Food & Drink

You can be cheap and still drink good organic wine

2016 Natura Rosé and Chardonnay are made from organically grown grapes in Chile.
2016 Natura Rosé and Chardonnay are made from organically grown grapes in Chile.

So I have a beverage confession to make: I am that person who always buys organic milk. Organic half and half. Organic cold-pressed no-sugar-added, yes-there’s-kale-in-there-but-I-swear-you-can’t-taste-it juice.

But I never buy organic wine. Why? Do I not care enough about the environment? Am I easily distracted by wine labels with dogs on them? Am I addicted to pesticides? Are organic wines too expensive? The University of Florida recently reported that consumers are willing to pay more for most organic products but not wine. Which suggests wine lovers don’t believe organic wine is worth the price — and that maybe I’m cheap as hell.

Answers remain unclear. So to rectify this oversight, we turned to Banfi Wines’ Natura line of affordable wines produced at Chile’s Emiliana Vineyard, which is certified organic.

If you take Natura’s word for it — and I do, because why would a company exaggerate the virtues of its product? — the vineyard is an idyllic swath of land full of birds, bees and other wildlife that lay waste to insects intent on destroying tender vines. Grapes are handpicked, no chemicals are used and compost is made from spent grape skins and leaves.

OK. We’re on the sustainable wine bandwagon. We’ll try it.


The Easter bunny brought organic Natura unoaked #chardonnay today. #wine #winelover

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Natura 2016 Chardonnay: Made from 100 percent organically grown grapes in the Casablanca Valley, this Chardonnay is unoaked, which means no butter, which normally would make us sad because we are barbarians who like that sort of thing. But the citrus tang is pretty interesting, and the lime is more demure than it might be in a Sauvignon Blanc. This is a light but pleasant wine that grows on you. After the first sip, you think: Do I like this? After the third, you think: I like this.

Natura 2016 Rosé: A dry blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this rosé is born in the Rapel Valley and turns out to be the best of both worlds: fruity but not sweet. Breathe in, and the fragrance of cherry clobbers you — and then backs off. Natura calls it “easy to drink,” and judging from the rate the wine vanished from the bottle, I would concur.

How much: The average price for either bottle is from $8-$12.

Where to buy it: Total Wine, Pantry Liquors in Miami, Publix (where it was on sale as a Buy One Get One offering recently, and you know how we feel about BOGOS).