I’ve been a huge proponent of organic food for many years and believe in the health benefits of eating organically. Since I was trying to eliminate chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides in my diet, I finally had to ask myself why I wasn’t seeking out more organic wine?
Check out the great article entitled The Natural Wine Evangelist in the February, 2, 2015 edition of Food & Wine.
I learned that Spain leads the way with 200,000 acres of organically farmed vineyards, followed by France with 161,000 acres, and Italy with 141,000 acres. Since the US only has about 38,000 acres, I realized I was not paying enough attention to the countries that were producing the most organic wine.
French-born Sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier is a proponent of “natural” or “biodynamic” winemaking which uses native yeasts and no chemical intervention or additives in the winemaking process. She shared a number of great recommendations for her favorite organic wines and “natural wines” – but all of them were well over my price point for a “daily” wine.
So, I went in search of organic red wines that are within my budget.
Here are the organic red wines we sampled and liked well enough to recommend:
- Bonterra – Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – 72% Mendocino County, 24% Lake County, 4% Napa County
- Spartico 2013– Tempranillo – Valencia, Spain
- Caso Rojo Nature 2013 – Tempranillo– Spain
- Natura Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – Chile
- Pacific Redwood – Merlot 2013 – Redwood Valley, California
Those were our top picks from about $8-12 per bottle basically in order of preference. We tried a few others like Our Daily Red and Our Daily Cab and would suggest that you avoid them – even if they are on sale.
Keep in mind that you have to be creative when you hunt for wine bargains. I love Harris Teeter’s periodic 20% off case wine sales (next one coming up May 14-17), and I’m not afraid to use coupons. I recently found $4 off coupons on two bottles of Bonterra, so that was how I got that drinkable gem down to my $12 price limit. My other favorite place to shop is Total Wine, which has a vast selection and excellent prices. And let’s not forget, Wines Til Sold Out, my preferred online wine service. Instead of committing to a wine club where I get periodic cases of wine (some of which I don’t want), Wines Til Sold Out (or WTSO) has the unique concept of offering only one wine at a time . . . until it’s sold out. I’ll get many emails every day from them, and with free shipping on a four bottle order, it’s easy for me to just choose the organic wines that interest me (and are in my price range) and delete the rest of WTSO’s email offerings that day.
Who wouldn’t love to have a bigger wine budget? Since I don’t have that luxury, I’ve shared the five best organic reds I was able to find until $12 per bottle. I’m sure there are others out there that I haven’t found. If you know of any I should try, please send me your recommendations!