The UK organic market is growing faster than ever before, with 2020 seeing its strongest growth in 15 years. Here, the Good Housekeeping Institute offers you 15 of the best…
Best organic wine 2021
What is the difference between organic wine and normal wine?
Certified organic wines simply mean that the grapes used to create them were grown without the use of unnecessary chemicals, such as pesticides.
Instead, a more holistic approach is taken, using nature’s tools to tackle common problems, such as allowing cows or sheep to graze on weeds. As such, it’s a much greener choice, and the wines arguably taste better because they’re not masked by a cloud of chemicals.
Is organic wine really better for you?
While often touted as a hangover-free wine, it’s sadly a bit misleading. However, many people claim that the lack of chemicals in these wines makes your head clearer the next day.
If you tend to go for the organic option when purchasing your fruits and vegetables, it makes sense to apply the same principles to the wine aisle.
How we test organic wine
The Good Housekeeping Institute tasting panel sampled 25 bottles of certified organic red and white wines, in a wide range of prices. From light, easy-drinking whites to robust and friendly reds, the team were looking for premium, well-balanced styles to suit a number of cuisines.
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Best organic red wine
Côtes du Rhône Rouge ‘Parallèle 45’ 2018 Paul Jaboulet Aîné, France
A combination of certified organic Grenache and Syrah grapes, our winning red wine was also our highest rated organic choice overall. Rich, spicy red fruits dominate, but supple tannins make this a very accessible and exceptionally smooth wine. Our panel felt that this would be best suited for light meat dishes, such as lamb with gooseberry glaze.
Best organic white wine
Selfridges Selection Project Earth Organic Vegan White Wine
This fruity Spanish white wine is part of the Selfridges Project Earth initiative, which aims to highlight its most sustainable products. Made with Grenache Blanc (or white garnatxa as it is called in Catalonia), it has a fairly high ABV, typical of this variety, and complex notes of honeysuckle, ripe peach and baked apples. Try it with oily fish like tuna or creamy baked goat cheese.
Second organic red wine
L’Hédoniste Ecology Grenache Organic Wine
If you’re willing to spend a bit more, this spicy Australian Grenache is a great choice for dinner. Pair it with intensely flavored meats like duck or smoked cold cuts to allow tougher, earthier flavors to kick in.
Best organic red wine in the supermarket
Purato Siccari Appassimento
In Sicily you will often find Syrah mixed with Nero d’Avola, a sun loving red grape that, when allowed to dry naturally like here, develops a delicious, concentrated flavor. With sweet wild strawberries on the nose and rich raisins and cherries on the palate, our testers loved the satisfying long finish. In addition to being certified organic, this carbon neutral cellar is also vegan.
Best organic red wine from Portugal
Quinta da Pedra Escrita Tinto
Although the Douro Valley is best known for its port, it is also home to intense and fresh reds like this, made with a blend of indigenous grape varieties. Dominated by black fruit and sprinkled with flavorful black pepper, testers appreciated the complexity here, suggesting it will pair well with a hearty stew.
Fairtrade Irresistible Malbec Cooperative
Our best budget not only buys organic produce, but it also has Fairtrade credentials. It’s a classic, bold Argentinian malbec – think plump black fruit flavors and a spicy finish – but with firm tannins and a well-rounded flavorful tip, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was much more expensive. One tester described it as “dangerously drinkable,” and we should agree.
Second organic white wine / best organic chardonnay
Emiliana O Chardonnay Organic
In case you have any doubts, the ‘O’ stands for organic – not that you need an excuse for another glass of this impressive Chilean chardonnay. The sweeter tropical notes are balanced by the acidity of the grapefruit, leading to a long creamy finish that impressed our panel.
Best organic cabernet sauvignon
Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon
Based in California, Bonterra was making organic wine long before it became fashionable. In true cab sav style, expect a deep ruby color, rich cassis and cherry, and a subtle hint of licorice. With strong tannins, we would pair with a juicy steak – a fatter cut like sirloin or sirloin, served medium rare would be ideal.
Best organic wine for the barbecue
Selfridges Selection Project Earth Organic Vegan Red Wine
Selfridges own-brand organic red also performed well with our testers. Deliciously aromatic, this Grenache (or Grenache as it is called in Spain) is bursting with classic red fruits and a spicy, silky finish. It’s a perfect barbecue red, whether you stick to veggie burgers or meat kebabs.
Best organic wine at checkout
Bel Campo Bio Fiano (case of six)
If you’re happy to pick up this Italian white at checkout, it costs just £ 8.50 a bottle – a real steal. Fiano is a brilliant grape, expressing a subtle nutty flavor, steel freshness and a combination of stone fruit, citrus and honey on the palate. Our panel described it as an “easy to drink wine that would appeal to an audience”
Best organic wine from Provence
The Rouge La Coste
Practicing both organic and biodynamic principles, this full-bodied red is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cabernet grape varieties. It has a touch of “barnyard” on the nose (which is often seen with more natural wines), with ripe red fruits, fresh acidity and melted tannins.
Best organic pecorino
Pilastri Pecorino Salad
Another fantastic Italian grape that you may not have encountered yet is pecorino (no, not cheese). It has a really interesting flavorful touch, fantastic minerality and something slightly grassy. Our testers thought it would be perfect with roast pork, chicken or even seafood.
Best with the game
Jean Bousquet Malbec
You can get this Argentinian malbec at Planet Organic, along with the rest of your organic store. It has been matured for six months in oak barrels, so you can expect a touch of vanilla and spice, alongside the large jammy black fruits you would expect to find. Try it with game in season or a bowl of simmered spagh midweek.
Best Organic Pinot Noir
Organic Pinot Noir Reserve Tindall
Ok so it’s not the cheapest, but for an extra special pinot noir look no further. Super smooth and easy to drink, it displays well-integrated notes of oak and earthy mushroom, as well as light raspberries and cherries.
You can find more expertly rated Pinot Noir here.
Best low budget organic white wine
Pinot Grigio Organic Aldi Castellore
Proving that you don’t have to shell out for a drop of organic wine, Aldi is leading the way with its pesticide-free pinot grigio. Testers noted a slight minerality and a nutty almond aspect, and while not overly complex, it is definitely delicious served chilled in the sun.
These have also passed …
Ver Sacrum Geisha Dragon del Desierto, £ 19.95, 76/100
Maenad’s Palace, £ 10.49, 74/100
SO Sainsbury’s Organic Malbec, £ 7.50, 73/100
Morrisons Organic Pinot Grigio, £ 5.50, 73/100
Veramonte Chardonnay Casablanca, £ 8.99, 70/100
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