The Many Precious Polyphenols In Natural Wine
Isabelle Legeron: Master of Wine
Grapes make polyphenols to protect against fungi, bacteria, frost, and other harsh growing conditions. When you drink wine, those polyphenols protect you in a similar way; they neutralize damaging free radicals that stress your cells.
Every bottle of wine has a unique collection of dozens (sometimes even hundreds) of different polyphenols. They contribute to the wine’s taste, color, mouthfeel, and nose. The diversity is valuable, too: polyphenols seem to work with one another, and consuming a wide variety appears to be more important than getting a lot of any single one.
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Becoming a Master of Wine is one of the highest distinctions in wine. In fact, there are only 383 Masters of Wine in the world today. Isabelle Legeron happens to be the only woman from France to ever earn the honor.
But Isabelle does not fit the mold of a typical Master of Wine. Her mission is not only to understand the vast complexities of global wine, but more importantly she also strives to honor the Earth and support the organic growers who grow Natural Wines.
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2000 years ago, the famous Greek philosopher Plato was on his way to a Greek symposium.
These symposia were popular among the intellectuals of the day. The lively banquets featured decadent feasts, recitals of song and dance, philosophical conversations, and, of course, the elixir of the gods: wine.
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It’s 1693 in Champagne, northern France. Dom Pierre Pérignon, a Benedectine monk, comes rushing down to his cellar after hearing another glass explosion. It happens every so often: a wine already in bottle undergoes accidental fermentation, produces too much carbon dioxide, and causes pressure to build up, exploding the bottle.
Natural wine is a beautiful thing.
Simply, it’s when a wine is made with organic grapes and native yeast. Nothing is added, nothing is removed. No human intervention.
That means natural wine is alive in the bottle, full of beneficial bacteria and antioxidants. It hasn’t been filtered or chemically altered in any way.