natural wine, why you should drink it, and how to find it

December 11, 2018

Tis’ the season for hangovers, facial puff, and generally terrible skin! Questionable bottles of cheap Christmas party wine might be derailing your thoughtful skincare regime this holiday season. Switching to natural wine can dramatically reduce the party puff, Rudolph redness, and unwanted seasonal acne. Read on to learn all the juice about natural wine, why you should drink it, and how to find it.

Before I made the switch to natural wine, a post happy hour breakout was imminent. I tried switching from red to white, white to rosé, anything to reduce my chances of total complexion failure. No variety moved the needle, until I tried natural wine! I’ve received countless questions on Instagram about natural wine so I enlisted the help of sommelier babe Heather Gordon to answer all of your  questions.

Hi True Spoon Community, My name is Heather and I’m the natural wine expert behind the blog Blance De Blonde I started my blog for two distinct reasons. First, as a platform where I could lift up small producers, the little guys who are making wine solely to put food on their table instead of a large company with a CEO at the end. Second, I felt the push to lend my voice to young women in the beverage industry. When I got started I had no one to look to, it was a man’s world and I could not relate to it.

Natural wine is my specialty. It’s what I drink, promote and write about. In a world where we are so concerned about the food we eat, what we put on our skin, it only seems natural that we should share some of that energy on the wine we’re consuming.

 

On to your questions

1) What is natural wine?

Natural wine as a term lacks a universally accepted definition. But my favorite is by Alice Feiring, “A wine that has nothing added or taken away from it.”  Meaning, a wine that has no added stabilizing agents, color additives, acidification, etc. and nothing taken as in fining, filtering, etc.

 

2) Why does conventional wine that cause hangovers and breakouts?

Conventional wine can have additives like yeast, tannin powder, sugar, fish bladders, egg whites, possibly even pig derivatives, and the list goes on and on. These ingredients lead to symptoms including, but not limited to dehydration, inflammation, and GI distress.

3) What’s the deal with Sulfites?

This is probably the most common question I’m asked so let’s get into it! Sulfites occur naturally. They are on the skins of the grapes and almost all wine (even natural wine) will contain sulfites, so don’t freak out because a lot of other things you eat have sulfites, too, like dried fruit and preservatives. The issue is when wine makers sprinkle sulfites in every step of the wine making process-which is unnecessary. Sulfites are used to kill unnecessary bacteria and are used by winemakers to stabilize wine.

 

4) Are natural wines vegan?

Yes! Egg whites, fish bladders, and pig derivatives are used as fining agents. Fining agents are used to clarify wines. Natural wines are unfiltered meaning they may be a little murky in the glass and may have sediment (think of sediment as the crumbs in the bottom of the bag of pretzels. It’s just left over grape skin, seeds, stems, etc.) SO, get down with your vegan self!

5) Where do most natural wines come from?

They come from all over, but I would say most commonly you can find bottles from France.  The Loire Valley is a hot spot for natty juice. Australia is also having a natural wine moment amongst the USA, Mexico, Canada and New Zealand. But really if you have the passion burning in your veins, you can find natural bottles from all over!

 

6) How can I shop for natural wine? What do I look for on wine labels?

My best tip for buying natural wine is to go to a shop where there is a knowledgeable staff like Psychic Wines or Domaine LA, which are awesome shops that have a kick-ass selection. Walking into one of these types of stores is like having your own personal wine shopper who has pulled awesome bottles for you. And always feel free to reach out to me or Celeste; we’re in this together!!

 

Where to find natural wine from anywhere

If you don’t live next to a quaint natural wine store with a charmingly helpful Sommelier, finding natural wine can be tricky. Lucky for all of us Thrive Market, an online discount natural retailer, just launched a natural wine section. They offer multiple trustworthy and affordable options for any wine palette. They sell by the 1/2 case so you can stock the house and get the quantity discount. I usually order a 1/2 case of each and it lasts me about two months. Here are my True Spoon approved picks!
Thrive Market

Top Red

Bonnet Rouge Gamay Noir 2013

I mean what could be better than a French Gamay from Beaujolais? I really can’t tell you! Flavor wise, think genius love child of cabernet and pinot noir. This wine is smooth and drinkable with a medium full body. It’s fruit forward enough to feel like an indulgence without being sweet. You can find me drinking this bottle while I cook an #Eattoglow recipe from the Meal Guide Ebook

Buy the WINE

Top White 

Muscadet Sevre et Marine 2017

I’m obviously a sucker for anything French and this crispy white Muscadet is no exception. This is my favorite natural white of the moment, its bright, floral, and not too sweet. Nate is a huge fan of this vibrant white too, it’s an easy drinking wine for any time of day.

Buy the WINE

 

 

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