Is Organic Wine Better for You?
A glass (or two) of wine keeps the doctor away? Is it true? And is organic wine better or healthier for you than non-organic wine?
Many people wonder whether organic wine is the healthier choice. We would say yes, it is! In this blog post we’ll dive into why that is.
Is organic wine better for you: less pesticide residues
One of the biggest differences between organic and non-organic wines is that the grapes used to make the wines are not sprayed with synthetic pesticides. These synthetic pesticides can be dangerous to our health. According to the Soil Association, organic grape growing prohibits the use of around 280 pesticides that are currently allowed in the EU/UK. Any substances used for organic grape growing must be derived from natural sources.
Not only that, grapes are also one of the more heavily sprayed crops. Pesticide residues from these sprays can make their way into wines too. For example, a study by Europe’s Pesticide Action Network found bottles of conventional/non-organic wines to contain 24 different pesticide contaminants. This also included “five classified as being carcinogenic, mutagenic, reprotoxic or endocrine disrupting by the European Union.” Definitely not something we want to be ingesting and drinking, no thank you!
By choosing organic wines you help to eliminate your exposure to pesticide residues and toxins. Organic wines are simply cleaner overall and we can feel better about drinking them.
Is organic wine better for you: more antioxidants
Red wine especially has long been thought of as heart healthy, and this comes down to higher antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols. According to the Mayo Clinic, the alcohol and antioxidants in red wine especially may help prevent coronary artery disease.
Furthermore, research strongly suggests that diets rich in polyphenols may offer protection against the development of certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases. Polyphenols are found in fruits and vegetables and food and drink products made from them, including wines.
Yes, more research about wine grapes and antioxidant/polyphenol levels in organic wine specifically would be useful. However, research from the UK’s Newcastle University has shown that organic crops are up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants compared to conventionally-grown ones. The study, which was published in the British Journal of Nutrition, has been one of the best to date looking at nutritional differences between organic and non-organic crops. Overall, the researchers of the study argue that organic fruits and vegetables are indeed healthier.
The bottom line: aiming for your five a day is very likely beneficial for your overall health. If you can choose to have organic fruits, vegetables and wines, they’re likely higher in antioxidants too.
Is organic wine better for you: less sulphites
More and more people are looking to consume less sulphites and are relieved when they find out that organic wines often contain less sulphites than non-organic wines. Some individuals do suffer from sulphur sensitivities and thus sulphites in wine and other food and drink products are a serious issue.
Sulphites/sulphur dioxide is used in varying amounts when making wine. It helps to fight off both bacteria and oxidation and can thus be a useful chemical for preserving wine. Under organic winemaking rules, organic winemakers must use fewer levels of sulphites. This means that organic wines often have less sulphites than non-organic wines. Some organic winemakers also choose to go the extra mile and make their wines with no additional sulphur at all. You can find out more about sulphites in winemaking via our blog post all about this here.
While it’s true that too many headaches may get blamed on sulphites in wine, many of our customers do report a better or clearer ‘morning after’ feeling after drinking no sulphur added or low sulphur wines.
It’s also better for the environment and tastes better
Apart from organic wine being a likely healthier choice, many also choose to drink it because it’s the better choice for the environment. Organic farming and grape growing is better for our soils, waterways, the air we breathe and it creates healthier jobs in the countryside. Organic wines often taste better, exuding true regional expression, terroir and character. They are pure and ‘real’ value.
The choice is clear: organic wines are the way to go if you’re looking for the healthiest, cleanest and most environmentally friendly wines. If you’re new to organic wines, check out our list of our 20 recommended organic wines to try here or our best sellers and long standing favourites here. You can also get in touch with us if you’re looking for help placing your order or for questions about our wines.