Sulphite-free wine tasting: natural wines, preservative-free

Posted on 23 July, 2016 by Dimitri Safonov | 0 comments

Sulphite Free wine tastingWelcome 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.

What are sulphites?

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.

Why sulphites are added?

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.

How does organic certification help?

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.  

Our tasting samples for 22nd July pop in wine tasting:

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

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

Cheers

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Battle of Sauvignon Blanc organic wines

Posted on 17 July, 2016 by Dimitri Safonov | 0 comments

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. 

Why Sauvignon Blanc is so popular?

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.

Aromas and Flavours

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. 

Winemaking

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.

Influence of different climates.

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.

Wine styles.

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.

Our tasting samples

Sauvignon Blanc wine tasting event - samplesSancerre ‘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.

iconThese three wines are available in case of 6 (2 each) with 20% discount - Members only cases.

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Organic Stars in our wine list: Sedilesu Cannonau Sartiu, Sardinia, Italy

Posted on 05 July, 2016 by Dimitri Safonov | 0 comments

Sedilesu Cannonau Sartiu organic red wine - Sardinian wine

We start to pinpoint some of our hidden gems for you in our, hopefully, regular column: 'Organic Stars'. It will outline some of note-worthy examples in our organic wine list.

Allow us to introduce you to a glorious organic red - Sedilesu Cannonau Sartiu 2012, Sardinia, Italy

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Meet David, our first Organic Wine Club member

Posted on 03 July, 2016 by Dimitri Safonov | 0 comments

We were so chuffed to being able to sell a case of 12 classic organic wines (mixed) to David L. on the first day of trading online! Afterwards, we've contacted them to ask a few questions and here is what our customers told us.

How would you describe your wine-buying habits up to now?

Chaotic, in a word. My partner and I both work in London, our jobs devour every waking hour and The Tube seems to steal whatever time is left. Consequently our wine buying is impulsive (either a lunch time dash or on the way home), rushed and incredibly inefficient. First impressions for us are everything - If it looks good it goes into the shopping basket!

What initially attracted you to a wine club?

Both of us recognise that we need help! We have both, independently, asked around and done some research on wine clubs. They seem tailor-made for our situation. Suddenly we have structure to our wine-buying lives. We both ‘get’ the premise that you need to buy by the case. It makes sense. Instead of countless individual purchases every month, buying through a club means we go through the whole process just once. Best of all, these clubs deliver to your door. Having spent the week working and commuting, the weekend offers a chance to relax. Neither of us want to get in a car, especially in London, and spend hours stuck in traffic.

What attracted you to the Organic Wine Club?

Initially, it was for health reasons. We both like to keep fit, squeezing in a jog round the block most mornings and getting on the bikes at weekends. At the same time we enjoy a glass of wine and invariably our friends are involved!

The quality of wine consumed varies hugely. Both of us know that you get what you pay for and that quality is closely linked to how a wine is made. The average bottle of wine, we realise, is full of additives and, like many people, we are concerned what these may be doing to our health.

My partner was recently alerted to the benefits of organic wine by one of her book club (funnily enough over a glass of organic wine), and pillow talk that night consisted of an in-depth explanation of organic and biodynamic wines: their lack of pesticides in the vineyard, the omission of sulphur in the bottle, and so on!

Organic Wine Club logo
  I was startled to learn how global is the organic movement, how established it is, yet how much bad press these wines get. Organic wines, we thought, often taste nasty because they are unstable. Stability, goes the mantra, comes from these added chemicals. Neither of us know enough to tell the difference but we would like to find out more and judge for ourselves. Unfortunately, finding a decent selection of organic wines has, until now, been quite challenging.

We think Organic Wine Club will change all that for many.

What were your initial impressions of the Organic Wine Club?

Very positive. Life has been hectic recently, so we have not been able to take advantage of the various options to try before you buy that the club offers. If a window of opportunity opens up in our lives we are keen to join one of your informal in-store tastings. Fortunately their website, https://organicwineclub.co.uk, gave us various options to buy.

Different pre-mixed cases are available on their Club page. As, newbies to organic wine should have been a bit more modest, but no, we went for Classic mixed case. We were then amazed to discover we had become members! How easy is that? This was shopping at its most painless. We ordered at the click of a mouse, got on with our lives and waited for you to deliver to our door.

How do you think you have benefited from your club membership?

As we are so new to this wine club it is yet to be seen in full. Yet I can see a few benefits. Getting 10% on every case we buy, mixed or unmixed, is a good start.

What has really grabbed our attention is something quite different. Both of us travel a lot with the same airline and are used to being rewarded with airmiles. We are not, on the other hand, used to being rewarded with points for every £1 we spend on a bottle of wine. Such a simple idea and so effortless. After all, we are going to buy wine anyway, so this is a bonus. We have recently introduced a couple of friends to the club and been rewarded with even more points (500 per friend).

I remember as a kid my dad collecting green shield stamps. Then one day, armed with a stack of completed coupon books, he would redeem them for a lawnmower or some more engine oil! This is even better - you redeem the points for more wine. We will build up a useful little pot of points and then the fun part will come - redeeming all those points.

icon Comments from our staff: our loyalty programme is called Wine Drops, make sure you register an account and start referring. You can then get a very nice discount on your own wine when you decide to shop.

Is there anything else about our Organic Wine Club that interests you?

Yes, your offer to come to our house and give a tutored tasting is a great idea. Both of us are keen to learn more about organic wines and who better to inform us than the professionals? We could then progress to one of your wine education courses. I can think of quite a few of our friends who would be interested. I might even persuade my brother-in-law, a busy city professional who is cash rich but time poor, to join us. He knows a lot about derivatives but less than he thinks about wine!

So what would be your advice to those who haven’t yet tried organic wine?

Have an open mind and try them. Many of us like to push the boundaries so why not adopt that same adventurous spirit when we choose wine to drink? The Organic Wine Club is a good place to start.

iconComments from us: We are so grateful for our customer's willingness to share. A few steps you can take just now towards a better wine shopping: sign up for our newsletter and get a Free Delivery voucher; register an account and start referring friends. You will get a bonus from us as well (200 points for creating an account). Exchange that all for wine! Cheers

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Our first wine tasting: organic wines, customers and loads of fun at wine club!

Posted on 03 July, 2016 by Dimitri Safonov | 0 comments

Wine Tasting at Organic Wine Club

Just yesterday we have hosted our first wine tasting.

After being open for 3 full days we have received quite a few questions about wine tasting opportunities, so we have decided to host one straightaway. We are overwhelmed with support from local residents, members of business community in Worcester Park, bloggers and social media enthusiasts who have helped to spread the word! Cannot be more grateful for that.

What we have tasted with our visitors:

Domaine de la Colombette Barbejo - a fruity and vibrant white from south of France, Pays d'Oc.

Domaine du Jas d'Esclans Provence Cru Classe - an elegant and classy rose from prestigious Provence.

'Pure' Cabernet Franc 2013 from Pays d'Oc - a lighter bodied red that is fuller than your usual Loire style of this grape.

Tenuta San Vito Chianti DOCG - a classic Tuscan Chianti made from 100% organic Sangiovese.

We buy what you like. Influence our stocking decisions.

We have also began to permanently display a few wines that we do not stock, but would like to get an opinion about. If you like it, we will stock it. It is that simple. As we live in a shared economy, we simply want to be relevant and current based on our customer's feedback.

This week we have 3 bottles to try: a classy Haut-Medoc Bordeaux, a vibrant Pot du Vin from Pays d'Oc and an interesting white Picpoul de Pinet. Visit us to sample and let us know what you think please! 

It has been a lovely day. We are so pleased to help dozens of people to choose organic wines, so come in to have a friendly chat about organic wines.

See you soon.

Our next tasting is scheduled on Friday 8th July for our launch evening (4-8pm). Please RSVP by email and we are looking forward to seeing you! To celebrate our launch we still have a few organic wine cases (out of initial 80) left with a massive 25% off - have a look at our organic wine promo page.

 

Posted in wine tasting

Smart Wine Shopping at Organic Wine Club

Posted on 25 June, 2016 by Dimitri Safonov | 0 comments

 This short but valuable guide is to show you how to get the most value and benefits from Organic Wine Club.

Organic Wine Club - how to make the most of itLet’s start with the whole essence of what is Organic Wine Club. It is UK’s first wine club solely dedicated to organic wines. It offers delicious wines, variety of flavours to savour and explore. It is a club as it offers members-only exclusive cases and discounts up to 25%. We recommend to drink organic wine - these wines are healthier as compared to conventional wines. If you want to learn more about organic wine and other different types of healthier wines, read our guide on all things organic wine here.

Helping people to drink less but better wines is the ultimate wine & business mission.

Organic Wine Club expertly handpicks all organic wines that we stock and engages its members in decision making process - our customers are in control what we order and sell. Visit our store to taste some organic wine or give us feedback online please. 

So how to get the most value for money whilst still buying amazing organic wines that are better for you? Read the details below or download our 2-page short pdf file here.

1. Earn Wine Drops & get free organic wine on us

Wine Drops loyalty programme earn wine on us refer friends


Most important is to sort out an account with us. Many people buy without opening an account and they start to miss out on additional perks the same moment. Our advice is that you can sign up for an account with is without even buying organic wine.

Why? We run our loyalty programme called Wine Drops and it starts rewarding you from the moment of account creation. You get an introductory 200 points when you sign up, 1 point for every £1 spent and somewhat amazing 500 points for referring a friend. Just to illustrate, if you have signed up (200 points), referred 6 friends (they need to become a purchasing member), you will have 3200 points. That is £32 off a case of wine for you. Before you buy anything. Great tip, hope you will use it. Download our web leaflet about Wine Drops here.

2. News, Wine Info and Offers.

Next stop is to sign up for our newsletter. We want to keep all our visitors, customers and members updated about what’s going on - we publish dates for our free organic wine tasting events, special promotions and useful information about organic wines. Don’t worry, no spam or third party emails. We also keep these emails to a bare minium (1-2 a month). When you sign up, you will receive a voucher code for a free delivery. That is £8 saving too!

3. Special promotional organic wine cases.

You are almost there to make a wonderfully cost effective organic wine purchase. Organic Wine Club is constantly running welcome offers. If you stay tuned and manage to get a deal, you are up for a treat. Great discounts and also delicious wines are on offer. Make sure to check promotional page with the current organic wine offers.

4. Wine Club Cases. Become Organic Wine Club Member.

If the promo cases did not spark your interest or you’ve bought one and want more value then you should definitely have a look at the Wine Club Cases page. Membership at Organic Wine Club starts with buying any of Introductory or Classic organic wines cases.

Choose between mixed, just reds, just whites case of 6 or 12 bottles. They are already discounted up to 10% off retail prices. Remember, you will be accumulating Wine Drops as well. Yet it is not the main advantage - your membership with us assumes you get 10% off anything! It also includes an access to Members-only cases page, which gives you an additional discount of 10%.

You can also subscribe for regular deliveries and get additional 5% off.

There are no fees to maintain your membership and you can save up to 10-25% on pre-mixed member cases and also tailor your own case with at least 10% off. Contact us with your own requirements and we will be happy to advise on organic wine. 

5. Learn more about wines and healthier lifestyle.

Membership at Organic Wine Club is not just about discounts, it is about becoming a member of our organic wine community. Tasting events, educational sessions, wine tasting evenings with producers and social events are very popular at Organic Wine Club. Members join us for free pop in organic wine tasting sessions and themed tastings. Have a look at our Tasting page for the tasting schedule.

Living in a digital economy also means that we are active on social media  - please feel free to engage with us and fellow organic wine club members on Facebook, Twitter and more platforms.

Organic Wine Club benefits of wine subscription and membershipThere are so many ways how to get the most out of your engagement with Organic Wine Club. Make it smart - save money, get free delivery coupon, join the club, subscribe and learn more about wines you drink. We almost forgot - save Earth (just a little bit) and drink organic!

 

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Sulphite free wines - what, why and for whom?

Posted on 18 June, 2016 by Dimitri Safonov | 1 comment

In the beginning, we were truly astonished by our initial sales of sulphite free wines. It is such a pleasure to also find ourselves helpful to people who are suffering from allergic reactions on wine. Yet they do want to enjoy a glass or too!

Let's not waste any time here, what are sulphite-free wines (other spellings include sulfites, sulphates or no sulphite added wines, sulfite-free etc), why are they different and why are they in wine?

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Posted in sulphite-free