What’s with all the hoopla around “natural” wines lately?
When it comes to hoopla, natural wines are currently knee-deep in it. Before you get all hot and bothered about all that unnatural wine you’ve been drinking, the bare-bones definition of a “natural” wine is one that has had nothing (or at the least next to nothing) added or subtracted during its creation. Avoiding the use of chemicals, supplements and even modern production methods, the wines hit the bottle as Mother Nature intended.
Now no one ever accused Ms Nature of being a winemaker, so while the growing list of hipsters getting into wine appear to appreciate their beverage of choice in its naked form, there are just as many aficionados who find wine in the raw to be both visually (some can look as murky as a neglected fish tank) and stylistically unsettling.
While many natural-wine producers follow an organic or biodynamic production path, they are different in the fact that they just let things happen inside the winery rather than support their output with even modest intervention as is typical of organic or biodynamic producers.
Drinking like an ancient Greek has a certain appeal, especially if you’re a student of the true origins of wine. Some will say that if you’re a natural-wine fan you’re really a connoisseur of the faults that, while rooted out of the juice made by those utilizing contemporary winemaking techniques, will undoubtedly show up in wines created au natural.
Personally I’m on the fence. I’ve had just as many naturally-made wines that turned me on as off. What I do like is hearing people debate about wine, so may the conversation continue.