SO Organic Pinot Grigio is SO Disappointing ~
Many people may scoff at buying organic alcoholic products because alcohol is, after all, a poison itself. So, if you are poisoning yourself to begin with, why would you care if there are other poisons mixed in? It is a good point for those who are following an organic lifestyle solely for their own health. However, for those of us concerned with the health of the environment and the farmers that grow our food, then it makes sense to choose organic regardless of the debatable health benefits of the product.
Unfortunately, organic alcohols have been slow to catch on worldwide. Of course, there are vineyards that have been growing organic grapes from the start and there are many new specialty organic spirits on the market these days. But the overall availability of a variety of organic booze is pretty limited.
This fact was reinforced the other day when I went to Sainsbury’s to buy a bottle of organic white wine. The only bottle they had, out of their dozens of choices, was a Pinot Grigio bottled under their own label, SO Organic. Now, I have long been a wine snob about store branded wines, but I figured I would give this one a shot. Perhaps special attention was paid in the sourcing and production of this one since it was their only selection of organic white wine in the store (at least on this day).
The description on the bottle was very promising and sounded perfect for my tastes. “This is a crisp and refreshing dry wine, full of ripe peach flavour and subtle almond notes.” The text went on to explain that the wine was produced by the Nardi family, third-generation winemakers that had been creating organic wines since 1981.
The trouble began right from the start. The wine had almost no nose (or smell) whatsoever. Desperate snuffling, almost to the point of snorting the liquid, drew out only a smell of alcohol, yeast, ferment, and sour coriander. The color was a bit odd as well, very light, almost green. It could romantically be described as pale green straw. It seemed to be a fairly full-bodied wine, strange for a Pinot Grigio and very different from the “crisp” description, with well developed legs and a thick coating on the glass.
Then I went for the first sip and…cough cough cough cough.
It was pretty horrible. My first impression was that it was watered down sherry of some sort, a very cheap sherry, perhaps a Spanish Manzanilla that went terribly wrong. I gave it another shot. This sip had some lemon notes and a bit of watery green or unripe peach flavors. The acidic, alcoholic onslaught was followed by a metallic aftertaste that lingered in my mouth.
I poured the rest of the glass on the salmon I was marinating for dinner and decided that the rest of the bottle would just have to be expensive cooking wine.