Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking by Jamie Goode and Sam Harrop Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking by Jamie Goode and Sam Harrop
Wine book

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane

Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking by Jamie Goode and Sam Harrop is a brand new book exploring important topics in the realm of natural wine. Chapters are devoted to topics such as Terroir, Grafted Vines, Biodynamics and Organics, Chemical and Physical Manipulation, the Natural Wine Movement, Yeasts, Wild and Cultured, Wine faults, the Carbon Footprint of Wine and Marketing Authentic Wine.
This is not a polemic and it does not set out to convert people to drinking natural wines. Rather as the authors say in introduction:
"this is a practical book, driven by curiosity and a passion for interesting wine. By coining the term authentic wine, we aim to differentiate between wines that are headed in the direction of homogenization, and wines whose origins have their roots in terroir, which are made from appropriately right fruit, free from faults and made sustainably. We believe the future of the global wine industry depends on a push towards more authentic wine.."
We enjoyed the section on the Natural Wine Movement a discussion of which rightly starts off in the vineyards and wine bars of France. The authors summary of what is regarded as a natural wine mirrors our own check points with sulphur being the one area where proponents vary in their approach. But the authors do at least understand that there is such a movement and that the vast majority of participants in the movement are striving to achieve the same ends. The authors rightly point to the pivotal role played by Jules Chauvet in this movement.
The only chapter that jarred on us was their chapter on commercial versus natural yeast. We see commercial yeast stamping indelible flavours totally unassociated with the flavour of the grape or the terroir of the vineyard on the wine that is subjected to this treatment. We will not call a wine made with commercial yeast natural. We understand that in the New World winemakers have come to depend on the consistency and convenience of commercial yeasts. That is fine if that is what they want to do - but don't call the wine natural.
But there is still lots to enjoy in this book and the authors have been relatively even-handed in picking their way through the delicate politics of natural versus industrial winemaking. However we like the fact that they don't talk down to the reader and if a concept is difficult they still present it and provide good explanations to help the reader through.
This is well worth reading to get an understanding of why so many people are moving to natural or authentic wines.
You can click on the link below to order the book.
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