So exactly what is biodynamic wine?
If you haven't heard much about biodynamic wines, that's because they're still very much on the up, especially here in London. It's a Mediterranean trend that is making its way across the English Channel.
Biodynamics is a ‘spiritual-ethical-ecological' approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition developed by Dr Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. If that all sounds a bit hippy I'll break it down for you: the biodynamic approach encourages local production, traditional methods and natural additives and rejects any chemicals or ‘mass-production'.
Translated into wine production, this means that no chemical fertilizers are used when growing the grapes; instead, a combination of biodynamic preparations is sprinkled across the field. Think cow manure or herbal flowers buried in cow horns and stag's bladders for a number of months (not joking). Sowing, picking and bottling are all also carried out according to the moon's calendar (still not joking).
So, what's all the fuss about?
Biodyamics have caused a bit of a stir in the wine world; a comparison could be made with the controversy caused by homeopathy in the medical world.
Advocates strongly believe that biodynamic methods produce wine of a far better quality than its mass-produced counterparts, whilst using sustainable and ecological methods that work with, and not against, the land.
A blind tasting of ten pairs of biodynamic vs. conventional wines by Fortune Magazine showed that nine of the biodynamic wines were considered superior to their equivalents.
Cynics point out that there is no scientific proof that the biodynamic philosophy produces a better wine. Many believe it is nothing more than marketing hype to up the prices and that the quality of the wine is down to the organic and sustainable methods used, and not the ‘hocus-pocus' preparations and calendars.
Regardless of the debate, all agree that the quality of wines labelled ‘biodynamic' is outstanding. You may have to pay more for your bottle, but you're (almost) guaranteed to avoid a headache the next morning!
Decide for yourself
If you want to learn a bit more, head down to Eco restaurant in Clapham on the 9th September 2013 (6.30 - 8.30, tickets £20). The south London pizzeria will be hosting a biodynamic wine tasting, led by biodynamic wine expert Dario Poddana, at which you'll be given the opportunity to taste a variety of biodynamic Italian wines, ranging from prosecco, to a tangy and fruity amber wine from the hills of Piacenza, to a heavy bodied, hard-hitting ‘Primitivo' red. All the wines will be paired with delicious and, sometimes, surprising combinations of food from Eco's menu of pizzas and risottos. You'll come away with (a) a full belly, (b) that satisfying fuzziness you get after a few glasses of wine, and (c) at the very least, more knowledge on the fascinating world of biodynamic wine.
Top 5 Restaurants For Biodynamic Wine In London:
- Eco restaurant in Clapham
- Hibiscus restaurant in Mayfair
- Galvin Café in Spitalfields
- Raw Duck restaurant in Hackney
- Terroirs wine bar and restaurant in the West End
Are you a believer in biodynamic wines? Or does the idea just not sit well with you? Or have you tried a great biodynamic wine in London and would simply like to share your experience. Leave your Facebook comments below.
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