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Beter zonder zwavel?

De vraag naar wijn zonder toegevoegd sulfiet neemt toe. Maar is die wijn ook ‘gezonder’? En valt er in de smaak iets van te merken? Dat blijft de vraag nu die zwavel hoe langer hoe meer vervangen wordt door andere toevoegingen of behandelprocessen om de wijn stabiel te houden. Bijvoorbeeld door middel van snelle pasteurisatie. Het kan zelfs zo uitpakken dat de vervangende middelen een negatiever effect hebben dan toegevoegde zwavel. On ze Zweedse collega Britt Karlsson in haar periodieke nieuwsbrief met enkele bedenkingen:

 

“Sans” – does it make sense?

There is a new trend, still a bit discreet. But it will perhaps – probably – increase. We see it in France and it probably exists in other wine countries as well. I’m talking about the “without sulphur” trend, sans sulfites ajoutés. Or rather, “without added sulphur”. This is nothing new, you may think. But it’s not about natural wines. Not even about organic wines. It is about satisfying consumers who want to avoid sulphur. That’s it.

 

The way in which the wine has been made is of lesser interest. It is not about avoiding additives (except sulphur) or various processing aids. On the contrary, in order to make these wines – which are often quite cheap and unpretentious – stable without sulphur, other additives or techniques are used e.g. flash pasteurisation. There are for example volume producers such as Gérard Bertrand, the Vignerons de Buzet cooperative and Cellier des Dauphins, among others, who have so far launched wines without added sulphur. Sometimes the wines are organically certified, sometimes not. It is often reliable wines, of good quality in their (relatively low) price range.


The trend will certainly contunue. The more wines that boast ‘no sulphur’on the label, the more consumers wil question the use of sulphur. But if you then replace sulphur with something else? Is it better or worse? And is sulphur really that bad?