There are weeks that sometimes go by, when I wonder if anyone is reading my writings. Then out of the blue, I will get a note on Social Media from one of my friends asking me a question about wine and it makes me smile. I smile because I think that my writing is not totally in vain. I am an amateur when it comes to wine, but I certainly enjoy trying a new wine from expensive to everyday table wines that can even be purchased in convenience stores. I try to mix up the articles, so that they are not all set in restaurants, though that is a great venue for trying wines, and I try to write about wines that people can actually find; and then there are the wines that I am just happy that I once had the chance to try. I know that I meander a bit, because I do not like to lecture about wines, but rather I try to envision myself in a one on one conversation over a table with two glasses and a bottle of wine. That is the conceit of my writing. Getting back to the subject a friend recently wrote to me asking about “organic wines” and even mentioned a certain wine that she saw called Ziobaffa red wine (which I have to admit that I did not know of).
Organic Wines seems to be the new “buzz word” in wines. Years ago the “buzz” was for a certain wine. As I was learning about wines the buzz was at different times Mateus Rose, Lambrusco, Chianti in the wicker bottles, Chardonnay and Super Tuscans. I think that anything that gets people excited and talking, and especially drinking wines is a great thing. Organic Wines is the latest and greatest, and I think that the jury is still out on this concept. First of all, it has a different meaning in different countries and there is no hard and fast set of rules to say a wine is organic. As far as I am concerned, all wines are organic, in that they are derived from a product that is grown and harvested, that is in the big scheme of things. I guess what everyone is concerned about is chemicals, and there are two diverse sets of chemicals that are used in winemaking, now I know that I am making it quite simple, but that is how I look at things. The first set of chemicals seems to be the concern of fertilizers and crop sprays to keep the plants flourishing and bug free. I do have to say that probably everyone, right, wrong or indifferent has trace elements of these chemicals in their internal system from digesting almost all types of food, and to a degree I guess that is a scary thought, but it is here to stay at least for most of a century at least. The other chemicals are the ones that are added, some are found in wines naturally from the winemaking process, but some of these are enhanced by the wineries to maintain a certain consistent taste and harmony, year after year. Some help the wines to age and mature, and if one ever gets a chance to enjoy a stellar wine that has been cellared for decades from a great vintage, you can taste what man has nudged a bit. I have read articles that purport those wines would have short shelf lives and that a lot of what we tend to enjoy from certain types of wine would disappear or the wines would tasted different then what we are used to. I guess with today’s instant satisfaction society, maybe it doesn’t matter, because everyone wants it now, and think of how few restaurants that you have visited in the last decade or two that had “aged” wines, most of the wines offered are from the latest vintage that have been released.
Getting to the wine that my friend inquired about after I researched it, as I have not had the wine, it is made by a film maker Jason Baffa. His wine Ziobaffa Toscana Red IGF 2012 comes under the classification of a “Super Tuscan” wine and is touted as being “Organic” as well. The reason that the wine is and IGF from Tuscany is because it is a blend of Sangiovese, which is the grape of choice for Tuscany, but it also has Syrah, which is not. Mr. Baffa also offers an Organic Pinot Grigio as well, I am sure the wines are good, but it is through the magic of marketing that will make the wine sell even better. Through the course of my writings I have also touched on a couple of Organic wines as well. In the Monterey area Heller Estates has become a licensed Organic Winery and I have been there, and it was not too long ago that I wrote about their Organic Heller Estate Malbec 2011, but it is in the cellar for the moment collecting a patina of dust. I have also mentioned Bodegas Bagordi Navardia Rioja 2012, a Spanish Organic wine, and I mentioned that it was the lightest Rioja wine that I had ever tried, and looking at my above notes, I guess that could become the norm.