The stability of natural wine | Aardig Wijntje

Misconceptions in wine world #2: The stability of natural wine

Natural wines are not ordinary wines! They find their own microbiological balance over time, making them much stronger than most protected, preservative-filled conventional wines. Added preservatives are basically unnecessary to create stability, because grapes contain all the elements to ferment and stabilize naturally. And if they are made the right way, you can even get wines that are still stable after sitting open in the refrigerator for weeks. Mind you, natural wines are living things and deserve extra care. So store them in a cool place away from heating and direct sunlight and all will be well!

Can natural wines travel?

It is a misconception that natural wines cannot travel, because they can! Winemakers regularly ship wines to distant countries, some in refrigerated containers and others in the heat on docks or at sea. Stability in wine depends on time, and if you want to save money, you will have to sacrifice something - usually shelf life or naturalness. That's why some natural winemakers choose to add a minimal amount of sulfite to their wines.

Can you age natural wines for a long time?

As for aging, not all natural wines are made for the long haul. Many "vins de soif" are made for quick drinking, and the idea that natural wines cannot age may come from the movement of light, refreshing wines called "glou glou." While this movement has made natural wine popular, it is only a small niche within a niche. In fact, there are also many natural wines that do age well.

But when natural winemakers were just beginning to reduce sulfur use, many were still experimenting and not making wines as pure as they are now. This gave the natural wine category a lesser reputation and along with uncontrolled shipping and shipping around the world, you can imagine how many corks popped out and how many wines were ruined by heat. This gave natural wine a reputation as non-stable and non-tenable. By now, this is absolutely no longer the case.