How the Rise in Natural Wine Has Ruined What It Was Intended to Be

Repeat after me: natural wine is not all funky, faulty and foggy

Charlie Brown
Rooted

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Image courtesy of author. A very good example of a very good natural wine

If you’ve heard of the term natural wine, what comes to mind? Is it some funky labelled bottle filled with cloudy wine that tastes super weird?

If so, you’re not alone. Natural wine is much more likely to now be considered a style, and a weird one at that.

But that’s not what natural wine was ever meant to be. It’s certainly not how it started. Natural wine was originally a reaction against the chemical-fuelled commercialisation of wine.

A principle, not a style.

A principle I fell so hard for when I discovered it around 15 years ago, I opened a wine shop and bar with a big focus on “natural” wine.

I put natural in quotation marks there because in my joint, funky-flavoured wines were the exception, not the rule.

That’s not how most natural wine bars or stores work these days. Head into many and you’ll be faced with a wall of rainbow-coloured wines with fun labels that tell you nothing about its contents. The wine could be the very best or the very worst you’ve ever tasted.

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Charlie Brown
Rooted
Editor for

Writer of opinions. Wine & food pro. Editor of Rooted, a boostable Medium food & drink pub. Niche-avoidant. Also at thesaucemag.substack.com