October 11, 2021

We Need to Talk About “Clean,” “Organic,” and “Natural” Wine

You’ll likely find labels on more expensive bottles of wine in your local wine shop in 2021. Think words like “clean”, “natural” and “organic.”

When these labels are attached to blueberries or eggs cartons, they can be confusing. But when you add them to fermented grapes bottles, it raises more questions. What benefits are there if you choose clean, natural, organic wine? You will have a less severe hangover. a smaller carbon footprint? We spoke with wine experts to find out the truth.

What Does it All Mean?

Isis Daniel is a WSET Level II wine professional, also known as The Millennial Somm. Clean wine is a label that indicates the wine was grown without synthetic pesticides or additives. However, no lab tests are done to verify this.


Isis Daniel, a WSET Level II wine professional, is the founder of The Millennial Somm. You can follow Isis Daniel on TikTok or Instagram.

Natural wine is a different category. It has a unique definition and can vary widely. She says that the term generally refers to a movement of winemakers in producing wine using traditional and simple methods. Organic wine is made from grapes that have been grown according to organic principles. It usually excludes the use artificial chemical fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides.

Like Clean Beauty, There’s No Uniform Definition

The bottom line is that labels can be misleading. Talking to small local wine retailers is the best way to learn more about how your wine was made.

Melissa Smith, founder and CEO of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services, says that “they are the ones who can tell you vineyard practices as well as how the wines were made.” “Most organic and biodynamic wines won’t indicate this on their labels because of a variety of reasons. One reason is how costly those certifications are. The wine shop clerk is the same person you would talk to at the farmers market. Are you using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides?

Wine professionals agree that legal definitions of terms like “clean” or “natural” are murky. You may feel more confident that your wine is free from pesticides and chemical additions if it says organic. However, they might still be present in small quantities.

Does This Affect Your Hangover?

It can be fun to have a bottle of wine. However, it is important to know how to avoid the hangover. Investing in wine with these labels might seem like a good first step.

Daniel warns that clean wine will not be your best option for a hangover-free lifestyle. She explains that while clean wine is often better than other options because it doesn’t contain any man-made chemicals that could be harmful to your health, there are still natural by-products that can cause harm to your body. For example, different people are sensitive to different sulfites. There are some people who are more sensitive than others to sulfites. Because it is a by-product of wine-making, it can still be affected.

Is Clean wine More Sustainable?

You should remember that these labels may indicate that certain wines are more environmentally friendly, but this is not a guarantee. “Just because it says it’s natural or clean doesn’t mean the company is sustainable or cares about how the wine-making process affects the earth.

If you want to find out the carbon footprint of a wine bottle, what is the best thing to do? Talk to the staff at your local wine shop about what the label on the bottle of wine actually means.

The Bottom line

Wine that is free from pesticides, chemicals, and additives will not be your ultimate goal. Unfortunately, the label cannot confirm this.

Daniel says that labels are mostly used to market the wine. Most consumers will assume that organic wine means sustainable, vegan, or natural. It is important for consumers to understand that wine must be at least a certain percentage organic in order to receive that label.

Someday, these labels may have stricter meanings, but they aren’t important for now. You may be better sticking with wine that you like, and it is likely to be cheaper.