Naked Wine

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Alice Feiring, wine journalist and author of Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally, discusses her new book and advocates for natural wine made without government-approved additives.


Alice Feiring

Comments [18]

Nancy from Park Slope, Brooklyn

I discovered natural wines 2 years ago at the Brooklyn 5th avenue wine shop called Picada y Vino. over teh 15 years previous, I found there were fewer and fewer wines I could drink. Even after 2 sips, I would get a raging migraine. So I stopped drinking. The only time I didn't get headaches was when i drank local wines in Italy. Then the woman who runs picada y Vino explained that I might be allergic to one or more of the many additives and preservatives in wine (Sulfites not being the culprit, as has been scientifically proven). The wines she continues to sell me never give me headaches, AND, more importantly, actually explode with bouquet and flavor. Commercially produced wines all have a similar taste to me- red or white- and i've come to discover that the overwhelming taste I experience must be the additive that bothers me and gives me headaches. Nowadays, I can take one taste of a wine and know if it has the additive, because for me, either I taste the varieties in the "terroir" or I taste the additive. Just as the guest said- NO CONTEST. Natural wines brought the magic of wine to me, because i could finally TASTE the wine, not the chemicals.

Sep. 08 2011 08:32 AM
Roger Bohmrich

As a wine professional, I am uncomfortable with several aspects of the information presented during this particular show. First, "natural" lacks precision as a term (as savvy foodies have discovered) and many possible wine styles may be called natural by producers or importers.The "natural" wine movement may be better described as a fascination with tiny artisanal wineries in the spirt of "small is beautiful." Second, the assertion that sulfites cause wine headaches has been invalidated by scientific research. The true causes are complicated and not fully understood, but the role of alcohol itself (ie, drinking too much) is commonly overlooked by wine drinkers. In addition, a minute percentage of the public is in fact truly allergic to sulfites, yet sulfites are widely blamed for all sorts of negative effects. Feel free to do your own careful research to confirm these points. Cheers.

Sep. 07 2011 03:20 PM

Jim can bag on natural wines all he wants but wine has been made for thousands of years naturally. Sure i like store bought additive added wines as they taste very much like a Product that is supposed to appeal to the consumer. I doubt that natural wines, made with your own hands, could compete in that market. For me natural wines are soulful and hearty. They are imperfect like us all. I'll bet natural wines are more healthy though

Sep. 07 2011 02:02 PM

If there is any truth to homemade wine "getting you more drunk" it is likely due to poor fermentation conditions leading to alcohols other than ethanol (e.g. methanol). The romance of all-natural is alluring, but careless fermentation can be quite dangerous to your health.

Sep. 07 2011 12:03 PM
Steve from Montclair, NJ

How Biodynamic Wine, such as:

Montinore Estate Winery

Sep. 07 2011 12:02 PM
The Truth from Becky

I think my question may have been answered, didn't know sulfur was in wine, I am allergic to sulfur and wine makes my stomach hurt so I don't drink it. Same sulfur as in sulfur drugs?

Sep. 07 2011 11:57 AM

illfg is spot on. I went to high school and had a lot of friends in the Bronx. You had to be real careful about drinking too much of Mr. Malvici's homemade chianti -- whoa.

Sep. 07 2011 11:57 AM
Juan Torres from Lake Hopatcong NJ

I make wine with grapes from the store. It tastes like cooking wine. The alcohol level changes (I guess base on how sweet the fruit are). I recently mixed with berries and I got a better color and stronger taste. By accident I got something similar to commercial wine but long time ago (don’t know how, possibly sugar that I added or the yeast )

Sep. 07 2011 11:57 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

Has the author gotten any feedback from premier wine-makers, specifically from Italian wine-makers? Do they agree with her assertations, or are they firmly against "natural" wines?

Sep. 07 2011 11:56 AM
gary from nyc

Natural wines because they are "vegan"..
no filtering thru fish guts..

Sep. 07 2011 11:54 AM
Mary from nyc

Where's a good place to purchase natural wines?

Sep. 07 2011 11:54 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

When did they start adding more things to wine? I've read that the wine the ancient Romans drank would have tasted very watered down to us. What is the history of the methods to making wine?

Sep. 07 2011 11:54 AM
Fishmael from NYC

Question - does this "all natural" approach have an historical pedigree, and if so, up to what era where these techniques used?

Sep. 07 2011 11:53 AM

From 09/11 to organic wine. Talk about pouring bad wine after good.

Sep. 07 2011 11:53 AM

"Natural" wines through sub-optimal fermentations with weak yeast nutrition, and then quickly oxidize in the bottle. In my experience, they generally taste bad. But, to each their own.

Sep. 07 2011 11:53 AM
Fishmael from NYC

Question - does this "all natural" approach have an historical pedigree, and if so, up to what era where these techniques used?

Sep. 07 2011 11:52 AM

i make wine with my old school italian father... grapes.. thats it... people always comment how different it tastes and yest it will get you more drunk.

Sep. 07 2011 11:51 AM
tom from astoria

Can I tell a better bottle of wine by reading the label. Which are less likely to trigger asthma?

Sep. 07 2011 11:48 AM

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