When it comes to selecting a bottle of wine, you may have noticed that the options have grown in recent years to include both traditional and a list of natural wines. But what is the difference between these two types of wines? In this blog post, we’ll explore the characteristics that set natural wine online and traditional wines apart, including their production processes, taste profiles, and health benefits.

The grapes

The grapes used to make natural wine are grown using organic and biodynamic practices. This means that all the chemicals and pesticides used on the vines and in the vineyard are kept to a minimum. Additionally, the grapes used for natural wine must be harvested by hand. This ensures that only ripe, healthy grapes are used, resulting in a superior quality of wine.

On the other hand, traditional wines are typically made from grapes grown with conventional farming methods. This means that chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used more liberally on the vines and in the vineyard. Furthermore, harvesting can be done by machine, which can lead to over-ripe or under-ripe grapes being used in the final product.

The difference in the grapes used in natural wine vs. traditional wine can have a significant impact on the taste and quality of the final product. Natural wine often has a more complex flavour profile with greater depth, due to the organic practices used in growing and harvesting the grapes.

The fermentation process

When it comes to wine production, the fermentation process is an important step in the process of transforming grapes into alcohol. Traditional wine production typically involves adding a specific strain of yeast to the grapes, which ferments the sugars in the grape juice and transforms them into alcohol. This process can also involve adding other ingredients to alter the flavour or colour of the wine.

Natural wine production, on the other hand, relies on natural yeasts that are naturally present in the grape skins and stems to start the fermentation process. This process can take much longer than traditional fermentation as it depends on the natural yeasts and bacteria to do their job. It is also much more unpredictable, as the exact taste of the final product can vary depending on the environment and the different types of yeast used. Natural winemakers often use techniques such as wild fermentation and amphora aging to enhance flavour and complexity.

The additives

When it comes to additives, traditional wines tend to use more of them than natural wines. Additives in wine can include everything from colorants and fining agents (such as egg whites, gelatine, and bentonite clay) to preservatives like sulphur dioxide. The goal of using these additives is to alter the flavour, texture, or clarity of the wine.

In contrast, natural wines are made without any additional additives. This means that the winemaker is relying on the grapes themselves and the fermentation process to create the desired flavours and textures. Natural wines often have a more “rustic” taste due to their lack of additives. They also don’t contain as much tannin (the compound that makes red wine dry and bitter) or acidity as traditional wines.

Although natural wines don’t contain as many added chemicals, some winemakers do use a small amount of sulphur dioxide during fermentation to inhibit bacterial growth. The amount used is usually very small (less than 150 parts per million). However, if you’re looking for an additive-free wine, look for one that is labelled “no sulphites added.”

The sulphites

Sulphites are naturally occurring chemicals found in both natural and traditional wines. They’re added to the wine during the fermentation process as a preservative, helping to preserve the flavour and aroma. The difference between natural and traditional wines lies in the number of sulphites that are added. Natural wines typically contain much lower levels of sulphites than traditional wines, due to the lack of intervention during the winemaking process.

For some people, sulphites can cause adverse reactions, such as headaches and skin irritation. People with allergies or sensitivities may find natural wines to be more suitable for consumption due to their lower sulphite content.

For those looking for a more natural way to enjoy wine, natural wines are worth considering. They offer an authentic and pure wine-drinking experience that is free from artificial additives and processes. Whether you’re looking for a sulphite-free wine or just an overall more natural option, natural wines have something to offer everyone.

The taste

When it comes to the taste of natural wines versus traditional wines, there are some distinct differences. Natural wines tend to have a purer, fruit-forward flavour as they are less processed. They also tend to be more balanced and complex in their flavour profiles. Traditional wines, on the other hand, often have a more intense, tannic flavour that comes from the use of oak and added tannins during the aging process. They may also have more pronounced aromas due to the use of additives and sulphites. The flavours of both types of wine can range from light and fruity to bold and robust. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference which type of wine you prefer.