Wines Have Gone Au Naturel

Natural Wines Are the Newest Event Trend

When it comes to over-the-counter mood enhancers and icebreakers, few compare to a bottle of fermented grapes. Today, vintners, restaurants (and smart meeting planners) are blending the timeless drink of camaraderie with a robust trend: healthy eating. Enter natural wines, event planners’ new best friends in channeling ethos and calming nerves in a single sip.

Once on the outskirts of the industry, natural red, white and rosé have gained traction in social circles and formal events alike. But now, annual trade events such as Raw Wine are dedicated to a chemical-free tipsy. Raw Wine hosts two-day wine fairs across the world, in places like New York, London and Berlin, and continually breaks previous attendance records.

We all know how loaded the term “natural” is. So to suss it out, Meininger’s Wine Business International asked Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrene, a large importer/distributor of natural wines in the U.K., for a few guidelines. Here’s how he defined natural wines:

1. Vineyards farmed organically or biodynamically (with or without certification)
2. Hand-harvested fruit 
3. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts
4. No enzymes 
5. No additives (like acid, tannin, coloring) other than SO2, used in moderation if at all 
6. Light or no filtration
7. Preferably no fining
8. Preferably no new oak

So for your next networking or celebratory event, consider serving this trendy vino on your menu. Besides adding a fleshy flavor profile (and something to talk about—a welcome alternative to the dreaded “What’s one interesting fact about you?” icebreakers), you’ll communicate that your company does its homework. It does its research, pays attention to details and—most importantly—values what’s real. You—mighty translator of your company’s ideals—will likely be the toast on everyone’s lips.