Specialty Food Magazine

JAN-FEB 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 74 of 159

Defining Natural Natural wines are not sought out by those who genuflect to Robert Parker or Wine Spectator–style rating systems. To fans, it's a choice of the individual palate over influen- tial critics and an acceptance of winemaking without orthodox rules. Winemakers that embrace natural choose not to doctor their wines in any way; grapes do what they do naturally. The patron saint of the movement is Jules Chauvet of Beaujolais, France, a scientist and winemaker who was known for his study of fermentation. The title for Feiring's book was inspired by something Chauvet told an interviewer back in 1981: "Wine must be naked." But while committed winemak- ers share an understanding of the term, government regulations and labeling don't necessarily align with the same definition. Natural wines can be totally organic or certified biodynamic (in which the farm is a self-contained, self-sustaining ecosystem), but don't have to be, and certain additives are sanctioned while others are not. There are 62 U.S.-approved additives and processes for winemaking, as noted in the appendix of Naked Wine, includ- ing acetaldehyde, defoaming agents, ethyl maltol, oak chips, silica gel, sulfur dioxide and thiamine hydrochloride. Feiring writes, "[the] strongest argument against using the word natural comes from the U.S. govern- ment's strange use of the term. … Some of the treatments allowed are the additions of water, sugar, concentrated fruit juice from the same kind of fruit, malolactic bacteria, yeast, sterilizing agents, precipitating agents, and other approved fermentation adjuncts." Suddenly "natural" doesn't seem so. Because of misleading standards and consumer confusion or distrust over what constitutes natural, some winemakers are finding other ways to differentiate their wines. Tony Coturri, of Coturri Winery in Sonoma County, has been part of his fam- ily's organic winemaking operation since Winter Fancy Food Show Booth 1478 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 73 Winter Fancy Food Show Booth 1671 No one knows how to heat up your salsa sales like Mrs. Renfro's! She's got more varieties than you can shake a chip at! www.renfrofoods.com 5HQIUR )RRGV ,QF • 800-332-2456

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