This month is Organic September and following on from last week’s suggested organic white wines, it is the turn of reds.
I think it would be fair to say that organic wine used to have a fairly negative image, partly because, in many cases, entry level wines were poorly produced, large volume brands.
And there was a perception that organic products carried a hefty price tag further up the ladder.
But organic wine is very much becoming part of the mainstream, and although in many cases there is still a slight premium to pay, consumers seem to be more than happy to pay this.
Cost is still an issue for producers and, understandably, it is easier to practise organic farming in warmer, dry climates where fungal diseases are less of an issue. Italy, southern France, and Spain lead the way in organic viticulture.
The UK, even with its rapidly expanding vineyards, is always going to struggle a little with organic production given our wet, marginal climate.
One of the standouts of Aldi’s current red wines is the Exquisite Collection Malbec, and now an organic version has been added to the range.
Exquisite Collection Organic Malbec 2018, Mendoza (£6.99 Aldi) is in much the same style with plenty of dark, plummy fruits, violets and a touch of mocha on the nose, followed by more dark fruits and some soft tannins on the palate.
It is a little rustic maybe, but it’s good value and would work really well with a midweek cottage pie.
Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family-owned wine producer and for many years now they have championed the environment with their methods of farming and wine-making.
While not all their wines are certified organic, they do have a range of organic wines.
Yalumba Organic Shiraz 2017, South Australia (Waitrose £7.49 on offer from £9.99 until October 8, Ocado £9.99) has always been one of those go-to wines in this house.
It’s great value, especially when on offer. There is also a white made from viognier which is equally as good.
This offers ripe plum and raspberry fruits with just a touch of spice and back olive on the nose followed by more dark fruits, some savoury notes and enough tannins to keep it interesting.
Try this with a tomato and aubergine penne dish or a simple burger.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself but Christmas is not that far away now, so how about an organic port, which is currently on offer?
Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Reserva Port (Waitrose £14.69 on offer from £18.39 until October 8) is one of the very few organic ports produced.
It is very rich, concentrated port with a bouquet of dark fruit, particularly black cherry and plum, followed by more dark fruits, firm but ripe tannins and a long, sweet, velvety finish.
At this level this is very fine port indeed, lovely with the traditional Stilton, but this can work brilliantly with a dark chocolate desserts.