My Google alerts results for the term 'natural wine' have really grown in the past few weeks. There are dozens of current articles, blog posts and endless Twitter chatter about natural wine.
And of course there is the inimitable Alice Feiring, whose books and blog posts have led so many wine lovers down the natural wine path.
Some of these writings are informative (mostly the blog posts and articles) and a few are simply antagonistic rhetoric (often found on Twitter). Natural wine appears to have broken out of it's little niche and joined a corner of the mainstream wine world's attention. And I think this is a good thing. Not simply to champion the natural wines themselves, but to lead all of us into a constructive discussion of how wines are actually made.
There is even a reactionary element within the natural wine world itself, with some vehemently proclaiming that bad wine hides behind the natural wine umbrella. Of course, this is true, because there is plenty of bad wine to go around, natural or not. They shout out about brett or volatile acidity, both of which can be present in both processed or natural wines. Some people really like brett, me not so much, but I will not question another's personal tastes. Why should I?
Much like Alice Feiring wrote recently, I drink what I like. Most of the wines I reach for at dinner are rather natural. But do I also enjoy wines made with cultured yeasts or from grapes that were not organically farmed? Of course. I am not dogmatic and there are no rules to this wine game.
Wine, whether natural or not, is made for enjoyment. If you want cookie cutter wine with lots of new oak, go for it, put a smile on your own face. Of course, many wine lovers probably fall somewhere in between and often drink both processed and natural wines. There a few people I have noticed who get rather heated at the mere mention of natural wine. To me, natural wine is like gay marriage, if you don't like it, no one is forcing you get one for yourself!