products: animal gelatin, a fishy isinglass, egg whites or a milk based casein. There are other methods available for that - gravity-based or an inert clay ‘bentonite’ usage. The latter is not perfect either as it can strip your wine of its light and delicate flavours. Natural wines are usually produced without filtration or any sort of clarification. 

So I take organic wines are natural wines, aren’t they?

Natural wines are the ones that are made without major intervention during the winemaking process. Natural wines are not necessarily made from organic grapes, and at the same time organic wines are mostly about the grapes and not what happens in the winery. The latter process is exactly how you should differ these two kinds of wines - organic is about the grape, natural is about what happens at the winery. 

One major difference here is the addition of sulphites - natural wines have no added sulphites, just naturally occurring ones. Organic wines will have less sulphites than conventional wines, but winemakers can still use them in minimal quantities (up to 100mg/l). Read more about sulphite free wines in our dedicated guides on wines made with no added sulphites (or sulfites, as some people spell it).

Is it over complicated about biodynamic wines?

Biodynamic is something different, yes! To tell you the story short, there was a guy Rudolf Steiner, who back in 1920s developed a concept for a holistic system of agriculture. It focuses on improving soil and plant health by using herbal and mineral composts. What is important that the interventions are made strictly during particular days, which are selected based on the movement and positioning of the moon and other planets. Some experts agree that this system is an origin of today’s organic farming. We have prepared a tasting report and a guide on biodynamic wines - head on to our News and Offers blog to learn more.

You have mentioned sulphite free wines. What’s important here?

Sulphites (sulfites) or ‘preservatives 220’ are additives that are used during winemaking process as preservatives against unwanted bacteria, but also to hide some faults, prevent oxygen from entering the vats and, as a safety net, protect the winemaker from accidental flaws. It became quite a common practice, yet some decide to minimise the amount of sulphites they add or, as with natural wines, restrain from adding sulphites.

Some are not, but still some minor level of sulphites occurs naturally in the bottle even though the levels are very low – should be maintained below 10 ppm (parts per million). Wine made with grapes grown organically normally calls for sulphites no higher than 100 ppm, so if you see ‘organic’ sign on the label it doesn’t mean that there are no sulphites, just the fact that the levels are lower. The wine will be labeled as ‘no added sulphites’ if there are none, or less than 10 ppm.

Please refer to our short memo on differences between organic, vegan, natural and strictly no added sulphites wines if you want to learn more. 

What’s wrong about sulphites?

They are quite aggressive preservatives that can give that ‘morning after’ headache, allergic reaction or in some cases more severe symptoms like fast heartbeat, dizziness, stomach upset. It can be even life-threatening for people with asthma. Most organic wines contain lower levels of sulphites, so if there are levels indicated on the label just check that it is less than 45 mg / litre for your wine.

World Health Organisation recommends that only 0.7mg/l of sulphites (sulfites) should be consumed per 1 kg of weight per day. It means that an adult of 70kg weight, who bought natural wine that contains 30 mg/l naturally occurring sulphites, can have a few large glasses of wine (up to half bottle). Obviously, when conventional wines containing over 150 mg/l it means much more harm to your body.  

Why do some of sulphite-free wines do have 'contains sulphites' on the label?

All wines contain some amounts of naturally occurring sulphites, but in the no sulfites added wines these levels are very low - up to 20 mg/l. By law only the wines that contain less than 10 mg/l do not need include that information on the label. We have referenced all our organic wines and the ones that are listed as sulphite-free or no sulphite added have less than 20 mg/l of sulphites. People who suffer from intolerances (wine allergy, sulphite intolerance etc) start noticing the symptoms when concentration exceeds 45 mg/l only. That's why we at Organic Wine Club have decided to list wines tat are below 45 mg/l of sulphites. 1/3 of our wines contain absolutely no added sulphites, please choose Strictly no sulphites added cases to ensure the levels are below 10 mg/l.

Let’s move to the important factor of taste. Do organic wines taste worse?

Blind tests did not show any evidence to support or reject this. There is such a misconception that organic wines taste worse, because sometimes they can display some off-flavours or faults that normally would have been eliminated by sulphites.

Organic wines will not be much different from their conventional analogues, whereas natural wines could appear more cloudy, more rustic and tasting quite unusual – it all depends what you are in the mood for! If you explore these organic wines or even sulphite free wines that we've carefully selected for you, you are hopefully to discover many more interesting flavours

What are the benefits of drinking organic?

Common sense tells us that if organic wine contains less toxins (nasty man-made like pesticide residues and more), then it is better for you.

To go beyond your own health, you are also contributing to a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable environment.

We all know that red wine contains resveratrol, which is an antioxidant that protects against cancer, heart disease, is anti-ageing and may even extend your lifespan. You can imagine that pesticides can significantly decrease the potency of any antioxidant. In fact, the French government in 2012 officially released a statement that there is a link between pesticides and Parkinson’s disease in agricultural workers.

In addition to that research from the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Southampton, University of Rome’s Clinical Nutrition, University of California at Davis and University of Newcastle showed that organic wines are richer in nutrients and antioxidants. Natural and sulphite free wines have generally lighter effect and better consumed by your liver.

There is an ongoing debate on wine, its benefits and harm, whether organic wines are better or not. Regardless of that, many people make a conscious decision to buy organic products not just to better nourish themselves, but also because they are being environmentally responsible. The choice is yours! Please note that you should be drinking responsibly, be it an organic wine or not, check for more facts and help.

Do organic wines cost more and why?

Even though in theory organic wines are not more costly to produce than their non-organic versions, the fact that something can happen in the vineyard that cannot be remedied by using additives and preservatives, winemakers bear a greater risk of simply producing no acceptable wine that particular season. That is why organic wines can cost slightly more. Our wines are currently placed in mid-priced to premium segments - between £8.5 and £40. Buying cases of wine online is another way to save a bit more  - explore our member benefits to save up to 25% RRP.

How do I know the wine is organic?

organic EU logoThere is an extensive array of certification bodies - they exist in different EU countries, North America and beyond. EU’s approved organic logo is green with a white leaf and stars around it. Producers are required to conduct a conversion process of 3 years and then follow a rigorous process of adhering to organic rules and regulations. Certified producers can then display that logo on their wine bottles.

In the United Kingdom Soil Association regulates how the country complies with EU legislation, whereas Organic Food Federation looks after a production. In principle, each country has their own rules (generally speaking quite similar, but procedures could be a bit different), so it is interchangeable within EU and can bear a uniform organic logo.

French organic logoSome producers follow the process but decide not to bother themselves with bureaucracy and paperwork, some decide that it is a bit costly for them as certification bodies also charge producers a fee to display a logo per bottle. That is why it can happen that the producer is organic but either is in the process of conversion or not certified by a regulator body.

Organic Wine Club - how do you select organic wines?

We personally taste every organic wine we then decide whether to sell it or not. Our wine experts with Wines and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma assess appearance, aromas and flavours of organic wines based on their viticultural and winemaking details and make a decision.

It is important to answer whether the wine is exciting. We’d rather have a soft drink than a glass of a disappointing wine.


All our wines are:

  • organic or biodynamic, so you don't drink residual pesticides;
  • naturally made, so there are no preservatives added;
  • made with low sulphur (less than 45 mg/l) or no sulphites added at all, so even people suffering from asthma or wine allergy can drink wine again; 
  • allergen free and vegan friendly, so they are ethically made and contain no traces of dairy, eggs, fishbones or cow's intestines; 
  • diet friendly, as they are perfect for paleo diet, but also for keto and low carbs;
  • very low residual sugar or statistically sugar-free wines, but definitely no added sugars;
  • utterly delicious (in our expert but humble opinion).


Even thought we take the greatest care to select the best organic wines, we cannot possibly rely just on our palate. We have plenty of experienced wine drinker and wine lovers as our customers so we offer wine tastings and collect feedback. Would you like to come over and have a chat with us about organic wine (or several)? Please do! We would be delighted to meet in person.

Here is a small preview of our exciting sulphite free wine cases:

Posted in about organic, sulphite-free