The term ‘organic’ has always been a contentious one, inciting opinions that range from, “it’s just green marketing nonsense” to “#eatclean #wholefoods #organiclivingismylife”. There is also the muddy middle where most of us remain, not fully concerned with how much pesticides are pumped into our produce as long as it tastes good. It is a relatively comfortable position to be in, but in an age of hyperawareness, it is becoming tougher to ignore the fact that the organic umbrella does you good, whether you subscribe to it or not. If not for what you eat, then perhaps for what you drink.
Biodynamic and organic wines have been on the rise in Australia and the US, providing an alternative market that intends to complement the thriving economy for its non-organic counterpart. With this class of wines, it’s really not about obliterating the fact that drinking isn’t the best for your body.
One prominent sales pitch for such wines is the lack of a hangover because it is chemical-free. Right off, that’s untrue. Imbibing large quantities of alcohol will make you feel out of sorts, but you probably won’t feel as bad. With organic wines, it’s more about drinking better.
Organic wines are gaining ground in Singapore, sparking a number of questions from those of us less initiated into the category. There are few people more qualified to answer than Manuela Toniolo, restaurant manager of Cheek By Jowl. Toniolo is one-half of the one Michelin-starred mod-Australian haven, and is responsible for its curated wine list. The governing factor of the list is, naturally, biodynamic and organic wines.
We spoke to Toniolo about the subject and have come up with a cheat sheet for what you need to know about this novel development in winemaking.