As “gluten-free stuffing” and “creamy mashed cauliflower” are finding their way to today’s health-conscious holiday tables, so are organic and biodynamic wines. If you are diligent about eating healthy food, doesn’t it make sense to also be mindful about the wine you drink?
Some of my coworkers and I got together to do some research, and everyone brought a bottle of organic and/or biodynamic wine. Though we drank our fair share of wine, people commented that they felt pretty good that night. When they woke up the next morning, they didn’t experience the headache or grogginess that they usually do after a night of drinking. It seems that drinking only organic wines did make a difference! We had both USDA Certified Organic as well as those just made with organic grapes.
ORGANIC WINES IN A NUTSHELL:
You may have heard that not all organic wines are created equal, and that is correct. There are two types of organic wine, both of which are made with grapes that are organically grown without chemicals, fungicides, herbicides or pesticides, and are devoid of fillers and GMO’s.
- Wines with the USDA Certified Organic label: Producers of wines that bear this label are not allowed to add sulfites during any point of production. There are no sulfites other than what naturally occurs during the fermentation process. These wines are only allowed to have a sulfite level of 10ppm or less. Because of the “no added sulphites” rule, these wines are “more wild” and may not age well.
- Wines that just say they’re “made with organically grown grapes” and/or carry the CCOF seal (California Certified Organic Farmers): Sulfites are allowed to be added during production, and most likely are. These wines are allowed to contain a sulfite level of up to 100 ppm, but usually only contain 40 ppm – 80 ppm. Conventionally raised wines are allowed sulfite levels up to 350 ppm.
When looking for organic labeling, keep in mind that several wine growers outside of the U.S. don’t care to pay for the Certified Organic stamps of approval because they’ve been growing according to those guidelines for generations from the get go. So, a good organically grown wine from another country, such as Italy or France, may not be labeled as such, and your best bet is to get to know the vintner.
FACTS ON SULFITES (also spelled “sulphites”):
- Used to inhibit the growth of bacteria and is added to preserve many processed/packaged foods.
- Added to most wines during the production process in order to have better control over flavor and consistency.
- Found naturally in wine, grape juice, fermented and pickled foods, meat and eggs, nuts, garlic, onions, cruciferous vegetables, coconut products, and dairy (excluding butter), just to name a few.
- Some people have an allergic reaction to sulfites. Adverse reactions include flushing, hives, wheezing, gas production, and cramps. Sulfite sensitivity may be due to a deficiency of sulfite oxidase and molybdenum inside the body which doesn’t allow it to metabolize sulfites correctly.
THE SKINNY ON BIODYNAMIC WINE:
Is it just me, or do the words, biodynamic wine, sound downright sexy? Well, it came as no surprise to me that the culture of biodynamic wine-making has elements of romance and intrigue.
- Biodynamic farming is similar to organic farming where no synthetic chemicals are used.
- It’s built around the interconnectivity of everything, including the moon, planets and stars.
- The Biodynamic Calendar has seasons corresponding to Root, Fruit, Flower, and Leaf Days.
- A special compost is made and stuffed into cow horns and buried in the soil. It is later dug up and the horn contents are used to make a ‘tea’ for fertilizing the soil.
- Biodynamic wines may contain up to 100 ppm’s of sulfites.
Another form of growing that you may have heard about is “Dry Farming”. Dry farming practices are more sustainable and force the vine roots to grow deep, creating more hardy, disease-resistant vines and saves tons of water. Some say dry farming produces grapes with more character and distinct flavors as they are forced to survive under dry and drought-like conditions.
STAFF WINE PICKS:
Fortunately, organic and biodynamic wines are readily available in our community at Whole Foods, Rainbow Acres, Trader Joe’s, Lincoln Fine Wines, and I even found one at Costco by Bonterra, which made it to our Staff Pick List!
STAFF PICKS from the wines we tasted:
- Rare Earth Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 (CCOF and made with organic grapes, California) – Deep black currant and cedar aromas, medium-bodied with vanilla and intense black cherry flavors.
- Tapiz Malbec, 2016 (Made with organic grapes, Argentina) – Lush flavors of cherries, raspberries, spice, and violets.
- Pacific Redwood Organic Cab, Mendocino Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 (USDA Certified Organic, California) – Rich, fruity tannins with a spicy, lingering finish. Vegan.
- Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 (Made with organic grapes, California) – Hints of pepper, vanilla spice and rich berry-plum flavors.
- Cono Sur Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 (Grapes organically grown, Chile) – Bright, with mineral and citric aromas.
OUR NUTRITIONIST, Simone Gloger’s, PICKS:
- Tenuta Di Ghizzano “Ilghizzano”, Costa Toscana, 2014 (Made with organic grapes, Organic and Biodynamic, Italy) – Fresh, fruity, easy to drink wine, featuring sweet Sangiovese grapes with a little Merlot.
- Cuvee Papale Chateauneuf Du Pape, 2013 (Southern Rhone region of France) – Blend of Syrah and Grenache, showcasing flavors of respberry sauce, all-spice and light smoke. Pairs well with lamb.
- Stolpman Vineyards Roussanne, 2015 (Dry farmed, California) – Carmelized banana, custard, beeswax and apple blossom aromas. Backbone of lemony acidity with ripe melon, mango, and tropical flavors.
FOUNDER, Garry Lineham’s, PICK:
Tenuta San Pietro Gavi D.O.C.G., 2015 (Organic and Biodynamic, Italy) – Fresh and full-bodied with intense notes of white flowers and fruit accentuated by a delicate minerality.
No matter how much we try to be “good” during the holidays, sometimes we still manage to feel a bit out of sorts. One of our favorite remedies Metamorphosis by Elemental Wisdom. It is a 60% better-than-organic, bioavailable superfood plant protein containing chlorella, spirulina and hemp protein, pine pollen, medicinal mushrooms, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and fulvic acid minerals, just to name a few. It helps to cleanse your body of impurities and boost alkalinity. Drink it when you need quality protein or a health boost, as a meal replacement, or as a hangover cure! Not to mention it’s a superior source of greens and protein!
ALIGNING YOUR BEVERAGE WITH YOUR BODY:
At Human Garage, we believe in living a fully aligned life, and help people attain pain-free, full range of motion. The Human Garage Alignment Protocol consists of four phases:
- For Life
Today, we highlighted organic wine which is more beneficial for both you and the environment. By making health-conscious choices to align your beverages with your body, you are more at ease as you lessen external stressors. Did you know that when our bodies are misaligned, it is a constant stressor and puts us in a continual state of fight or flight? It’s true, and if you would like to know more about Mind/Body Repair and Alignment, and how to survive the holidays, come in and discover for yourself the full process at Human Garage and begin your journey with us!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS from all of us at HUMAN GARAGE!
Jennifer is an Alignment Advisor, Motion Mechanic, and Staff Writer for Human Garage. Having worked in the fitness and wellness industry for over 17 years as a workshop presenter, personal chef, certified fitness and health coach, her passion is to inspire people to live healthy, radiant lives, from the inside out!