The Holy Grail- A Cup of Preservative and Additive Free Wine

The Search for Authentic Food and Drink

In today’s world it’s common to find many people eating and drinking things that, with a little investigation, they might not consume due to the very artificial nature of what they’re putting into their bodies.

We’ve all heard the horror stories about what’s in fast food: chemicals, sawdust, and plenty of worse things beyond that, which are bad for our health.

Maybe like many people, you’ve turned to organic foods, or healthier, more conscious eating in order to combat the presence of artificial foodstuffs in your life. You’ll enjoy a nice wild salmon, topped with some home-grown herbs from your vegetable garden, perhaps accompanied by a carrot and potato medley you picked up at the local farmer’s market, and think to yourself: everything I’m eating is real.

But there is one surprising area that you may not consider in your quest to eat healthier, more authentic foods: your wineglass.

Chemicals and Additives In Wine?

That’s right. While we all know that soft drinks, sports drinks, and many commercially produced juices can contain chemicals (unless advertised or labelled otherwise), many of us do not think twice about what type of wine we’re drinking, especially if it’s a high-end wine.

But did you know that there are actually a lot of potential additives in your wine, which are usually part of the winemaking process?

Sulfites

Sulfites (technically known as sulfur dioxide) are a preservative that is not only used in winemaking, but in several areas of the food industry (such as dried fruit). While it has not been proven with research, some people report that sulfites give them post-wine headaches or adverse reactions, and indeed, a small segment of the population is actually allergic to sulfites. Some winemakers also produce organic wine without sulfites.

Yeast

Yeast can assist in providing a great variety in the taste of wine. Some winemakers are happy to benefit from the extant yeast on their equipment, while others proactively insert a yeast cocktail into the mix. One of the main functions of this microbial organism is to assist in turning sugar into alcohol.

Tannin

Tannin is what provides wine with the bitter taste (however strong or weak that may be in your particular favourite bottle). It can be found naturally in the grapes themselves, in the skin, but tannin may also come from the oak wood barrels in which the wine is aged. Some winemakers will even add oak chips into their wine to effuse extra tannin into their product.

Sugar

Sugar can be added to wine in order to make it stronger, since, in the process of its fermentation, the sugar becomes alcohol. This does not make the wine sweeter since the sugar is consumed in the process, but the adding of sugar to the winemaking process is actually illegal in some places, like California, Argentina, Australia, Southern France, and South Africa.

Other Chemicals

So far, many of the additives have seemed reasonable, haven’t they? Yeast, tannin, sugar, and sulfites may be additives, but at least they are natural, and in fact, some of them even originate within the grape itself.

However, during the winemaking process, there is a whole additional category of additives that are more chemical in nature, inserted for the purpose of manipulating the wine towards a particular result, such as maintaining its freshness, colour, or uniformity of flavour.

Copper sulfate can be added to remove additional sulfur, and eliminate aspects of the taste that the bottler does not want to have in the wine. The taste and longevity of wine are affected by the pH, so if it is too acidic, calcium carbonate (also known as chalk) will balance out the pH to a desirable number. If the wine is not acidic enough, tartaric acid, malic acid, and citric acid could be added into the winemaking process or any blend of those acids.

Other additives include acetaldehyde, which is used to stabilize the colour of the wine. Dimethyl dicarbonates (DMDC) are used to sterilize and to stabilize wine as well. While it has been approved in the United States, European Union, and Australia, DMDC is actually poisonous within the first hour it’s added into the wine, but thankfully it breaks down within a half-hour.

Can I Find Additive-Free Wine?

So there you have it. Wine may not be labelled as such, but during the process, there can be plenty of additives that participate in the winemaking process. Some of these chemicals have been reported to provide adverse reactions in wine drinkers, such as headaches, nausea, congestion, or more severe allergic reactions. Even if you don’t have a sensitive palate, you may find yourself preferring wine that is purely natural, or as pure it as it can be without unnecessary additives.

Thankfully, there are some good wines out there that can answer the call to your search for preservative free wine.

We picked two (out of many), one white, to go with your fish or chicken, and the other red, to go with your red meat. Although, if you’re vegan, you’ll just be happy to choose either one of these organic wines, grown in the tradition of sustainable wine-making.

Badger Mountain Riesling

Grown, cultured, and bottled in the Columbia Valley Region of Washington State, Badger Mountain Winery is the playground of winemakers Greg Powers and Jose Mendoza, who proudly crafts wine with no sulfites added, each with “a distinct heady balance of fruit, floral, spice, and earth.” They have a variety of wines (Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and others), and each bottle carries the official USDA Organic Logo.
The central focus of their winemaking process is fresh flavour and pure fruit. “I want to keep the wine as close to the vine as possible,” Powers writes. Much of their wine is also aged in stainless tanks, to avoid the addition of tannins.

Vegan Vine Red Wine

This winery is a family owned operation in San Martin, California. Owners Bill and Brenda Murphy are committed to environmentally sound, sustainable growth, and their vineyard is certified through the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. The Vegan Vine started when a family member of the owner was curious to see if there was a brand of wine that could meet the needs of his animal-free diet since many wines do utilize the chemical properties of animal products (eggs, milk, and even fish stomach. ) Vegan Vine is perfect for anyone who is vegan or wants to make sure that there are no animal-related additives in their wine. Like many wineries in California, they are also involved in building healthy soil, recycling natural resources, and even enhancing the surrounding wildlife habitats.

Sip and Enjoy

In conclusion, there are a lot of additives and potentially many preservatives in many of the wines you may be purchasing, drinking, and enjoying. But the good news is that if you’re looking for a preservative-free wine, there are plenty of great options out there. Many wineries also have websites where you can view their certifications and read about their sustainable, organic, preservative-free philosophy.

Cheers!

The Adventure of Travelling Alone 

Travelling solo is a growing trend among modern-day youth in particular. The reasons to go it alone can be many, but it is important to be armed with the helpful knowledge that ensures a smooth passage through the trip and safe return. Here are some valuable tips we have collated for solo traveller holidays to work as a confidence booster and guide you through the exercise.

Single supplement

Most hotels and cruise lines assume that two people will always share a room or cabin. But, when you are going it alone and want that room/cabin for yourself, you may be required to pay what is known as a single supplement to make up the loss that the hotel/cruise line suffers. While the details will be known when you make a booking, never be shy to ask how you are being charged.

Choose hotels/other accommodation with several positive ratings

In unfamiliar places, you could perhaps feel more vulnerability. Therefore, before booking an accommodation, spend focused time researching your option and choose only places that have several positive reviews. Always take a balanced view of the reviews and even speak to some of the reviewers if you can to get a close-up picture.

Find places with free Wi-Fi

We are now in the digital age and being connected at all times is important. If your hotel/other accommodation offers free Wi-Fi, you could save a neat little pile of cash by the time you complete your trip. After all, you want to keep in touch with people back at home, share your experience, some photos and videos regularly. If you are using your data package in a far-off location, most packages you have loaded before leaving home would be exhausted in just a few days if you don’t have access to free Wi-Fi.

Pick up a conversation with co-travellers

Picking up a conversation with co-travellers, single or couple/family is a good idea to break your monotony. You can even find locals who are happy to host you, and that could be a huge help, particularly when you are in a different country. Check out Meetup to keep yourself informed of local activities and events in town. This way, you may identify local events and festivals that do not figure in most guidebooks. Every city offers a series of opportunities and being informed of these before arriving there can be a huge help in planning your time.

Use mealtime to relax

You can use your mealtime to unwind. Try picking up some conversation with the bartender or waiter, or merely sit reflecting on your experiences. This is also a good time to plan for the next few hours or even the next day. Remember, you are alone, and there is no one assisting you with planning things out. Remember the importance of free Wi-Fi and try to pick restaurants that offer a free Wi-Fi since that would also help you catch up with your emails and social media or even read a book.

Advantages of travelling solo

  • Enjoy the freedom of doing things that you want to and doing it on your own schedule
  • No arguments with partners/partner
  • More freedom chatting with locals or other tourists
  • You are the master of your time and can, therefore, spend as much time at a place you want irrespective of what others feel
  • You can determine your itinerary
  • Go around places by night and sleep during the day if you choose to
  • Ability to change your itinerary
  • Ability to determine where and what to eat
  • Grow in confidence meeting new people, learning a few words from several languages, discovering mass transit systems in highly developed cities, make mistakes going in the wrong direction, get help to correct the error and head towards the right place, and gain rich experience in the process.

Disadvantages of travelling solo

  • You may have to drag your luggage along into the bathroom at an airport (no one to keep an eye on)
  • Relatively more expensive
  • Need to keep yourself informed on safety issues
  • Self-conscious in many circumstances, though it can be used to your advantage
  • No one to give company on a chill night
  • Preparing to meet the challenge

With the advent of the digital world, preparing to travel alone has perhaps become a no-brainer. But, you should plan ahead, scour through a plethora of websites, check your social media accounts, start conversations, check back to ensure that information provided by online friends are accurate and make notes. This part of the exercise can be time-consuming unless you are an ardent devotee of freewheeling. Even granting that attitude, you still have to work with your tickets, accommodation, cost comparison, choosing places to eat, what not to do, ways to find help in unknown locations etc.

Concerns about your health

While travelling solo is loaded with a host of advantages, if you have pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, hypertension or coronary issues, you should think twice before embarking on a solo trip. After careful consideration, if you still decide to proceed with your solo trip, you should always keep your medical information and contact information back home, including details of your primary healthcare provider handy so that someone can reach out and provide assistance if you experience a problem while you are still travelling.

Designing your itinerary

Designing your itinerary can be a challenge, particularly when you are travelling alone for the first time. Although you are about to embark on experiencing the world outside and go it alone, never shy away from getting valuable advice from elders, friends and other people with travel experience. The digital world can also be of significant help in providing most of the input you need. But, nothing can match the experience of people who have done some travel alone, or in company with others. The social media is another place you can get valuable help in terms of places to see, things to do, affordable boarding and lodging etc. We have appended some useful resources for you to scour before you draw up your itinerary:-

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/about/solo-travel
https://thewest.com.au/news/guide-single-and-solo-travel-ng-ya-114696
https://www.goway.com/trips/typ/single-friendly/