Labels can cause confusion for even the most discerning of consumers. “All-natural,” “organic,” “non-GMO”; a handbook of keywords and acronyms is practically required to find the most genuine products. This label-induced uncertainty often reaches its greatest height when it comes to discovering organic wines, a task we’ve already deemed tricky.
Step in Our Daily Red. Its producers, Orleans Hill, seem to have a hang of the labeling conundrum. “No Sulfites Detected” and “Organic” are emblazoned across the front of the bottle, which also bears the USDA Organic logo. At first glance, Our Daily Red already stands out among competitors by establishing itself as an entirely organic wine, rather than one that is simply made with organically grown grapes, which, as noted in previous articles, is different.
What’s more, Our Daily Red is entirely vegan; a rare variety that not only contains zero animal products, but is also guaranteed to have made no contact with any animal substances in the winemaking process. Unbeknownst to some wine enthusiasts, egg whites are frequently used as “fining agents” when phenolics (chemical compounds that can taint a wine’s color and taste) are removed. Historically, however, fining agents have also included such animal-free items as seaweed and clay.
Many wine drinkers might take heed of Our Daily Red’s lack of traditional fining agents and sulfites, fearing that their absences might create a lack of preservation. As indicated on Orleans Hill’s website, though, these concerns “can be avoided with modern sanitation and equipment, coupled with some experience and technique,” holding that “good wines can be made without chemical intervention.”
Additionally, Orleans Hill makes optimal use of metal screwcaps over conventional cork, the former of which helps to maintain the wine’s stability by permitting less oxygen to enter the bottle. Because contact with oxygen is what eventually causes wine’s demise, bottling methods that prevent it make for an overall better taste and greater quality.
Ironically, tasting notes indicate that Our Daily Red would be well paired with hearty, protein-rich items like cheese and beef, given its robust but lean texture; one that is achieved, according to the winery, through the use of Mendocino grapes.
Our Daily Red is typically found at Trader Joe’s, in some locations for under $10 a bottle. Ourdailyred.com advertises that the wines are currently carried by distributors in 43 states and even invites readers to request it when unavailable: “A little pull from your end, a little push from our end and we can get you the most organic and varietally correct wines available in the world.”
image: Dave Dugdale