They say that cutting out booze in January doesn’t bring any particular health benefits. It’s simple arithmetic really: one month off, eleven months on… you don’t need a medical degree to work that one out. Rather it’s about long term habits and patterns – drink sensibly all year round and you’ll be doing yourself far more favours. And while we’re on the subject of habits, why not consider what it is that you’re drinking. Now it would be wrong, of course, to say that as long as you drink organic booze, you can drink as much of the stuff as you like. If only. Opinion seems to be divided as to whether or not chemical residues from the pesticides and fungicides sprayed on non-organic vines, make their way into the finished product. A French study reported in Decanter last year, indicated that 90 per cent of the 300 wines tested contained traces of pesticide. Other studies, however, suggest that potentially harmful chemicals have either been metabolised during fermentation or filtered away by the time the wine reaches the bottle (I should really say box, shouldn’t I). But so long as a question mark remains, why not choose organic wine? When 100cl was set up, we pledged to stock nothing but organic varieties as soon as we could, and we are fast approaching our goal. In the past 6 months, every one of our new wines has been certified organic, and in 2014 we aim to bring even more organic producers on board.
The health benefits of organic wine must remain nebulous for the time being; but what of the taste? Who can say definitively that organic wine tastes better than non-organic wine? It is, after all, a question of… well, taste. But when you consider the care with which a producer of organic wines must take over his cultivation, and the difficulties he must overcome to avoid the need to dowse his vines in bug-bashing sprays, it isn’t unreasonable to assume that the end product will be high quality. Before taking on a new producer, we put their wine through a series of rigorous tests. We taste, we store, we re-taste, we decant, we pair with food, we blind-taste, we taste some more and it is only when we are absolutely certain that the quality of the wine passes muster, that we agree to put it in our boxes. And in our experience, which we like to think is extensive (in a good way, rather than a consistently smashed way), it is the organic wines which have proved to be the most reliable. Better nose, better taste, better structure. And if you don’t believe us, come along to one of our tasting sessions this year (email Roberta@100cl.co.uk for details), or order some of our new Rosso Piceno, in stock now. Organically certified, this is a plucky, winter red, the perfect wine with which to spoil your dry January.