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Think Green While Drinking Red

With Valentine’s Day around the corner many people spend lots of time (and money) putting together a romantic evening. From choosing the perfect flowers and chocolates, to the perfect restaurant, there are a lot of “important” commercially fueled financial decisions to be made in the next week.

Many couples find sharing a bottle of wine a romantic, Valentines worthy, activity. Unfortunately, a conventionally produced bottle of wine can contain up to 250 types of chemicals. That’s not so romantic. Luckily there are a range of wine products that involve eco-friendly processes. Below I have compiled a list of eco-friendly wine classifications and their definitions; this will hopefully help you pick an appropriate wine. Enjoy!

Organic

Organic wines are made from 95% organic ingredients and processes, the remaining 5% of ingredients can’t be found organically. Organic wines come from vineyards that avoid the use of synthetic pesticides, synthetic herbicides, and synthetic fungicides. There are no sulfites* added to organic wine and bottles of organic wine have a USDA Seal on the label. Organic wines from the United States are regulated by the USDA National Organic Program. Definitions of organic may vary by country.

100% Organic

100% organic wines contain 100% organically produced ingredients. Like with Organic wine, 100% organic wine contains no added sulfites, and bottles contain a USDA Seal on the label.

Made With Organic Grapes

Wines labeled “Made with Organic Grapes” contain at least 70% organic ingredients. Some sulfites are added during the process of wine making, but the grapes are grown without the use of pesticides or chemicals.

Made With Sustainably Grown Grapes

“Made with Sustainably Grown Grapes” means that the grapes were grown in a vineyard that uses sustainable practices.

 Biodynamic

Biodynamic wine is 100% organic. On top of being 100% organic, biodynamic wineries use practices that are attune to nature, like basing decisions off of natural  signals or making their own compost.

Vegan Wines

Some wineries use animal bi-products like gelatin, egg whites, and milk, in their wine filtration process. Vegan wines do not use animal bi-products.

*Sulfites, or sulfur dioxide,are an antimicrobial that naturally occurs in grape skins. Sulfites have been used in wine making for centuries. Sulfites are not necessary toxic but 0.4% of the population is highly allergic to them and many people suffer from sulfite sensitivity. Wines with greater than 10 ppm of sulfites must be labeled.

wine and winery via shutterstock

 

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Saturday, February 8th, 2014 at 16:07

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