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May 21, 2012

Comments

C Wells

If all this is available on websites, why the need for XXX ? Because the sites are password protected ?

Roelof Ligtmans

Hello Bertand,

I'm sorry, but I can't get half a supset as you do!

When you read the "Pinot reserve recipe": this is what 90% of winemakers do, give or take the addition of yeast. But what is selected yeats? It is a selected organism, but completely natural. Like Charollais cattle, Ratte potatoes, cherry tomatoes: all selected, but natural. And what about 3-star Michelin cooking, it is all about recipe (and 1st class ingredients)!

Personally, as an organic wine grower (low yields, healthy grapes etc.), I use this kind of product occasionally. And of course only the non-OGM, natural kind, allowed by the (admittedly not very restrictive) rules for "bio" winemaking. I do not see the harm when I add 1 gram / 100 litres of tannins derived from grapes (100% natural), when they greatly improve the mouthfeel of my wine. Thats is what it is about, for me: small corrections on otherwise entirely natural wines, that do give you a better quality. What's wrong with that?

So I am not ready to denounce this kind of product completely, and find they do have a roile to play - on a limited basis, and of the non-OGM and/or chemical kind.

SAHMmelier

I don't even know what to say to that. When I was pregnant, I began to dig deeper into everything I put in and on my body. I found so many disturbing practices in the food and cosmetic industry that I was forced to rethink everything I purchased. There are times I wish I could "unlearn" it so that I could enjoy an old snack/product. Now I have to worry about wines, too? Yikes.

Bert

Why I changed the names for XXX ? No, the reason was that I wanted to put the spotlight on the enhancing properties, not the brand or particular product involved. The websites are not password protected (at least not all), you should be able to find most of the original webpages by googling the sentences.

Bert

Hi Roelof,

Thank you for your frankness. The issue here is just to tell the consumer what is done in the cellar : for this Pinot-Noir recipe, we have already three additives from this brand being encouraged to use, not counting other types of additives that Chr Hansen doesn't make. Most consumers have no idea these products are added during winemaking. I know there aren't many "bio winemaking" restrictions, at least in France, that's why winemakers who don't add anything (but occasionally a bit of sulfur) in their wines haven't joined a certification system for the cellar practice, but the totally-uncorrected wines speak by themselves more efficiently than a certification status.
The issue of this post is mostly about transparency : the consumers should know about the ingredients added into the juice or wine, whatever they are, and whatever their "natural" origin. When they'll know, let them choose to buy and like corrected wines, that's OK for me.

Bert

Hi SAHMmelier,

Yes, somehow I'm sorry to say that most consumers don't choose carefully-enough their wines. The amount of addings varies a lot in conventional wines, and some of these additives aren't very safe. We consumers at large have awakened to the issue of ingredients added into mass-produced food and the fine print on these foods, if not perfect in their transparency, help us at least know what we're eating. But there is no such mandatory labelling on the wine labels, including for the amount of pesticide residues. Speaking of the latter, it is interesting to note that the winemakers putting no additives at all in their wines use grapes farmed without pesticides and weedkillers.

Hardy Wallace

Thank you for posting this. Whether these products are naturally selected, organic, non-chemical, or whatever- they still are artificially altering the the structure, taste, and aromatics of the wine. No longer at the far edge, the influence of these products has led us from winemaking to beverage production.

David A. Harvey

A great piece of research - thank you. Sometimes a brutal list makes perfect sense of the data. Like in The Time for Tea by Pasqualini.

Thierry Tung

How can a consumers find additive free wine?

Bertrand

You have to look for wine shops who deal with these type of wines, which are usually called "natural wines" or non-interventionist wines, there's not a fixed name or regulation for these wines made without any additives. Some of these wines may have just a little bit of sulfur added, some don't even have any. France has now a growing number of wine shops centered on this type of additive-free wines, you'll find a few of them here (they're not all listed) :
http://www.wineterroirs.com/2007/02/paris_cavistes.html

patrick

I think the consumer is the source of all this. We all want our wine to be perfectly balanced, long aftertaste, nice complexity. We force winemakers to use artificial correctors. I'm a winemaker myself, just enough for my own daily glass. I know all these products, but I don't use a single one of it, only a bit of sulphur. But I can live with the imperfection of the wine, because it is 100% natural. Compare it to music, if you knew how many modifications are being made for the perfect recording on your disc, you wouldn't be able to enjoy music either. It's the consumer who forces perfection, the producer (who needs to make a living out of it) has no other option than following. A pity.

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