Wednesday wines: Going au natural | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Wednesday wines: Going au natural

Lately we’ve seen the rise of organic, biodynamic and ‘natural’ wines and the wine drinking public (that’s us!) is lapping them up with gusto. But what does it all really mean? Organic wine is probably the simplest label to explain: it means the vineyard isn’t treated with chemicals and is grown sustainably. Organic grapes equals organic wine – simple, right? Biodynamics takes this a step further by using all natural farm-made treatments to keep the vines and soil healthy and increase vineyard biodiversity, as well as following the cycles of the earth, moon, stars and planets to decide the ideal times pick grapes. Not as outlandish as it sounds, this style of farming is slowly becoming the norm for many fine wine makers around the world, notably in some of France’s most famous regions like Champagne, Burgundy and Loire Valley. And all the way at the end of the spectrum, natural refers to a style of winemaking that is ‘hands off,’ with minimal intervention from growers. Mother nature takes care of everything, with the winemakers just there to guide the grapes into producing wines that speak of their place of origin. One vineyard doing this well is Shobbrook Wines. Nouveau by Tommy Ruff is a bit of a trip out. The grapes were fermented in a ceramic container known as an ‘egg,’ in which the fermenting wine is forced by the shape to keep moving and stay ‘alive.’ The end result is a psychedelic, pastel purple wine that tastes vaguely like Ribeana with a tropical punch full of goji and aҫai berries. It’s (insert hippy voice) totally wild maaaan. Wine: 2014 Tom Shobbrook ‘Nouveau by Tommy Ruff’ Barossa Valley Mataro Retail Price: $34, Stewarts Wine Co. Food match: A spicy (vegetarian for the full hippy effect) curry or pile of charcuterie Location match: In the backyard under the stars Soundtrack match: Interstellar Overdrive by Pink Floyd (or anything by The Beatles) Words by James Cooper