Carcinogens in your wine? It’s possible. When grapes are chemically sprayed, the residues end up in the wine, and the Eco Snob in me says that any true wine connoisseur has got to go organic. I won’t be having Cyprodinil in my Syrah, thanks. Besides, biodynamic is just the way to go. Wine is already a luxury, so you might as well go greener – without shelling out more green.
20 incredibly tasty organic wines under $20:
X Winery Nova Organic Zinfandel is spicy, fruity and fun. The 2006 is just a hair over $20, so it’s well-worth it.
For our U.K. readers, you’ll find plenty of organic selections for under 12 Euros. Check out Germany’s Organic Wine Pure for some complex, crisp whites.
EcoWine offers their 3 organic, artisanal French wines for $49.99 with free shipping. Buy a few.
Almost all of Frey Vineyard’s organic and biodynamic selections are under $20. Now, Frey does not usually rock your socks, but it’s still good drinking. (Or wait, is it that drinking is just good…)
Spain’s Tarantas Classic Red is a balanced Spanish table wine under $20. 70% Tempranillo/30% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Casa de Mouraz 05 Branco runs about $15. Portugal. This energetic white is a blend of malvasia fina, bical, and cerceal; authentic non-interventionist style, which is nice if you’ve had your tongue coated in too much Napa.
Stop turning up your nose up at rose: try Jeriko Estate’s 2006 Rose. Syrah and Grenache blend. High alcohol content (14.4%) and a good stoniness (many roses taste like watered down juice – not this).
Zin lover? Count me in this club. 2005 Preston of Dry Creek Old Vines/Old Clones Zinfandel will run you over 25 at many retailers, but look to wine clubs and your local merchant for a better deal – as low as $19.
For those who like it a little sweet, a good-for-summer blend of Grenache Blanc and Clairette for just $12.99 is the 2006 Ferraton PÃƒ¨re & Fils CÃƒ´tes du RhÃƒ´ne SamorÃƒ«ns.
Tempt your tastebuds with a satisfying table red at just $11.43 with the Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2005. Goes great with pasta but I’d avoid the spicy dishes unless you’re doing a more robust red.
We’re Sangiovese fans, and this is a particularly plush organic value: Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2006 for just $10.29.
A slightly more robust red for $18.29 is the Di Majo Norante Norante Contado Molise Aglianico 2004.
If you’re not quite ready for Pinot Gris, Napa’s Luna Pinot Grigio (with 5% Chard) is a great deal at $18.99. Light, clean, tasty.
I’m a Northwest girl and I love Pinot Gris, so I think you should try the very interesting Cooper Mountain 2006 for just $15.75. You could also try the yummy Willamette Valley King Estate Vin Glace Pinot Gris (half-bottle) 2006 for $19.99.
Cline is a reliable Sonoma choice, and this Cline Ancient Vines Carignane 2006 is only $15.99. Cline has a number of delicious reds under $20, so check them out – especially great if you’re into rich, fruity reds. For whites, I’m not a big Viogner fan but it’s a good value and doesn’t taste too "worked".
And now for a Muscadet that will surprise you: the
2006 Domaine de la PépiÃƒ¨re "Vieilles Vignes" Clos des Briords Muscadet SÃƒ¨vre et Maine Sur Lie is quite minerally, more like a bold Sauv, than the traditionally fruity Malbecs. $13.99.
A wine list wouldn’t be complete without a good sparkling wine. Organic Champagne (what else?) has plenty of options under $20, b
in mind Prosecco is generally going to be your best bet in this price range. Or opt for a California Chardonnay sparkler like the 2006 Vida Organica.
Chile is known for good value, a
nd Malbec fans will enjoy the well-built and highly drinkable 2006
De Martino Organic Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec blend. $15.
If you like it a little rough and earthy, the Vinos Pinol Sacra Natura Terra Alta red is a Spanish must-try. $18.99.
- with additional research and writing by Sarah Irani