May is Real Wine Month, an occasion to celebrate and discover organic, biodynamic and natural wines. Not only winemakers working under those principles go the extra mile to be environmentally friendly, they offer an interesting and sometimes divisive approach to wine, and create bottles in which choices such as the use of wild yeasts, not filtering the wine and minimal intervention in the winery allow nature to take the lead.
The Real Wine Fair, held recently in London, is one of the world’s most important events for natural wines. It gathered over 100 growers and winemakers but it isn’t the only initiative going on to celebrate the style during May: throughout this month, over 200 restaurants in the UK and Ireland have decided to give natural wines an extra push with offers, tastings and more.
You can check the participating venues at the Real Wine Fair’s website and, if you want to taste a wine made naturally, here are three suggestions…
Bodegas Menade Rueda Verdejo 2015
Rueda, Spain – 13% ABV
€15.95 – Available at Le Caveau
This family run winery has 160 ha of certified organic vines they harvest by hand. The fruit is fermented with natural yeasts and instead of sulfur, they resort to carbonic snow. Their effort pays up as this is a fine Verdejo, with intense aromas of citrus and pears, ripe grapefruit and juicy nectarines.
With a moderate acidity and a powerful minerality on the palate, it’s as complex as a Rueda wine gets.
Umathum Rosa 2015
Burgenland, Austria – 13% ABV
€19.50 – Available at Green Man Wines
This blend of Austrian varieties Zweigelt, Saint Laurent and Blaufrankischt offers an unusual rosé of appealing fuschia gleams of beautiful brightness. Fresh aromas of juicy raspberries and cherry blossom prepare you for its refreshing palate of steel strawberries and raspberry syrup.
Mouth watering and lean, this is a showstopper rosé that will surprise you.
Bodegas Matsu El Recio 2013
Toro, Spain – 14.5% ABV
€22.20 – Available at Mitchell and Son
This 100% Tempranillo shows a wonderful concentration and roundness. Vines 60 to 100 years old cultivated biodynamically provide the raw material that is fermented in French oak barrels and aged for 14 months. Unfiltered and robust, it has a pleasant combination of dark chocolate, blackberry preserve, vanilla and toast.
A rich texture and big body, with moderate tannins and a long finish.
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.