We are not just to brag about our bestselling organic wines, but also to give some stage to ones that are not selling well, but are stars in our eyes. Let us introduce you to Fatalone Primitivo from Puglia, Italy and outline why we think it is awesome!
First of all, Primitivo is such an uninspiring name, isn’t it? It sounds like it is a simplistic, almost primitive wine, not worth of any attention. I remember I came across this grape variety 5 or 6 years ago, bought it from a well known supermarket chain and thought it was alright. It did not blew my mind and the name probably matched to my experience. So I cannot blame anyone who is not impressed by it as well.
Yet when our supplier insisted we try this Italian organic wine, we were amazed by its story and flavours. Let is tell you all about it!
We hope you are enjoying this summer. There are a few incredibly nice and warm days that are just meant to be enjoyed with a glass of wine and somewhere outside, be it as close as your garden or terrace!
Yet with average alcoholic strength of wine ever so slightly increasing year on year and reaching 14% abv it means your glass of wine is quite punchy under this sun.
It is not just a single factor why you can consider opting for a lower alcohol wine sometimes. Alcohol is high in calories. It sits between carbs (4 calories per gram) and fat (9 calories per gram) with 7 calories per gram. It can be quite a sobering thought to think that a bottle of 15% abv red wine can ‘cost’ you in calories as much as 3 hamburgers from McDonalds. Shocking, isn’t it?
Just to make a quick note on low alcohol wines as a term. Generally speaking, and according to Oxford Companion to Wine, they are also mentioned as reduced alcohol wines, which means the strength was reduced using an artificial method. Organic Wine Club is not stocking any of those! We believe that some grape varieties are naturally capable to deliver less alcoholic strength and these are exactly the wines we’ve selected to taste. They are good examples of our Lower Alcohol case of 6 organic wines that is proven to be selling well and there is nothing artificial about them - purity of flavours and organic viticulture guaranteed!
We are offering to sample the following wines during our lower alcohol organic wine tasting:
White and rose wines are both 11.5%, which means a better care for your waistline and just slightly larger glass to match UK Government drinking guidelines! Our organic red wine is a bit punchier at 12.5%, but there is no compromise on flavour - with many reds it can be true that lower alcohol examples can taste quite flabby and flat, but not this one!
Delicious British organic wine from Sussex (Davenport and Sedlescombe) and Surrey Hills (Albury) is now 10% off till 22nd August to celebrate, support and cheer for TeamGB. Do it in style with these glorious organic wines!
Use code OlympicGB during checkout to get your instant 10% off!
Browse British wine club cases and let's hope for a result beating London 2012!
We have 4 wines from Davenport vineyards, which is a great full range you can't find anywhere else; a bottle of rose organic wine from Surrey Hills (it is called Silent Pool and comes from Albury vineyards) and a new addition to this range - an aromatic white from Sedlescombe, first UK's organic vineyard.
We also offered two separate cases of organic wines - with or without a bottle of sparkling wine (are you a lover of bubbly or not?) and a few gift options that you can opt for anytime.
Cheers! #TeamGB #OlympicGB
P.S. To avoid any confusion with terms, we refer to British wine and British organic wine in particular as English Quality Wine made from grapes grown organically.
On 30th July we have had a few people to taste our organic rose wines. This was a very good organic wine tasting as the weather is rather pleasant these days in London!
We have selected these three organic wines for our guests to try different styles of rose wine. They are all dry, so minimum levels of residual sugar here. Apart from watching your sugar contents, we have pointed out that these organic wines can vary in alcohol strength too - Spanish was the strongest with 13% abv, followed by French at 12.5% abv and then English organic wine was the lowest at 11.5% abv. The latter is the healthiest option.
Different colour of the wines was also due to different grapes used to produce these rose wines. Spanish has a blend of Tempranillo and Syrah; French uses Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cinsault; whilst Davenport Rose is a pure varietal Pinot Noir.
Flavour-wise we also had a definite winner, measured by sales and customer feedback. With the overwhelming majority English rose from Davenport vineyards was the winner. It is very soft, with delicate strawberry and cream profile, extremely balanced so it is not shop yet still refreshing.
You taste abundance of red berry fruit, so characteristic for Pinot Noir grapes (grown organically of course), and fresh, fuller bodied than usual, expressive flavour.
Sometimes these wine tasting sessions need to be super chilled and easygoing - you pop in, try some wines, taste something different and move on to enjoy these glorious days (especially when it is weekend!). These rose wines are perfect to be taken with you and enjoyed in your garden, picnic or with light appetisers and salads.
P.S. Follow our tasting schedule at Wine Tasting page.
Wine and health is a very important topic that we want to cover more. We have started covering this with our article on 'Why drinking less but better wine?', where we discuss calories in wine, how many units are in a glass or bottle of wine and provide some tips on better drinking habits, some actions you can take towards a healthier drinking. Have a look and let us know what you think!
This time it is about wine intolerances including sulphites and allergies.
I consider myself as a person who can be allergic to a few things. I hate pollen, need to take hay fever meds and try to avoid drinking dairy. The latter was actually recommended to me by a friend pharmacist after I’ve complained about having sore throat far too often. After I switched to almond milk for my coffees and shakes I started to see the effect.
So as they say knowledge is power an hence I also wanted to share with you my findings about wine intolerances. We will start with what are they, move on to symptoms and then how to deal with it. As I also want to make it concise, we stop at that point, but I will attach some more information an sources for those who want to dig deeper. I have searched through tons of articles in UK, Canadian, Australian and US press, allergy related bodies and health associations, so you have a wealth of information.
Based on Oxford Companion to Wine, there is a major difference between an allergy which is an immunological condition and intolerances, which are of other causes.
So wine allergy can occur because of proteinaceous compounds. Traces of protein can remain in wine after fermentation, so are those occurring after fining when specific agents were used to clarify and stabilise the wine.
Apart from that, there is also a pollen-food allergy factor - some pollens can still remain in fruit skins and this can cause a reaction that can be described as oral itching.
Somewhere in the borderline of allergies and intolerances are biogenic amines histamine and tyramine, which are produced by lactic acid bacteria and higher levels of those are present in red wines. People suffer from headaches and refer to it as red wine intolerance.
If we move to white wines, the main factor for an intolerance here is sulphur dioxide, or sulphites / sulfites. Asthmatics are especially sensitive to those.
Both red and white wines contain sulphites as it is a by product of fermentation, yet naturally occurring sulphites are not exceeding 10 mg /l and will not in most cases be noticed even by asthmatics. If they are added and the concentration is below 45 mg/l it is fine for most of people and will not cause intolerances, yet with a higher concentration (can go way above 100 and 150 mg/l) there can be some issues. Main symptoms are creating difficulties, airway irritation, rhinitis, tight chest, coughing and wheezing. Some digestive issues and symptoms were reported as stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhoea. The incidence of sulphite sensitivity in the general population is thought to be less than 2%, but this rises to between 5 and 13% in asthmatics. However, adverse reactions to sulfites can also occur when there is no preceding history of asthma. Reactions can be mild through to potentially life threatening.
There is no such thing as a treatment, but if you feel that you might have (or diagnosed with) sulphite intolerance you should start avoiding of sulphite-containing foods, medicines and cosmetics. The degree to which this must be done depends on how sensitive you are. For many it will only mean to avoid foods with the highest sulphite content; others with more severe sensitivity will need to be very particular in avoiding even trace amounts in foods, medicines and cosmetics.
Symptoms arising from exposure to sulphites are treated according to the symptoms (e.g. anti-histamines or steroids for rashes, inhalers for asthma).
If you are sensitive to sulphites, the most important thing is to know how to treat your symptoms and be able to do so when, for example, you are eating away from home.
In the UK sulphites are now one of the twelve potential allergens (along with the likes of peanuts, fish, crustaceans, gluten and milk) that have to be labelled on a food or drink product - where they appear at a certain concentration or above. Warnings are now common on products such as wine or cider - yet in practice there is still a huge amount of ignorance and misinformation about their use and the health problems they can cause.
Stay in the know and if you are indeed sensitive to sulphites buy sulphite-free products.
Sulphite-free wines - why do some of them have 'contains sulphites' on the label? All wines contain naturally occurring sulphites, but the 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 on the label. We have referenced all 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 start noticing it when concentration exceeds 45 mg/l only.
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.
For our ever expanding best selling collection of sulphite free wines - click here.
It is also agreed that the true prevalence of sulphite sensitivity in the general population is not known and the real causes are very complex. More research is needed, but in the meantime please also find other products that you may want to check the labels for sulphite concentration (apart from wine).
Welcome to our report on sulphite-free wine tasting that happened on 22nd July 2016. We have quite a few people who booked in advance to come and sample our wines with no added sulphites. As demand for preservative-free wine grows, we have got more information on sulphites on our site, just head on to News section and select sulphite-free topic. For now just a quick roundup on the tasting.
Sulphites are by-product of fermentation and thus occur naturally in all wines, though in very low levels (10 mg/l). It is generally the rule that if the wine has more than 10mg/l of sulphite concentration it should state on the label ‘contains sulphites’. People who are sensitive and histamine-allergic can also feel the reaction of sulphites and experience migraines and also respiratory difficulties.
Small amounts could be routinely added to most wines as a preservative. That is where it can become nasty. Asthmatics who are very sensitive to sulphites may start experiencing respiratory problems when drinking wine with sulphur dioxide concentration above 45 mg/l.
Sulphites were used in winemaking since almost forever. Romans used it as a cleaning agent and a preservative.
Modern critics agree that even though it is present in all wines it should be kept to a minimum in high-quality winemaking.
Sulphur dioxide is used to prevent oxidation, it simply means winemakers should employ more profound techniques to ensure that there is no need of excessive sulphites. There are many other uses of sulphites - many winemakers use them to mask undesirable aromas and flavours that could be a result of spoilage yeasts.
Widespread concerns about sulphur dioxide allergenic properties of course should be addressed. Yet it is down to careful winemaking techniques.
Organic regulations also impose stricter restrictions on sulphites: 100 mg/l for dry reds and 150 mg/l for dry whites and rose wines.
For people who suffer from extreme allergic reactions to wine it can still be high, so they should opt for wines that are marked sulphite-free or natural and check out sulphite contents.
Gavi ‘Spinola’ Castello di Tassarolo, Piedmonte, Italy
Nosso Verdejo Natural, Castilla Y Leon, Spain
Tempranillo Vinas Viejas, Bodegas Parra Jimenez, La Mancha, Spain
Cabernet Sauvignon Waverley Hills, Tulbagh, South Africa
See our full range of no sulphites added organic wines and cases here: https://organicwineclub.co.uk/collections/sulphite-free-organic-wines
As part of our regular Wine Tasting schedule, we have hosted a pop up tasting or organic Sauvignon Blanc wines.
Sauvignon Blanc is the hugely popular grape variety responsible for some of the world’s most distinctively aromatic dry white wines: Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, and from outside France, most notably New Zealand and up and coming Chile and USA.
It is straightforward, obvious and easy-to-appreciate. Sauvignon Blanc addresses a demand coming from modern wine consumers who are more interested in immediate fruit than subtlety and ageing ability.
Sauvignon Blanc’s most recognisable characteristic is its piercing, instantly recognisable aroma. Descriptions typically include grassy, herbaceous, musky, green fruits (gooseberries), nettles. Yet in some cases tasters get notes of tropical fruit that are underlined by an exciting and refreshing citrus.
There is an ongoing work to experiment with fermentation, maturation in oak, picking the grapes at different levels of ripeness to add nuance and pungency to the aroma and weight to the palate.
Oak-aged Sauvignon Blanc are much more rare but do exist - they need an additional year or two to show their best. France is on top of their game with ageing, yet there are some really interesting examples how US winemakers use oak with their Sauvignons.
Sweet Sauvignons also exist - you do not need to go too far, simply refer to the most famous Sauternes where he plays a major part in the blend.
In cold climates there is a risk that the grapes won’t ripen fully, so the wines will taste overly herbaceous and aggressive. Some critics call them simply rank. In hot climates Sauvignon Blanc can go overripe and resulting wines will taste flat, lose their refreshing ability and simply fail to impress.
Loire style has been recognised as the more pure Sauvignon Blanc as anywhere in the world.
New Zealand style is intensely perfumed, more obviously fruity and can show as sweeter notes, but also asparagus and gooseberries.
Other regions picked up on this Kiwi rising star and started to copy the success. Chile, North America and South Africa show some progress in that direction. Chile is emerging very rapidly - they got this variety on the coastal vineyards and the quality is improving.
Sancerre ‘Terres Blanches’ - French traditional appellations do not carry the name of the grape variety on the label. Organic by EU and French standards. Great with seafood, hot fish starters and cheeses.
Supernatural Sauvignon Blanc - Unfiltered New Zealand opulent Sauvignon Blanc. More tropical fruit and floral notes to express with refreshing citrus. More body and intensity.
Ventopuro Sauvignon Blanc - Coastal production from Chile. Restrained fruit and some vegetable notes that open up to more tropical notes further on. Elegance and delicacy.
These three wines are available in case of 6 (2 each) with 20% discount - Members only cases.