It has been a while since I updated my blog. I went on a road trip with Andrew and my father to Bordeaux (Saint-Emilion more precisely) a couple of weeks ago…and yes, we arrived home with a boot full of wine.
One thing I have found impossible to shake off in my sugar free diet is wine. Luckily I am not a heavy drinker (I hope I am not anyway!) Our house rule is alcohol-free from Monday to Wednesday. We tend to start our weekends on Thursday evenings. Most of you will know there is quite a lot of sugar in wine. Therefore, I decided if I am going to keep this guilty pleasure in my life, I will choose to drink organic wine. I found the average price of a bottle of organic wine in the UK is substantially higher than in France and of course, the average price for a bottle of normal wine is also higher in the UK compared to most wine making countries in Europe!
We visited a few organic vineyards in Saint-Emilion, and I was so surprised that the French are so modest about their organic wine. I read their websites briefly before visiting so I knew they were organic wine producers, but they did not mention it once during our private tours until I specifically asked the question.
To gain the organic wine status in Saint-Emilion, for instance, I was told that wine producers have to stop putting chemicals on the vineyards a few years (I cannot remember the exact length of time) before applying for the organic status. Then, there are a bunch of regulations the vineyards must adhere to in order to label their wine as organic wine.
The EU organic wine-making rules are due to be reviewed this year, but the current rules include 30-50% less added sulphur than conventional winemaking, no use of additives such as sorbic acid and a full traceability process. Additionally, as a general guideline, the regulations also cap the maximum sulphite content in organic wine at 100mg per litre for red wine and 150mg per litre for white/rosé. (You can find our more on the official EU Commission website)