The new natural: Decoding the 'natural' wine boom

by Paperboy / 06 April, 2017
Illustrations by Anieszka Banks

Find out why everybody's talking about natural wine and who's leading the way in Auckland.

‘Natural’ wine is appearing on more restaurant menus and wine-store shelves. But what does the term actually mean? We talked to Dan Gillett of wine distribution company Wine Diamonds to get a primer on natural wine.

What makes a wine natural?

In short, a wine is natural when the grapes are farmed naturally and the wine is made naturally. So at the least it should be organic, and then be made without anything being added or taken away.

Is natural winemaking a new thing?

Not at all. If anything, it’s a return to how wine was made before fungicides, pesticides, preservatives and additives became widespread. Take France for example – ‘natural’ doesn’t even get mentioned, it’s just accepted as normal practice.

What do you like about this style of winemaking?

Firstly, it’s more socially and environmentally conscious, just the same as organic or free-range is in a food sense. Second, if you consider what ends up in the glass, I enjoy the much wider spectrum of flavour this bracket of wine has to offer. Nothing else comes close.

What is sulphur and why is it added to wine?

 Sulphur dioxide (220) is a preservative and in a commercial sense is added to wine to prevent it from changing state and to ensure the homogeneity of every bottle. What doesn’t get mentioned enough is there are several natural preservatives in wine that don’t always require additional sulphur to be added.

How can you tell if a wine is sulphur-free?

It’s not always as simple as looking at the label, but some winemakers are beginning to add “no added sulphites” to theirs. Once you’ve tried enough of these wines you’ll begin to taste it. Conventional, sulphur-added wines have a hardness to the palate that becomes less and less enjoyable once you’ve gone down the natural road. Perhaps next time you order a bottle at a restaurant you could even make a point of asking.

Who is leading the way in natural wine in Auckland?

Pasture restaurant in Parnell. They have led the way from the very beginning and have been solely natural from day one. There isn’t anyone else who is as committed as they are.

 


Get Paperboy delivered to your inbox

Subscribe now

/PaperboyAKL @PaperboyAKL @PaperboyAKL

 

 

Latest

Why you should avoid 'eating for two' during pregnancy
98747 2018-11-18 00:00:00Z Health

Why you should avoid 'eating for two' during pregn…

by Ruth Nichol

Doubling down on food during pregnancy is out, unless it’s diet quality we’re talking about.

Read more
The long, slow goodbye to Angela Merkel
99173 2018-11-17 00:00:00Z World

The long, slow goodbye to Angela Merkel

by Cathrin Schaer

German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to leave the job in 2021, but that’s not soon enough for some.

Read more
Silent witness: The forgotten NZ movie star
97576 2018-11-17 00:00:00Z Movies

Silent witness: The forgotten NZ movie star

by Paul Little

One of the earliest and possibly least known NZ movie stars is Eve Balfour, a silent-movie actress, born in Christchurch in 1890.

Read more
How the Christchurch earthquakes inspired British writer AN Wilson’s new novel
99087 2018-11-17 00:00:00Z Books

How the Christchurch earthquakes inspired British …

by Sally Blundell

AN Wilson has put aside biographies for a novel inspired by quake-devastated Christchurch – where he expects the book will get a tough reception.

Read more
Victory over the All Blacks this weekend would add to Ireland's epic history
99193 2018-11-17 00:00:00Z Sport

Victory over the All Blacks this weekend would add…

by Paul Thomas

Kiwi Joe Schmidt has a chance of adding to Irish rugby’s storied history in the upcoming game against the All Blacks.

Read more
A big science investment - but where’s the transparency?
99199 2018-11-17 00:00:00Z Tech

A big science investment - but where’s the transpa…

by Peter Griffin

An extra $420m is being pumped into the National Science Challenges - but the reasoning behind the increased investment won't be released.

Read more
NZ music legend Gray Bartlett has a new album – and a wild past
99182 2018-11-16 13:32:58Z Music

NZ music legend Gray Bartlett has a new album – an…

by Donna Chisholm

We revisit this profile on award-winning guitarist Gray Bartlett, who's just released a new album, Platinum!

Read more
Vint Cerf: The father of the Internet reflects on what his creation has become
99178 2018-11-16 13:13:08Z Tech

Vint Cerf: The father of the Internet reflects on …

by Peter Griffin

"We were just a bunch of engineers trying to make it work. It didn't even occur to us that anybody would want to wreck it," says Vint Cerf.

Read more