The dirt on clean wine

The clean wine trend seems to have sprung up from nowhere but, says Felicity Carter, it needs to be taken seriously.

The Wonderful Wine Co./J. Strutz
The Wonderful Wine Co./J. Strutz

When Cameron Diaz and her friend Katherine Power launched their Avaline wine in mid-July, they set off a storm in the normally placid world of wine. Blogs, social media and even mainstream media blew up with indignation – some of it generated by yours truly.  

Their claim was that their wine was “clean”, free of the “chemicals and sweeteners” they had discovered were in wines. Their wine would be made from organic grapes and contain none of the unnecessary additives found in other wines. What generated the anger was that the wines not only had no details about vintage or origin but were also conventionally made.

The focus on Avaline coincidentally brought attention to another company, Good Clean Wine, which was doing a public relations push at the same time. Some of the claims it made in the media such as “Estate bottled is important. It means there is no chance of additives”, saw them widely mocked.

Only a few people, however, asked why the phrase “clean wine” was suddenly everywhere. Or why social media was full of ads promising healthier, or hangover free wines.

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