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Monday, 25 February 2013

Fraud and Lies Continue in the Anti-Natural Wine Community

The "Anti-Natural Wine Movement", via its foremost champion Tom Wark, continues to perpetrate fraud and lies, in yet another natural-wine-bashing post: natural-wine-bashing post:

- by denying that adjectives in the English language can have more than one meaning, when it is evident to all English-speakers that that is plainly not the way the English language works.

          · Merriam-Websters's provides no less than 15 different meanings of the word 'natural'

          · The FDA also has the following to say about the use of the word ‘natural’

          · And the Oxford English Dictionary (1991 version) gives as part of meaning 7a of 'natural':
manufactured using only simple or minimal processes; ”

- by insisting on the existence of a fictitious "Natural Wine Movement", complete with leaders, dogmas, beliefs and a secret agenda

- by making sweeping generalizations and taking certain individuals' words and phases out of context, misinterpreting them, and attributing them to said fictitious 'natural wine movement'. For example:
  • stating that the fictitious 'natural wine movement' believes that natural wine is a new and trendy invention, when everyone knows that wine has been made like that for 8000 years;
  • stating that the fictitious 'natural wine movement' simplistically believes that the wine world is divided into 'natural wines' vs 'industrial' wines, when everyone knows that it's much more complex than that and that there is a huge and intricate scale of naturalness;
  • stating that the fictitious 'natural wine movement' believes that natural wines are better than all other wines, when everyone knows that there are good natural wines and bad natural wines, just like in any other categorization of wines one cares to devise;
- by refusing to provide evidence that the individuals that are misquoted out of context are actually spokespersons for this fictitious movement and have the authority to speak in the name of thousands of other producers, traders, purveyors and consumers.
- by focusing 'criticisms' away from important and relevant issues, such as natural wine's beneficial impact on the environment, its expression of terroir, honesty in labelling, bringing diversity and choice to the consumer, or just simply the pleasure and joy brought into the world by producing and enjoying beautiful and interesting wines, to name but a few.
- by stooping to personal insults. For example, here.
- by implying that this fictional 'natural wine movement' is an exclusive, holier-than-thou, elitist club, that wants to occupy the moral high ground, and that it rejects anyone who has not actually opted in, and other such delirious fantasies.

Blogger Wark’s latest post is of course part of an ongoing, well-orchestrated conspiracy, organized by the Anti-Natural Wine Movement, which represents about 99.9% of wines produced across the globe, its primary aim being to discredit the producers, traders, purveyors and consumers of natural wine, who represent about 0.01% of wines produced across the globe.

The vast and well-funded Anti-Natural Wine Movement also aims to make everyone adopt a new version of the English language, whereby each word has one and only one meaning, a bit like Newspeak in George Orwell’s “1984”.

Small artisan natural winemakers are effectively without resources, lobby groups, marketing budgets and readership, but we are hoping to ally ourselves with the Natural Gas producers of the world, who have the capability of defending themselves more effectively than us.

Clearly, according to the criteria of the Anti-Natural Wine Movement, natural gas producers are also lying and perpetrating fraud on millions of their customers all over the world by deliberately calling their gas 'natural' while at the same time admitting that it is man-made, and that it requires incredibly expensive, hi-tech machinery and processes to produce. It will be interesting to see if any personal insults are forthcoming from the champions and mouthpieces of the Anti-Natural Wine Movement, directed towards producers or proponents of natural gas, as they certainly have the resources to invest in good lawyers to respond to any possible slanderous insults!

Other possible future partners, in the defence of the English language, and of our right to produce, distribute, purvey and enjoy our wares, free from linguistic hectoring and vinous denigration, are the following:

- Natural cheese puff producers:
- Natural marshmallow producers:
- Natural jelly bean producers:
- Natural sausage producers:
- Natural yogurt producers:
- Natural beer producers:
- Natural butter producers:
- Natural bread producers:

all of whom are producers of man-made products and who therefore are also guilty of deliberately perpetrating fraud and telling lies to their customers!
We are also hoping to count on the support of academia, especially from those men and women involved in:

- Natural law
- Natural history
- Natural medicine
- Natural philosophy
- Natural science
all of which are clearly man-made abstract concepts, which make use of many man-made artifacts. These professors and scholars have evidently been deliberately perpetrating fraud and lying to their students for even longer than producers of actual physical products.

What else is on the secret agenda of the anti-natural wine movement? I don't know yet - that depends on my imagination, er, oops, I mean, it depends on the reliable information I receive from reputable sources close to the leadership of the Anti-Natural Wine Movement, only to be published after carefully checking that information in a process of due diligence. Yes.

Cheers, m'dears, lets go enjoy some wine :)

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Orange Wine

There seems to be a lot nonsense being written about orange wines lately, including by writers/bloggers who should know better. I'm not going to name any names, because there's no need to, ie if you're reading this post then you're a wine-geek and you'll have read all the other recent posts on orange wine and you'll know exactly who and what I'm talking about.

An orange wine
It seems to me that the fundamental error that many people are making is not realizing that orange wines are a catagory unto themselves, and should not really be compared to white wines, red wines or any other kind of wine. Like Sherry, for example. Sherry is technically a white wine, but who in their right mind would taste a sherry and compare it to a normal white wine? I believe the same applies to orange wines.

There also seems to be some confusion about the use of sulfites in orange wines. There's obviously no connection whatsoever. Orange wines can be made with no sulfites, with a reasonable quantity of sulfites, or with lots of sulfites! It depends on the winemakers' decision.

And there also seems to be some confusion with regard to natural/organic/biodynamic wines. Orange wines do not necessarily have to be natural, organic or biodynamic. There is in fact an industrial volume-producer in Spain who still churns out an orange wine for about €2/bottle.

Orange wines are not a newly discovered phenomenon. They've been made that way for thousands of years, especially in countries like Georgia and Armenia, but probably in ALL winemaking countries. Friuli, in Italy, for example. I know for a fact that they were made in Spain, until they went out of fashion; now there are only a few producers left. OK, so they're all the rage at the moment, and everyone who wants to be relevant and interesting feels obliged to write about them! Oh well.

Orange wines are perfectly capable of expressing the terroir of where they were produced. Why on earth should they not be? It depends on the winemakers' decisions, just like for any wine or type of wine.

I don't see why certain writers think that ALL orange wines are expensive. Obviously some are, but others are quite normally priced. (my own, for example, retail in NY for about $20 in winestores and for about $40 in restaurants)

Orange wines don't have to be made in clay amphoras. They can be made in any container whatsoever. I personally make the exact same orange wine in containers of three different materials (clay amphoras, stainless steel, and open-top oak casks) just to see if there's any appreciable difference.

What I don't understand is why people get so upset and feel they have mock and/or attempt to be funny and/or criticise without knowing what they're talking about. I mean, surely it's interesting for people to try a new type of wine? Why all this negativity and disparagement? Why not focus on the interesting, reasonably-priced, terroir-expressing orange wines out there, instead of on the expensive, funky, cloudy ones?

Orange wines don't have to be cloudy. It depends on whether the winemaker fines it and/or filters it and/or lets it settle naturally by gravity!

Orange wines don't have to be oxidized either. It depends on whether the winemaker decides to protect it from contact with oxygen or not.

I personally discovered orange wines about three years ago quite by accident, and I have to say that I love them, because they are so different from white wines and red wines. They are very versatile too: on the one hand they're great for drinking on their own as an aperitivo before lunch, or for quaffing casually in a winebar, and on the other hand they go great with food too.

Here's a nice photo of my orange wine, which in this case was made in an clay amphora, was not fined or filtered, does not contain any added sulfites; but it could just as easily have been made in stainless steel, been filtered and fined and contain lots of sulfites, and it would still be an orange wine!


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Geeky natural wine shipment news

I just received an email from what I thought was a spammer with an address like "", and which I usually delete on sight, but for some reason or other, on this occasion I decided to open it up; and hey, what-do-you-know, it was actually something interesting!!! It was from the shipping company that's carrying 2 pallets of my wine to the USA!

Well, my pallets are on the good ship Maersk Malacca, inside a 40' Reefer container (along with other pallets of wine from various artisan producers from all over Spain) bound for JosePastorSelections' warehouse in New York.

The Good Ship Maersk Malacca
(photo by Manuel Hernández Lafuente)
She set sail from Barcelona 2 days ago on 5th February. Yesterday she called in to Valencia, and right now as I type, she's en route to Tangiers (Morocco), where she should dock tomorrow morning, 8th Feb. She should set sail again on the same day, bearing due West across the Atlantic (all communications channels open, phasers on stun) and is due to arrive in New York on Sunday the 17th Feb. There she will unload my pallets, and then head on south to Portsmouth and Savannah.

For a real-time map with position of the ship, check out this web-page. It's so cool! Apart from showing the current location of the ship, at the click of a mouse, you can bring up all sorts of really useless interesting information :)

For some photos of the good ship Maersk Malacca herself, click on this link. One of the photos is a bit worrying, as those containers seem to be stacked up on deck pretty high! Surely it can't cross the Atlantic like that?!!!

Pretty geeky stuff, no?

PS. And here's another link to an article on the Maersk Malacca. It seems that shipping line, Diana Shipping Services, S.A., has just been awarded a "Maritime Labour Certificate" for the working conditions aboard. The crew (not sure if motley or not) are rejoicing to learn that the cap'n has banned keel-hauling altogether and has cut back on the use of the cat o' nine tails! But the normal floggings will continue until morale improves!!!

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