INTRODUCTION: Historically, food and wine have enjoyed a solid and multifaceted alliance especially in the civilizations of the great rivers (Tigris, Euphrates, Nile), in the Mediterranean basin and beyond. This extraordinary and refined synergy has always been a very precious asset that continues to build success, value and necessary emotions. So it’s only for convenience that the topics of food and wine will be presented here in two separate articles.
Food and wine are a tried and tested combination that sometimes reaches awe-inspiring levels and there is never an end to subsequent discoveries: food ‘imposes’ the choice of wine. But wine can also be enjoyed on its own and these opportunities are sources of energy and emotion.One of the biggest problems we have in producing wine is the difficulty we face in the vineyard. ‘Organic-natural wine’ is above all produced in the vineyard with its healthy and properly matured bunches that are taken to the cellar for the process that leads to “natural wine vinification”: If you have done a good job in the vineyard, this process becomes easierThe real ‘limits’ of conventional wines arise when what is obtained in the vineyard is elaborated in the cellar to make it ‘better’ through the use of substances and means that are also harmful to our health.
A wine made ‘naturally’ in the cellar, perhaps with some defects (colour, volatile, clarity), is surely healthier. In short, we must rewrite and objectify the analytical parameters as brilliantly as the French already have, while we still cause great confusion and continue to compare these two types of wine within the same topic of discussion
I believe, however, that the two economic sectors, conventional wines and wines organically and naturally produced in the cellar, can never be in competition because they travel parallel paths: they are very different wines and thus subject to different tasting rules.
|Naturally-produced wine just drawn off|
The consumer, like with food, is moving towards wines made with greater respect for the environment and his health, caring little if they do not match the rules dictated by the “experts”: the first criteria is healthiness.
It’s easy to meet people who complain about different upsets caused by wine: excellent meals, delicious foods, sore head… thanks to the wine. But why does this continue to happen? Why is wine ruining, ‘poisoning’, us silently? And nobody does anything?
In developing completely organic and natural wines, one must consider environmental conditions, production and managerial abilities, while facing major economic risks. It is a road of uncertainties, surprises and variability… all factors that do not match the strict rules of entrepreneurship which seek security, risk removal and standardised production. These brief considerations should make it clear that choosing the path of becoming a ‘natural wine’ producer is still a strong, costly and risky decision and commitment to it must be conducted with great professionalism. No clashes, conflicts or judgment: everyone can do better.
Already wine has its disadvantages due to the alcohol it contains, so why produce significant quantities by resorting to harmful cultivation practices for the surrounding environment? By doing so, the wine is only marketable after various interventions in the cellar, including the use of substances that are harmful to our health.
Sometimes we overdo it with reference to the description of the taste of a wine, “minerality” comes to mind, a terminology frequently used with reference to the minerals found locally (have you ever tried to suck a rock?). It may be helpful to remember how this feature is derived, apart from some specific varieties such as the Riesling, from a biological complexity that is found primarily where the environment is respected, the vines are old and their management committed to preserving the area’s historical and environmental complexity. Many business decisions have instead compromised such situations with massive soil movements, extensive monocultures, forced mechanisation, pesticides and herbicides as well as the uprooting old vines with the loss of varietal gene pools, to build short-lived vineyards condemned by cultivation techniques that are simply too aggressive.
We should not look to the future of wine by projecting the past: let’s also consider empirical knowledge, tacit and unexplained rules, which are embedded in tradition and which science tries to make us understand better: both must be considered.