By ERIC ASIMOV — From ‘The Pour’ in The New York Times — May 30, 2013
In London, RAW brought together producers of ‘natural’ wines with others in the trade and the public. The producers who took part in the artisan wine fair were required to list additives and processing techniques used.
If only the grapes were the whole story!
Wine has been described as the perfect beverage because the grapes contain all the ingredients necessary to create their transformation. Put grapes in a vat, and over time the yeasts coating the skins set alchemy in motion, converting the sugar in the juice into alcohol. It was just this sort of unbidden fermentation that inspired humans so long ago to spend the next few millenniums improving their methods of winemaking.
A few wines are still made in this way, or at least in approximation, with no other ingredients except the possible addition of sulfur dioxide, which has been used for eons as a stabilizer and preservative. Yet it’s no secret that many wines (most, in fact) include a lot more than grapes, yeast and sulfur. The list in some cases can be staggering. (suite…)