Red, White and Brew: A look at organic alcohols in Organic Harvest Awareness month
Red, White and Brew
Editor’s note: Red, White and Brew columns highlight drinks from local liquor stores.
October is a National Month in tons of categories: there’s Breast Cancer Awareness, Hispanic Heritage, Vegetarian Awareness, Mental Health Awareness and even Popcorn Poppin’ Month. Another is Organic Harvest Month, which means it’s a perfect time to profile organic wines and beer.
What makes something organic? In a few words – no pesticides, insecticides or herbicides are used in the growing process. Specifically with winemaking, the use of artificial additives is also eliminated. Quality has dramatically increased over the past decade in this category.
Frascole is located in Tuscany, Italy, just outside Chianti Classico. They’ve practiced organic agriculture since 1999. Bitornino is a red blend that includes 5% white grapes – an old school blending technique. It really shows how organic production can impact quality: its flavor has an “alive” feel to its sour cherry fruits that mingle with an oily earth tone. Replace your favorite Chianti with Bitornino da Frascole and you may never look back. This Frascole retails for $14.99 a bottle.
Hunky Dory is the second label for Huia Vineyards, which gets its name from a legendary bird native to New Zealand. The vineyard has been certified-organic since 1996. Hunky Dory Sauvignon Blanc is tasty, offering tropical fruit notes and citrus flavors. It has a long finish and is a true expression of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. For $13.99, something like this gives wine drinkers the opportunity to stray from some of the more well-known brands.
Samuel Smith is one brewery that is USDA-certified organic. It is located in England and has a big lineup of organic beers. Many of them are very delicious, but my favorite is the Chocolate Stout, which also just so happens to be perfect for this time of year. (I’m a big fan of dark beers in general.) The water used to brew it is drawn from a well 85 feet underground. It has a smooth and creamy character and the chocolate note from the organic cocoa is just enough to make it exquisite. Bonus: it’s vegan, too. 4-packs go for $11.99.
Val Goranov is the store manager of Alpine Wine & Spirits. Contact the store at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-479-8116.
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