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Canberra
Thursday, November 26, 2020

Healthy wine: it’s a thing!

This silly season, you can lessen the impact of indulging by selecting wines that are gentler on your body.

Judging by the popularity of our local farmers markets, it’s clear that Canberrans have a love of sourcing fresh local and organic produce. When it comes to meat, we’ve adopted the mantra that pasture-raised and grass-fed is best. Looking to take the conscious sourcing of healthier food one step further? Then take a look at the wine you’re buying.

Non-organic wines come from grapes that have been sprayed with pesticides and contain other chemicals which don’t need to be listed on the wine’s label that are used to control fermentation and tannin levels.

Organic vineyards, by contrast, have to use ingenious natural ways to keep weeds at bay, like having sheep graze between the vine rows, and growing cover crops which make a habitat for beneficial insects that are a natural enemy for problem species. In this way, an organic vineyard creates a more biodiverse and balanced ecology that eliminates the need for potentially toxic chemicals.

Another benefit of organic wines is that they are required to have half the legal limit of sulphur dioxide, a common preservative in wine that is used to curb yeasts and bacteria. The maximum allowable sulphur dioxide (preservative 220) is 300 parts per million (ppm), while for certified organic wine it is 150 ppm.

To put it into context, however, dried fruits can have anywhere from 500 to 3,000 ppm so if you can eat dried fruits without suffering but wake up feeling terrible after moderate red wine drinking then it’s possible you are sensitive to the histamines in wine, which are a natural byproduct of the fermenting process.

So, whether you want to be gentler on your body or kinder to the planet or you just love sourcing the best quality produce, then ask your wine merchant or waiter to point you to the organic section.

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