Organic wine is easier than ever to find at wine shops, but as with everything in life, any official designations come with layers. The debate over whether organic wines are any better for you over conventional wines is complicated, too.
Let’s look at how organic wines differ from conventional or even natural wines and the best organic wines for you to try if you want a taste test.
How is Organic Wine Different?
Organic wine is different from other wine because it’s made from only organic grapes and is free of GMOs, herbicides, and pesticides. Additives, like yeast, must also be certified organic in the winemaking process for a wine to be certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Naturally-occurring sulfites in wine are fine, but you won’t find added sulfites in organic wines. In the United States, the sulfites in organic wine can’t exceed 100 parts per million (ppm). For reference, most wines fall in the 80-125 ppm range.
What are the benefits of organic wine? The benefits of organic wine are similar to the benefits of any organic food or beverage. There are standards organic wine must meet to be certified, from farming practices to fertilizers to any preservatives used to extend the wine’s shelf life.
These are all wines considered better for you, but whether that’s actually true depends on the brand. Essentially, you know more about the winemaking process with USDA organic wine varietals.
Organic wines can be more expensive, but more competition in the organic wine market has dropped prices somewhat. Higher-quality organic wines are pricier because they are more expensive to produce.
Whether they’re worth the money depends on your priorities.
Which is the Healthiest Wine to Drink?
The healthiest wine to drink is typically a dry, low-carb red wine for the low sugar levels. Pinot Noir is often listed as the ultimate healthy red wine for its high levels of the antioxidant resveratrol.
Many wine lovers consider organic wines healthier than conventional wines because they lack the chemicals and preservatives used in some traditional wines. Avoiding additives may not be the only thing to consider when opting for a healthier beverage.
Is organic wine good for you? Organic wine can be good for you in moderation, much like any other wine. If you’re sensitive to sulfites, a rarity among wine drinkers, drinking organic wine may help prevent an adverse reaction.
The thing is, drinking less alcohol will always be better for you than drinking in moderation. If you don’t already drink wine, not drinking at all or opting for non-alcoholic wine comes with more benefits than adding organic wine to your diet.
If you want to test out a few organic wines, the best brands are similar to biodynamic wines in their sustainability practices. They focus on environmentally-friendly practices for the good of the planet and not just their brand.
While you still need to sip on that red blend in moderation, you could be doing the planet a favor when you drink organic wine — interested in trying out a few? We’ve picked out some of the best organic wines.
Best Organic Red Wines
Red wine is already the preferred wine style for many wine drinkers, thanks to the resveratrol in reds. That’s an anti-inflammatory linked to all kinds of positive health effects, including heart health. Let’s look at a few of the best organic red wines.
Bonterra in California’s Mendocino County is considered one of the best organic vineyards in the country by many organic wine connoisseurs. Expect notes of cherry, mocha, and boysenberry with this medium-bodied red.
Sip on this full-bodied California red from Mother’s Choice with no “detectable” sulfites, per the label. Look for red fruit flavors like black cherry and ripe plum. The winemaker here is from Napa Valley, so expect bold reds if you shop their other bottles.
All biodynamic wines are organic, but not all organic wines are biodynamic. King Estate in Oregon is both. Try their Pinot Noir, the most popular grape in the Willamette Valley, for their fruit-forward version.
The GPS in this organic red from the Dry Creek Valley’s Truett-Hurst has nothing to do with driving directions. It’s a blend of Grenache, Petit Syrah, and Syrah. If you visit, you may be able to meet the livestock that call the estate home.
Best Organic White Wines
If you’re not here for the tannins, look to organic white wines for lighter flavors, acidity, and fruity tasting notes.
This organic winery in Italy’s Sicilian wine-growing region doesn’t just produce wines certified organic by the European Union. Most of the offerings at L’Auratae are vegan, too. This one is crisp with a good amount of acidity and tasting notes of stone fruit like mango.
This Napa Valley winery is known for its farming practices and sustainable wines. Frog’s Leap grows its organic grapes using dry farming. That means they rely on seasonal rainfall instead of irrigation. Look for citrus notes of grapefruit on their signature sauvignon blanc.
This biodynamic winery in Vouvray, France, is known for its Chenin Blanc. The varietal is similar to Chardonnay thanks to its oak aging but with more acidity than the buttery styles. Domaine Huet also has a line of organic sparkling wines if you want something bubbly.
The grapes chosen for HŌM wines come from several organic vineyards managed by winemaker Robert Eden. It’s part of his philosophy behind HŌM, or “Heart of Many.” It takes many hands to make organic varietals like this Chardonnay, which is more citrus-forward than some Chardonnays.
Best Organic Rosé Wines
Rosé wines are about as diverse as they come. Much like conventional wines, organic rosé can be dry or sweet, with everything in between. It all depends on the grape. Let’s take a look at the best organic rosé wines.
Benzinger Family Winery on the Sonoma Coast has outdone itself with its organic and biodynamic practices. This one is triple-certified. Their rosé is crisp and fruity, with notes of watermelon and raspberry.
Deloach prides itself on eco-friendly farming practices, boasting an additional label from the California Certified Organic Farmers organization. Their rosé is a perfect summertime blush with refreshing notes of orange and peach.
Burgundy-born Jean-Charles Boisset has become a leader in organic, sustainably-produced luxury wines, including a collaboration with John Legend. This bubbly pink wine is as dry as a Pinot Noir with the crispness of a summertime white.
The Healthiest Wine Is Alcohol-Free.
Drinking pesticide-free wine sounds fantastic, but the healthiest wine will always be a dealcoholized wine. Drinking less comes with all kinds of benefits that have nothing to do with sulfites and pesticides. You’ll feel better, sleep better, and even look better when you stop drinking.
No matter your reasons for not drinking, you don’t have to give up wine to stay sober. You heard us. Surely non-alcoholic wine is your ticket to enjoying the health benefits of wine without the side effects of alcohol.
Selecting an organic wine doesn’t automatically make it the healthiest choice. All Surely wines fall under 0.5% ABV, the universally accepted limit for non-alcoholic beverages. Each wine is carefully crafted to avoid additives and the negative health effects of alcohol.
Try our non-alcoholic Pinot Noir for that antioxidant boost or our rosé spritz for something fun. Seeking a white wine alternative while pregnant — our non-alcoholic sauvignon blanc will Surely satisfy.