The Real Wine Month – April 2014
A lot has changed in my wine outlook since I wrote “The Natural Wine Empire Strikes Back” in 2013. Even more has changed since my first visits to The Real Wine Fair and RAW in May 2012 where I found some gems but viewed many of the wines with a curious scepticism.
Since then, I’ve dived head first into an exploration of biodynamics, a journey heavily aided an abetted by the writings of Monty Waldin and a visit to Tenuta di Valgiano in April last year. It’s a journey that has transformed me from a “jury’s out” view on biodynamics to someone actively seeking out biodynamic wines over conventionally made alternatives.
My outlook on ‘natural wine’ has changed too. My ingrained desire for structure still makes me yearn for clearer definition of ‘how natural is natural’, but in terms of quality and concept, I now WANT to love these wines. And I’m finding more and more that I do!
Le Caveau is a great source for these wines in Ireland. After their recent tasting, I wrote about wines from Jean Foillard and Valli Unite, but I could’ve written about almost any of the wines in their portfolio – there were just so many interesting wines across the board.
Now Le Caveau are bringing the “Real Wine Month” to Ireland. This is an Ireland and United Kingdom-wide promotion highlighting organic, biodynamic and natural wines made by artisan growers and winemakers and it will be running for the entire month of April 2014.
Over 200 outlets across Ireland and the UK will be participating; independent wine shops, wine bars, pubs, bistros, and Michelin starred establishments will be offering a range of these wines by the glass and bottle for their customers to explore, taste and enjoy.
The Real Wine Fair returns on April 13th and 14th in London’s historic Tobacco Dock, Wapping. I have my flights booked already!
If you can’t make it to London, or like me you just want to try as many of these wines as possible, approximately 30 outlets will be participating in Ireland, including Ballymaloe House & Restaurant, Cork; Le Caveau, Kilkenny; Fallon & Byrne Wine Cellar, Dublin; The Corkscrew, Dublin and 64 Wine, Glasthule.
Before I get a slew of tweets and comments decrying the natural wine movement (I hate even referring to it as a movement) and biodynamic philosophies, one would do well to remember that Les Caves de Pyrene chose Montevertine’s Le Pergole Torte 2008 as one of their top wines of 2013. Yep, that’s right; a (so called) super-Tuscan that is partially aged in new French barriques; a wine that isn’t certified organic or biodynamic but still surely embodies what (so called) ‘real wine’ is all about. Montevertine will be at The Real Wine Fair in April proving that it isn’t about dogma.