Monday, November 28, 2005

Wine and Organic Beer

Not long ago, connoisseurs scoffed at organic wines, after early experiments produced some less than appealing results. But concerns about the environmental and health effects of synthetic fertilizers and vineyard pesticides have led many growers to go organic or biodynamic, and, not least because of methods that enrich the soil, many of these vintages have first-rate quality and taste. Note: While wines labeled "organic" contain fewer sulfites (potential allergy and heartburn triggers) than conventional wine, which can hold up to 350 parts per million (ppm), they can have naturally occurring sulfites of up to 100 ppm. But most contain only 40 ppm.

Product Picks

(All the below are certified organic and/or biodynamic):Orleans Hill Winery's 2004 "Our Daily Red" ($9; is a good affordable table wine. Another buy from Washington State's esteemed Columbia Valley: Badger Mountain's 2004 Johannesburg Riesling ($8;, 800-643-WINE). Portugal's Port Vintage Character Casal Dos Jordoesport wine ($26;, 888-ECO-WINE) hails from the world's only organic-port producer. TheChateau de Bastet 2003 Cotes du Rhone Cuvée Spéciale is also vegan ($17.99;, 800-216-3898). Can Vendrell's Cava Brut Riserva's sparkler ($17.99;, 800-216-3898) blends native Spanish white grapes. LaRocca Vineyards 2002 Estate Bottled Chardonnay ($11) or 1999 Estate Bottled Late Harvest Lush Zinfandel ($25) (

Extra, Extra: Favorite organic or biodynamic selections presented by wine consultant Aaron von Rock at a recent Green Guide tasting include: Talley Vineyard's 2003 Estate Chardonnay ($26,, 805-489-0446). Georg Breuer 2002 Terra Montosa Riesling ($25;, 800-257-7225).Alois Lageder 2003 Pinot Bianco Alto Adige ($11.49; Coturri 2002 Estate Vineyard Zinfandel Sonoma Mountain ($30,, 866-268-8774). Domaine des Saumades2003 Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($29.95;, 212-838-7500).


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