Ever heard of natural wine? No, not organic wine. Not biodynamic wine. Natural wine.
Defining “natural wine”
In most wines today, there are more than 200 enzymes and chemicals added, without any indication required on the label. The term “natural wine”, however, implies that the wine was produced and stored with minimal vintner intervention.
There is no exact definition of what makes natural wine. It is generally agreed that natural wine is made organically from grapes without the use of additives such as yeasts, enzymes and other chemicals, and bottled with the minimum amounts of sulfur dioxide.
In a perfect world, one natural wine expert, Pierre Jancou, says it would be unfiltered, unfined and unsulfured. However, this is rarely the case, as most winemakers must find some points of compromise at some point.
And the taste?
Natural wines have the reputation for potent flavor profiles, earthy undertones and, sometimes, well, a bit of funk. And as one writer writes (click the interview link at the bottom for full article):
“While I’ll admit to having drunk a glass or two with notes of old socks and ripe blue cheese, when made correctly, natural wines can be clean, balanced, and utterly delicious.”
Natural wine hits Berlin
In France, there are more than 400 producers of natural wine. Italy and the UK have also caught onto their appeal.
And happens with most new ideas, Berlin isn’t to be left out. And while it may not be the culinary hotspot that is Paris, or even London, the city itself is changing in recent years.
A renewed interest in traditional food culture and connecting with the land and its producers is triggering intense interest in regionally and organically produced products throughout Germany. At the same time, Berliners maintain the same openness to new cultures and new tastes that has shaped the city throughout history. This creates a culture perfect for support of new and innovative ideas, with natural wine being no exception.
The city hosted the RAW Artisan Wine Fair last November, showing the best natural, organic, and biodynamic wines. Skeptics got the opportunity to sip on earthy tones and connect with the winemakers themselves.
The most famous destination for natural wines in Berlin has to be Industry Standard. Focusing on small plates, made of locally sources ingredients, they only serve natural wine. Check out their interview with VICE here.
Is the natural wine trend here to stay?