What is it with this craze for natural wine?
Let's just get a few things straight...
- A wine is not good because it's natural. Equally, a natural wine is not always going to be good.
- It's a question of taste. Stick to your guns. Don't let yourself get swept up in the cloud of current opinion which dictates that Marcel Lapierre's grape juice is the ambrosia to the gods.
- "Oh, it's natural" should never be used as an excuse for a wine which is flawed. It may stink like a farmyard when you take your first sniff, but that's not a flaw as such... you just need to understand the who, how and why of the wine.
- If you've been drinking Bordeaux or "oaky Chardonnay" all your life, chances are you're not going to understand the wine that ends up in the bottle of a winemaker who's been disregarding all the rules that your favourite producers rigourously cherish. You need someone who can take the time to explain natural wine to you, otherwise you risk being disappointed.
However, once you have been 'initiated' as such, it opens up a whole new range of possibilities. When a natural wine is excellent, it is stonkingly so. There are a handful of wines, of which I would put Movia's Lunar 2008, Stefano Bellotti's Filagnotti 2007 and Chveni Gvino Saperavi 2010 up there, where you get a tangible feeling of the energy in the bottle. That sounds pretty naff written on a page on a blog that you only stumbled upon because you googled something completely unrelated. Energy in a bottle... wasn't that what Sting was singing about back in the 80s? No, trust me, if we're ever out drinking, I'd explain what I mean and I'd like to think that I'd be able to make you see that too.
Just one visit to Burnt Cream HQ is enough to see that Emma keeps a pretty well-stocked bar. However, to the desperation of her housemate, it's not just limited to the bar. There are bottles on the bookshelf, in the corridor, on the hall table, there are two cases in her bedroom, plus countless others laying down in the cellar.
Please check out my dedicated wine blog "Got Legs" (link below) for more pieces on wine.