Your Guide to Organic, Biodynamic and Natural Wine



Hella Bitter

With all the organic spirits we’ve been reviewing at the Organic Wine Journal lately, it was only a matter of time before we had to start resourcing some bitters to take our cocktails to the next level. As luck would have it, we randomly ran into the guys from Hella Bitters – three friends who co-founded the company in 2010 and make their products in New York City.

They make two different types of bitters – a citrus and an aromatic – and sell them in stores like Whole Foods and Crate & Barrel, as well as on their website: www.hellabitters.com. If you’re ready to have your home bar go from good to extraordinary, this is what you need to arm yourself with.

Are they organic? – well, not yet. We’re talking to them about that. But they’re carefully sourcing all their ingredients, and we all know where that road leads. We’re going to be doing some cocktails with these guys in the future, but in the meantime, here’s some photos from our visit to their bitter-making lair.

The Hella Bitter Team at their facility.

Jomaree Pinkard – “Coach”

 

Eduardo Simeon – “Mission Control”

 

Tobin Ludwig – “Tastemaster”

 

Man-size cinnamon sticks.

 

The team is constantly experimenting with new recipes.

 

A new blend to try out.

 

Rose hips. No idea what they are, but they look pretty.

 

Two super-secret test batches of bacon bitters – one in whiskey. I’ve pre-ordered the entire run of that, so you can have the one on the left.

 

The wood that puts the bitter in bitters.

 

Tobin prepares a new batch to test.

The heavily guarded R&D board. They said it was ok to share it, but not the full Wi-Fi password in the bottom right.

 

Test batches and ingredients.

 

Eduardo on top of the two tanks.

 


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From British Airways’s High Life – Isabelle Legeron chooses the ten best places for natural wine in London.


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The Real Wine Fair 2014 happens next week in London – and there are a lot of events, tons of great wine and even a Georgian Supra to keep track of. Let the Organic Wine Journal break it all down for you:

The Real Wine Fair

This is the main event; two days of celebrating organic, biodynamic and natural wines with 150 winemakers and growers pouring for consumers and professionals.

Sunday, April 13th: For Consumers and trade. Consumer tickets are £15 in advance and £20 at the door. Purchase tickets here.

Monday, April 14th: This day is for trade and media only. So consumers – make sure you plan on going on Sunday.

The fair is located at Tobacco Dock, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Sunday is the day of the London Marathon – so public transport is your best bet. For that day they also recommend Wapping Station, rather than Shadwell, so you won’t have to cross the marathon route. Here are full transportation details.

The Growers

150 Winemakers from France, Italy and Spain make up the majority, but also represented are Portugal, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, England and a whopping 10 wineries from Georgia.

From France, you’ll see a lot of OWJ regulars, like Domaine Audrey & Christian Binner, Clos du Tue-Boeuf, Domaine Cousin-Leduc and Domaine de la Tour du Bon. From Italy, there will be Cascina Degli Ulivi, Tenute Dettori and Colombaia. And from Spain, be sure to say hello to our good friends at Vinos Ambiz.

The full list is incredible though – see it here.

A Georgian Supra!

What’s a Georgian Supra? It’s a celebration of Georgian food and wine – and you don’t want to miss that. There’ll be Georgian dishes such as red beans with wild thyme, oyster mushrooms with tarragon and green plum sauce, chicken livers with caramelized onions and white wine, lamb chanakhi and churchkhela with honeycomb. All the Georgian wineries at the fair will be pouring their wines and you’ll experience traditional Georgian songs and toasts.

The dinner is April 14th at the pop-up restaurant The Unfiltered Dog, and tickets are £55. Get them here.

Seminars and Master Classes

April 13th

2.00 – 3.00 pm – Daniel Honan – “The Secret Australian Wine Revolution”

In the past couple of years the artisan wine scene has positively exploded in Australia. Daniel will be talking about a group of young, iconoclastic Aussie winemakers, who share a love of music, poetry, food and natural wine.

4.00 – 5.00 pm – John Wurdeman, Rafa Bernabe, Giusto Occhipinti

“Feats of Clay” – a winemakers’ perspective on qvevri, tinajas and amphora wines.

April 14th

2.00 – 3.00 pm – Salvo Foti from I Vigneri

Viticulture and winemaking on Mount Etna.

3.30 pm – Wink Lorch, author of “Jura Wine”

The hidden treasures of Jura.

Reserve your place by notifying the front desk when you arrive. Full class descriptions here.

Food & Drink

With all that great wine being poured, you need something to eat. Serving great dishes at the fair will be:

Duck Soup – lamb shoulder cooked in milk, broad beans & wild garlic and tarama and shaved kohlrabi and sesame salt on warm flatbreads.

Donostia – small plates such as slow-cooked pigs cheeks and arroz negro plus variations on a jamón theme.

Zucca – Cianfotta (a seasonal vegetable stew from southern Italy) and pork cooked in milk.

Handmade Food – beetroot borani & feta with crispbread; marinated pigeon breast in flat bread with watercress and pickle, and Simnel cake.

Morito – cooking lamb on the plancha with labneh, pickled chillies and green olives and serving grilled Tetilla cheese with membrillo and walnut bocadillo.

Burro e Salvia – signature fresh pasta from traditional family recipes.

La Cour de Rémi – Pressed oxtail, mustard vinaigrette & roquette leaves; fried cuttlefish and pork belly ‘à la Ibaiona’ and Scallops, marinated with lemon infused olive oil.

Also on hand will be Workshop Coffee, Camden Town Brewery and Sacred Microdistillery.

The Unfiltered Dog

The folk behind Terroirs, Brawn, Soif and The Green Man & French Horn are popping up again with a pop-up restaurant at this year’s Real Wine Fair, where consumers can rub shoulders and knives and forks with wine growers and trade professionals.

The bistro, winningly named The Unfiltered Dog, will be open for dinner on the evening of Sunday 13th April. It will serve a short-but-punchy à la carte menu of charcuterie and cheese platters, as well as hot & cold dishes and desserts featuring such comfort food as chicken noodle soup; courgettes, artichokes & broad beans; quail, bitter leaves, anchovy, chilli & garlic; bacon chop & baked beans; squid, chickpeas & chipotle salsa; chocolate mousse, chewy hazelnut meringues, and banana bread, salted butter caramel & raw crème fraiche.

Dinner will be served from 6pm ‐10pm (last orders). Unfortunately, advance bookings will not be taken but customers will be seated on a first come, first served basis.

Did we miss anything?

Probably – so go to the website www.therealwinefair.com to find out more.


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