For the health-conscious people, red wine is the only vice that they will permit themselves. Studies continue to prove that resveratrol is an antioxidant found in red wine that protect against cancer, heart disease, is anti-aging and may even extend your lifespan.
Although it has these positive factors supporting it, there may be a few unwanted hidden surprises under the cork. Incidental ingredients such as pesticides, allergens and animal proteins may be contaminating your wine, which is why now may be the best time to switch to natural wines.
- The Environmental Working Group detected pesticides on 86% of the imported grapes they surveyed, 77% of those were contaminated with two or more pesticides. Those of us who truly care about what chemicals we consume will not be best pleased to hear about that 86%!
- Sulphites on the other hand are an allergen that may cause breathing problems for sensitive individuals, which is another common consumer concern. Although sulphite or sulphur dioxide (SO2) is commonly added to wine as a preservative, antimicrobial agent and antioxidant, sulphites naturally occur in wine as a by-product of fermentation. The label should indicate ‘Contains Sulphites’ if the total sulphites in a wine are above 10 parts per million. A wine labelled ‘Sulphite-free’ or NSA (No Sulphites Added) on the other hand, must not have any detectable sulphites.
- A particular concern to vegans and vegetarians is the ancient winemaking practice that clarifies and stabilises wine, called Fining. This process uses agents that pass through the wine, attach themselves to solid matter and sink to the bottom of the barrel. Common finish agents may include: egg whites, chicken, fish or gelatine. Although these fining agents are separated from the wine before bottling, a substance like wheat gluten may contaminate the wine.
- Another potential source of gluten found in wine derives from the oak barrels. The paste used to make oak barrels contains wheat flour, which is a source of gluten. Aging wine in oak barrels or adding oak chips can leave traces of wheat in your wine in addition to tannins. Those with gluten intolerances will be in for a rather nasty surprise should their “gluten free” wine causes an allergic reaction!
In order to avoid these concerns, the best thing to do is buy natural wine. People drink red wine because of the benefits that resveratrol have, but organic foods and drinks may have up to 30% more cancer-fighting antioxidants than no-organic products.
Natural and sulphite free wine often means wine made from organically grown grapes, but does not necessarily exclude the use of sulphites or incidental ingredients used. In order for a wine to be labelled ‘Organic’ and carry the USDA organic seal, it must be made from organically grown grapes and provide information about third party certification.
Interested in purchasing natural wines to improve your health? Contact knowledgeable and trusted online wine merchants to discuss their stock or simply browse through on their website. They are sure to have all then information you will need to ensure your shopping experience and switch to natural wines is as easy as possible. You may even see an honest review of the wines being sold on their website. Check out the social media profiles of your new natural wine supplier to keep up to date with any new stock or updates from their wineries.