Healthy wine. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, leave it to virtual vino-subscription shop Winc to make that wine enthusiast's dream a close reality with its latest launch: modern wine with an organic twist.
While we may look for ways to infuse more sustainable and healthy food habits into our daily lives, it's likely that we haven't thought twice about the ingredients (not to mention, the manufacturing process) that go into our nightly pours. Enter: The Wonderful Wine Co., a new brand that's infusing sustainable practices with clean ingredients for modern wine-making at its finest. "As health-conscious winemakers who care about the things we put into our bodies, we wanted to craft something that people could feel good about reaching for," Winc founder Brian Smith tells Refinery29. The starting lineup (a red, white, still rosé, and limited-edition orange) evokes the health focus of the cold-pressed juice trend but reimagined for the wine world — think sustainably-farmed, low-sulfite, low-carb, made with organic grapes, and free of added sugars or pesticides. According to Winc, organic wine accounts for less than 4% of global consumption — an exact reason for why the company is working towards a future where eco-friendly winemaking is more mainstream and widely practiced. While wine is by no means an elixir of health, in moderation it can still fit into a healthy lifestyle of those who choose to drink and enjoy it.
In addition to an extensive "without" list, Wonderful's bottles are also certified as something that this writer did not realize wine wasn't already: vegan. How is wine not vegan? The answer has everything to do with the animal byproducts that are sometimes used during the winemaking process; gelatin, egg whites, and the milk protein casein are all common 'fining agents,' or ingredients added to offset bitterness in certain wines.
But, true sustainability doesn't stop at what's inside the bottle: "The greenhouse effect of each bottle of wine is estimated to be the equivalent to driving 3.9 miles, so we know that the small wins can really add up," Smith explains. "Our commitment to doing the right thing affects every decision we make." For example, the lightweight glass bottles require 20% less energy and 12% percent less water to produce than conventional 750ml wine bottles. In addition to bottling closer to the point of sale (which reduces CO2 emissions by 40% versus standard shipping methods), Winc also uses insulated blankets (instead of fuel-guzzling refrigerated trucks) to cut down on emissions. Lastly, the easy-to-break down recycled (and recyclable) cardboard boxes and minimal fillers on the inside show that the shipping experience was wholly made with sustainability top of mind.
If you've ever balked at the price of a single bottle while also longing to leave your two-buck-chuck days behind, then you know that a good wine can hard to find. Luckily, these are not. Wonderful's selection is priced at $19.99 apiece, which you can shop à la carte on Winc (with the exception of the limited-edition orange blend) or by cases of three, six, and 12 on Wonderful Wine Co.'s site for $60, $110, or $215 respectively. "These kinds of clean-crafted wines aren’t easy to find outside of your special neighborhood wine shop, and they typically come with large price tags attached," Smith says. "What makes us different is that we own each part of the production process, from winemaking to bottling to shipping, which enables us to make these wines more widely accessible and at a high price-to-quality ratio."
Sustainable wine that's affordable and also just plain delicious (not to mention, cute on the 'gram)? Cheers to that.
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