If there's one thing even more bamboozling than a walrus (ce moi) sauntering around the British Isles and generally bothering harbourmasters, then it has to be the plethora of jargon around wine.
So, to help out those lovely boys at Chilled & Tannin - who specialise in bodacious wines with a conscience - I have donned my soggy thinking cap and compiled this handy Wineopedia outlining some of the vernacular and vocab around their more sustainable and ethical bottles.
Making great wine with a conscience
These canny winemakers are more environmentally minded, working to reduce their impact on mother nature through less use of nasty chemicals, promoting healthy soils and reducing their water and energy consumption.
Top tipple: Mine Gavi
Not all heroes wear capes
Practicing organic winemaking means shunning the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides in the vineyard and usually avoiding nasty stuff in the winery too. These wines are usually lower in SO2 too - what's not to love?! Some producers are certified - which is a costly and long process - but these wines needn't cost the Earth.
Top tipple: Bousquet Malbec Reserve
- CARBON FOOTPRINT
Making great wine with a conscience
Having grown up on an iceberg the concept of global warming is rather close to my heart, though I hadn't actually seen a tree until I washed up in Pembrokeshire! The C&T boys tell me they plant a tree for every order they receive to offset the CO2 of their deliveries plus they also seek wines made by producers who keep an eye on their carbon footprint such as using renewable energies and lighter bottles.
Top tipple: Ventisquero Pais/Moscatel
An altogether more natural philosophy
It's a practice which harks back to time honoured traditions of farming at one with the rhythm of nature and lunar cycles. It promotes biodiversity, zero tolerence of chemicals and generally respecting the vines, the soils and mother nature.
Top tipple: Ancre Hill Sparkling Rosé
- LOW INTERVENTION
Minimal messing about, maximum taste
These passionate winemakers let the juice do the talking, using a hands off approach to craft wines which taste authenic and distinctive. Local grape varieties, wild yeasts and as little maniplulation in the winery makes for wines which taste anything but run-of-the-mill.
Top tipple: Billo Priorat
Tasty critters with dangly bits
They don't actually have anything to do with this article I just really love them. Ideally with a chilled Picpoul de Pinet.
Top tipple: Picpoul de Pinet
- NATURAL WINE
It's all natural baby
Natural wine is about keeping it simple. Letting the essence of the Terrior shine through. There is no universal definition of natural wine, but it usually relies on hands-off and traditional methods that deliver wilder styles and untamed juice.
Top tipple: Samurai Shiraz
- AUTHENTIC WINE
A sense of 'somewhere-ness'
Clever wine writer Matt Kramer summed it up when he said, "great wines taste like they come from somewhere, lesser wines ... could come from anywhere" and that can be seen in many Chilled & Tannin bottles where the juice has a specific taste thanks to local, indigenous grape varieties, traditional methods or attributes which come from the 'terroir' and climate.
Top tipple: AN/2
- VEGAN & VEGETARIAN
Searching for some clarity
"Why wouldn't my wine be meat free?" I hear some of you yell. Well it all comes down to the way winemakers seek to filter and fine the wine before bottling. Traditionally it's been common to use egg whites or fish bladders to swiftly clarify wine but many lower intervention producers now opt for more ethical methods, letting gravity do it's work or indeed not filtering at all. I prefer my wine vegan and my fish bladders on the side with a squeeze of lemon 😋
Top tipple: Dot Apple Grüner Veltliner
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