Well, Dear Readers, I am happy to report that the selection of affordable and palatable organic wines seems to be on the rise, and the whole organic section at my local full-service BC Liquor Store (8th/Cambie in Vancouver) appears to have grown. (Note to international readers… our Canadian Province has some very interesting and archaic liquor control and marketing issues, a whole different subject) The bad news is, the whole section looked quite lackluster and was woefully short on organization and information. Myself and a few fellow shoppers were left to our own devices, randomly squinting at labels for details on origin, varietal and certification.
And so, for your December quaffing pleasure, we assembled a panel of testers to give you a review of three contenders under $14, with a few marketing asides thrown in for good measure.
Ciao – Organic Sangiovese, Italy
Soft on the palette, smooth and actually moderately complex for a dry and fruity Italian. (No, I’m not referring to one of our testers) This wine is not only organic, but also comes in a shipping-carbon-friendly lightweight tetra-pak. Ugly, but efficient. (Bonus points –this is a full litre of wine for $13.99, vs the 750ml size of the other wines in this test. A fact that did not go unnoticed by our panel) Unfortunately, the hideousness of the CIAO! package design may leave you looking like you brought a carton of bathroom tile wax to the party. Decant fast.
Terra Sana Organic Sauvignon Blanc, J.F. Lurton, France
One tester reported that this wine tasted a bit ‘soapy’, but palatable. I found it lively and bright, but not highly complex. A decent white for warming up the party or sharing on a hot day. Certified organic by ProCert. $13.99
Soleus – 2007 Organic Cabernet Sauvignon by Montgras, Chile
Made from organically-grown grapes, certified by IMO Switzerland. This was a testers favourite, with a rich colour,and woody, dark overtones of chocolate and blackberry. Not a bad adjective count for 12.99. The Montgras website offers a wealth of more interesting stories relative to this wine. Shame they didn’t put more of them on the bottle.
If you have a point of view on these wines or any organic alcoholic beverages you think we should test, please let us know. Drop us a comment, below.
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