Actually, let’s take those in reverse order.
Here’s the deal – I have a love/hate affair with organic wines. I love the fact that they’re organic and environmentally-friendly; I hate many of the wines because they’re not any good.
And I’m convinced that enough wine consumers have reached a similar conclusion that they actually avoid buying wines labeled as Organic, which is why many good wines that could be labeled as officially organic don’t bother to mention this on their labels (see Alder Yarrow’s take on the subject of Organic wine labeling).
It’s not all organic wines that suck, and there are many excellent, premium wines that farm organically or biodynamically. But the extreme cases have a loooooong way to go before they will appeal to the average consumer.
Take Stellar Organics for example. Amazing things they’re doing for the environment and their community. BUT… they make a line of ‘No Sulfites Added’ wines (essentially, the only sulfites in the wines are those produced naturally in the winemaking process), and the samples I tried of those wines just aren’t very good. To the mini-review tape:…
08 Stellar Organics No Added Sulfites Merlot (S. Africa): Makes a very strong argument for the addition of at least *some* sulfites. $12 C-
08 Stellar Organics No Added Sulfites Chenin Blanc / Sauvignon Blanc (S. Africa): Environment-friendly, but not taste-friendly. $12 C-
Fortunately, the global Interwebs are a place where the ultra-niche can have its day in the sun, and there exists an entertaining video blog that reviews primarily organic wines, and they say that the other Non-No-Sulfites-Added products by Stellar are actually pretty darn good. OrganicWineReview.com is the name and it’s a fun wine blog to check out.
Another quick tidbit for the day: I took part (virtually) in the first United Slurps Of America tasting, which is being run by the excellent Swirl Smell Slurp blog – it’s their attempt to taste wine from all fifty U.S. states, sharing tasting notes with a blogger based in the same state; a novel and fun take on U.S. wines (though when they hit NY, CA, OR, and WA they might have some trouble trying to narrow the field). Since I’m based in PA, they asked me to share tasting notes on the Penns Woods wines that they were sampling to kick off the event.
I was stoked to take part, especially because I was given my own way-cool black-&-white He Said / She Said style icon. You can keep an eye on on their wine jaunt progress through the U.S. at http://swirlsmellslurp.com/2010/03/united-slurps-of-america/.