Usually, we think of old and new as opposites. Or, at the very least, we imagine that new trends mean old ones have been tossed aside. However, in the case of natural wine — and its growing popularity — an old drink has been brought back to life. The reason we can say this? Because natural wine is fermented using native yeasts, just as it was in ancient times.
Natural wine is hard to define because it means slightly different things to different people. Marian Bull of Vox explains, "Natural wine is more of a concept than a well-defined category with agreed-upon characteristics." So, what are some of the characteristics of natural wine? One characteristic, according to Bull, is that the wine is made from "unadulterated fermented grape juice and nothing else."
In her book Wine, Unfiltered, wine connoisseur Katherine Clary lists these added traits of natural wine — contains no synthetic chemicals, is made with grapes that haven't been treated with pesticides, uses native yeasts and uses minimal amounts of sulfur dioxide or sulfites.
While natural wines vary greatly in flavor — some types taste just like conventional wine and others taste completely different — they are purported to have many benefits. According to Ashley McElmurry in FabFitFun, natural wine doesn't cause hangovers because it has less histamines than other types of wine. McElmurry also explains that natural wine doesn't burn when you drink it because of its low level of sulfites.
Natural wine is sometimes fizzy or cloudy and can even have little clumps of yeast floating in it. Since natural wine is a bit different than the conventional wines you are used to, writer and natural-wine enthusiast Erin Parker of Glamour advises you write a list of questions and palate preferences — whether you like your wine dry and what your favorite flavors are — before you head to the wine shop. This way, she says, you can "let the shopkeepers lead you in the right direction."
Jordan Salcito, who founded Ramona, says when searching for the right natural wine for you, you ought to look for a small batch and follow your palate. “The wines I purchase, drink, and promote are the ones made with soul from winemakers who express themselves through wine, made with low to no sulfites, organically and biodynamically grown, and thought of as an agricultural product," he explains.
Are you ready to try some natural wines? Keep reading to learn about three brands wine connoisseurs recommend.
Orange 2019 Abbazia San Giorgio
This wine is recommended by the editors of Glamour. It is brewed by Battista Belvisi, whose goal is "to make wines he believes in, enjoys and are done in his style." Mysa Natural Wine — a site you can purchase the wine from — describes the drink as having the "aromas of soft apricot, dried fruit, citrus, honey with some balanced minerality." It also describes the finish as "soft and silky."
2019 Glou Glou MAGNUM
FabFitFun recommends this wine, which they say "tastes like summer." It recommends chilling the wine before drinking, describing it as a "refreshing and fruity concoction." And, in case you need more convincing, wine and food author Roger Voss says that the "juicy berry and cherry flavors burst from the glass," adding that everyone should "drink [it] now."
Broadside Margarita Vineyard Merlot
The Spruce Eats recommends this wine because "sustainability is the focus of Broadside, and the winery produces a light, juicy merlot." According to Tastings, this wine, which has a black color, has the "aromas of honey vinaigrette on bell peppers, blackberry crumble bar, and cedar with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, refreshing, medium-length chocolate-covered almonds, chewy caramel, and cafe au lait finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor." Click here to purchase it.
Francis Bacon once said, “Age appears best in four things: old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust and old authors to read.” Since it is a new drink crafted using methods prescribed by ancient wisdom, natural wine fits this description perfectly.