Curious about the difference between natural wine, organic wine, and conventional wine? We did some asking around in the Wine & Spirits department…
Here’s what you need to know: If you see “made with organic grapes,” that means the winemaker used grapes that are certified organic by the USDA. Certified organic grapes are grown with no genetic engineering and with no synthetic fertilizers. They are also grown in a way that protects the environment and soil. However, this label does not mean that sulfites can’t be added during the winemaking process. That’s where 100% organic wine comes in.
If a wine is labeled “100% organic,” that means it’s not only made with organically-grown grapes, it’s made without added sulfites, which many conventional winemakers use to stop fermentation and preserve flavor. Organic wine producers must also adhere to strict standards that outline prohibited ingredients.
“Natural” wine is another term you may hear, as it’s growing in popularity across the U.S. However, the term “natural,” when applied to wine, is not regulated or standardized. That said, many natural winemakers adhere to a somewhat organic process, with an unofficial definition that includes: no chemicals, no cleansers, and no agents that contribute to refining the clarity and texture. That’s why many natural wines are fizzy and appear unfiltered and cloudy.
Now that you know the difference, here are few of our favorite recommendations available at Hy-Vee.
Natura is a collection of wines from Chile—all vegan-friendly and made with 100% organic grapes. If Chardonnay is your go-to, reach for the unoaked Natura Chardonnay from Casablanca Valley. You get refreshing citrus aromas with subtle tropical fruit, especially pineapple, along with a touch of herbs.
Bonterra has a vast selection of wines made with organic grapes. The white wines are suitable for vegans. The red wines, however, are fined with organic egg whites, and not suitable for vegans. Fans of cab will appreciate the Cabernet Sauvignon, one of their top-rated wines. Expect aromas of bright cherry, currant and raspberry with notes of toasted oak and vanilla.
Our Daily Red
Produced by Our Daily Wines, the 100% organic Our Daily Red is a lighter-style fruit-forward blend with notes of violets and black fruit. All of their wines are free from sulfites and preservatives. Plus, because they don’t use any fining agents such as gelatin or egg whites, the wines are considered vegan, as well as gluten-free.
Eppa SupraFruta Sangria
Produced from organic grapes and organic superfruit juices in California, Eppa Sangria comes ready for the party. Choose between red or white, and just add ice. Plus, it’s vegan-friendly and gluten-free.