Friday, August 17, 2012

Some reflections about natural wines (part 2): a plea to name natural wine from now on just 'wine'

One of the oldest definitions I've found about wines dates back from the end of the 19th century and originated in Fance: le vin est une boisson acoolisee obtenue par la fermentation naturelle du raisin, fruit de la vigne (wine is an alcoholic drink obtained from the natural fermentation of grapes, fruit of the vine).

There are probably even older definitions, but I can live with this one. It speaks of natural fermentation. Also, Louis Pasteur who studied the matter intensively, always spoke about natural fermentation. In the current definitions about wine the term ‘natural’ has been omitted. It is clear that these days the process of fermentation (talking about beer, wine or food products, e.g. cheese) is almost always enhanced and accompanied with the necessary interventions and for sure controls. There is no way we can still talk about a natural fermentation.

Therefore, I plead to reintroduce the old definition of wine. It is the product which comes from a natural fermentation. This means that the use of the term ‘natural wine’ is a pleonasm. Wine should be, by definition, natural! We really should just be calling it ‘wine’ instead of having to state the obvious. There are many others, ones which are fabricated, that should NOT be classified as wines anymore, as they are mere surrogates* of wine. And so, let us call it what its is. A surrogate.

* Definition of surrogate according to Wikipedia: product that substitutes another, but with less quality!

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