This article in Decanter about eliminating or minimizing the need for sulfites really caught my eye.
"The wine, produced by L'Ormarins wine estate in Franschhoek, is treated by a UV (Ultra Violet) light machine that, according to the owners, kills unwanted microbes and yeasts. This, says cellar master Neil Patterson, reduces the need to add sulphites during the winemaking process.
Some wine drinkers blame sulphites for allergic reactions as well as headaches and skin reddening following even the smallest sip of wine."
Reminder for all: sulfites are a naturally occurring by product of the winemaking process and are present in ALL wines to various degrees. The only discussion point is whether an extra big bucket is dumped in before bottling to inhibit microbial growth. Dried fruit and fruit juices are packed with sulfites.
As many of you know, sulfites or the lack thereof have been a sore point for natural wine lovers. Without any added sulfites, wine can be very unstable and have a short shelf life. Some natural wine advocates claim to like that slightly musty, off flavor that comes from microbially infected wine.
I am not one of those people.
I like my sulfite free wine to be young and preferably drunk very close to where it was made.
But this article gave me hope. Of course, it is too soon to tell what the longterm effects of UV treament will be on wine flavors, color, etc.
Here's a delicious natural wine recommendation:
Eric Texier Cotes du Rhone 2005
Red berry flavors with some earthy balance,touch of tobacco with a dry finish
I got this on deal at Domaine 547 for $13 but it is normally a few more dollars.
Made from organic grapes, minimally filtered and handled in the cellar, native yeast fermentation, minimal added sulfites.