We are often asked about organic and “no sulfite wines” so we thought we’d clear the air and de-mystify a few rumors that seem to be floating around out there. First off, there is just no such thing as a “no sulfite” wine. Sulfites are a natural by-product of the wine-making process and will only exist in small amounts known as parts per million. There are wines that have “added” sulfites which help to keep the wines from oxidizing and going bad. The legal limit for sulfite content in these wines is around 350 parts per million. The average wine is around 150 ppm and in wines with sterilized tanks, well handled and unbruised fruit, the sulfite content is even less! As for sulfites causing migraines and headaches, allergists say that this is not the case. In fact the real cause for headaches may be the person’s ability to process the wine itself or the various other biological components thereof. For example, a person may have difficulty processing wines with high levels of tannin, such as Cabernet. Even though it may be uncomfortable to “experiment” when a migraine or terrible hangover is on the line we recommend that you branch out a little. Our suggestion: try a lighter style of wine with less tannic structure, like an Oregon Pinot Noir. The Jezebel for $14.99 is one of our favorites. Also you may be able to get online and research wineries that do not add sulfites to their wines. We are always willing to special order any wine for you that we can get our hands on.
Organic wine is a whole other ball of wax! In reality there are plenty of “organic” wines out there! Why have you been having such a tough time finding them? Well, most wineries find it hard to justify spending the money and going through the lengthy process to become “certified organic.” Many wineries have been producing their wines according to organic or bio-dynamic standards for centuries. In addition wine makers are concerned from a marketing stand point that there wines will get placed on a rarely shopped “organic” shelf in the store. How do you determine which wines are organic and which aren’t? Well, that’s the hard part. Again, online research will provide you with some of this information, but we are currently compiling a list of such wineries that will be readily available to our customers. As you can imagine this is a slow going process with quite a few middlemen involved. For the time being we suggest looking to old world wines from France, Italy, and Spain, and wines from the Northwestern United States. The wines from these areas tend to produce quite a few unlabeled organic wines, meaning you are more likely to guess correctly when you pick up one of these! Look for the organic list of wines to be posted to this blog in the next few weeks. Until then we are always willing to point you toward a few of our favorites! Just stop by either location and ask for the wine expert on hand. Cheers!