When we think of vineyards, we think of rolling hillocks, heavy with grape plants. It’s idyllic, right? Unfortunately, vineyards suffer the same treatment as any other crop – and it involves a lot of pesticides.
Red wine is one of the most healthy substances you can consume (in moderation), so glow inside and out, by going green (not the colour!) with your wine. Sit back and relax with a glass of vino, after a hard day at work, and keep your conscience untroubled. Here’s how:
Look For Organic
There’s a simple way to solve this problem, and that’s to go organic! This means the grapes have been grown without chemical fertilisers/weed killers/insect repellents/fungicides, in the way that nature intended. This wine will have been produced old school, with just sunshine, water, and TLC.
When our food is covered with chemicals, it almost certainly ends up in our system – it certainly ends up in our water sources, anyway. Say no to poisoning yourself and the eco system!
Sounds a bit scary, right? All it means is that the farmers allow the grapes to do their thing, without the intervention of even natural pesticides and weed killers. Instead, they put their faith in the environment and hope for the best.
Generally, this is the healthiest wine you can drink. You can go back to basics with biodynamic wine and sip the kind of bountiful products that would have been produced centuries ago.
Isn’t Wine Vegan?
It’s a common misconception that all wine is vegan. Bit of a head-scratcher, isn’t it? Surely wine is largely made out of grapes?
Although you’d be right in one sense, the filtration process is often a stumbling block for both vegans and vegetarians. To control the tannin content of the wine, winemakers often use egg whites, gelatine, or milk proteins. There would only be a hint amount of this in the bottle (just a trace) but many militant vegans immediately cut wine out of their diet for this reason.
However, it doesn’t mean that all bottles are off limits. Many are even now carrying the vegan symbol, because substances such as kaolin and bentonite are replacing the animal products usually used in the filtration process. There is hope yet!
Keep your eyes peeled at wineries and supermarkets for any bottles with ‘vegan/vegetarian friendly’ on the label. There’s bound to be a handful of bottles that you can drink. Organic wines are usually the best place to start looking, as they are less likely to use animal products in their wineries. Being a vegan or vegetarian trooper shouldn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a glass of red wine in the evenings.
Can You Go Local?
If you’re lucky enough to live near a vineyard, always support them with your business. This means fewer air miles go into shipping the wine and you are financially bolstering winemakers in your area – especially important if they are a small business.