Natural or “LOW INTERVENTION” Wines

Natural wines. Yeah, I’m going there, but here’s why.

I’ve been on a bit of a health journey ever since my first visit to a naturopath in 2012. After which, I was more mindful of how my body reacted to what I put in it. The next evolution in my health journey occurred more recently when a friend was recommended testosterone cream to help her acne. The change in her skin was staggering, and it made me realize that if something applied topically was able to change her skin that much, it was time to rethink what I was putting on mine.

Fast forward a few years and I’m trying to be as a low-toxic as possible from skin care, make up and cleaning products (a work in progress). However, as I was walking around Toronto one day listening to a podcast on wine with Marissa A. Ross , I was called out BIG TIME.

Her argument made sense and I felt so stupid I hadn’t realized it before. It went something like this. Consumers are more educated than ever before about health. We consider if produce is organic, local or sustainable and put time and energy into buying foods (and supplements) that support our well-being. Yet, after picking up our organic veggies at Whole Foods we then buy a bottle of $10 wine and think nothing of it.

The lightbulb went off. If I’m concerned about what I’m putting in my body, then why on earth isn’t wine part of that equation?

There is a diconnect between how we view produce and how we view wine. To the masses, wine is an alcoholic beverage, but in reality it’s an agricultural product. If only wine listed its’ ingredients on the label – maybe then we’d think twice. And for me, organic/biodynamic wine isn’t a far off concept  (I explain about it here). It rather, was something I didn’t care to make an effort to find. Good wine is good wine and I’d make the excuse that I want to drink what I want, and I wasn’t about to restrict myself to the handful of organic wines the LCBO has tucked away in a far off corner. But truth is, how many of us have suffered through a horrible hangover, had a glass that makes our face go flush, or causes an immediate headache? I’ve had all 3 happen (and yes, the 1st can very much be attributed to too much wine!) but more often than not, those symptoms are brought on by a shit ton of chemicals found in conventional wine. Just as my naturopath shifted my perception on food, this podcast forced me to re-consider the integrity with which the wine I was drinking was made.

In this podcast, Melissa refers to these wines as “low intervention”; wines made with as little done to them in the winery and in the vineyard as possible. After all, there’s no set definition for “natural wines” and many of these low intervention wines aren’t necessarily certified organic or biodynamic. I loved this terminology because it gave me more freedom as a consumer to make conscious decisions.

So, that’s where I’m at. As pretentious as it sounds and as reluctant as I am to confess it, it’s the truth. I guess my health journey and my wine journey finally crossed paths. It’s not to say I won’t drink non-organic wine ever again (I did this past weekend!), but balance, is simply the aim for now. So I’ll ask more questions, educate myself, research importers and try to find these elusive natural wines that I honestly turned my nose up at before. I’m excited for what I will find and humility, after all, is a beautiful thing.

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