The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

A Wine Manifesto for the Future

Posted on | February 10, 2011 | Written by Christy Canterbury | 1 Comment

In the New York Times Opinionator on February 2, Mark Bittman wrote “A Food Manifesto for the Future.” I was visiting my parents for my dad’s birthday, and I read the article out loud. I’ve been sharing for years what I learn about the US food supply chain with my parents, but I feel I’ve been stymied by the fact there’s little choice in their small Texas town. However, I made a big impression a few months ago when I showed them a video about a McDonald’s Hamburger dipped in Hydrochloric Acid. In this newly induced phase of food awareness, Bittman’s piece caused a small stir.

The discussion that followed, fueled by a combination of my parents’ growing curiosity and my long-standing anathema for mass-produced – and often GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) food – from the Midwest as well as the use of rBGH and rBST in industrial milk production, provoked my father to pull from the kitchen cabinet his beloved Chex and Quaker Oat Squares. Placing the boxes on the living room coffee table he asked, “How do I know if I should eat this stuff, especially with milk, after all?” I sadly replied, “You almost know more about your food from what is not in the labeling than what is.” For further amusement in this vein, try pin-pointing the healthy benefits of Activia yogurt by chasing after the links on its site.

Shortly after this scene, my thoughts drifted to how consumers choose wine. What is certified this or that and what is not? What is sustainable?  I do believe my favorite quote ever on such topics is from a Languedoc farmer who quipped a neighbor’s line on sustainability, “I farm sustainably. I sustain my income.” Further complicating the situation is that there’s not much information on most labels, and even winegrowers who farm organically or biodynamically don’t necessarily indicate this on their labels. While the good news is that the wine world has generally been very vocal about its disdain of GMO products in wine production, it hasn’t kept some curious scientists and ambitious product companies from trying to introduce them.

So, where do we look to be in the know when we buy wine? The internet intricately connects us to varying qualities of information, and those of us who are passionate about what we consume have an unprecedented opportunity to understand what we drink. However, much about wine is still communicated viva voce, or word-of-mouth, and all sorts of studies confirm this.  So, we look to our wine merchants and our friends. And, just like my dad’s closely reading the labels of his cereals, you really have to know the philosophies of the wine grower, the importer, the merchant, the salesperson or one of them along the chain. At IWM, we drink natural fruits from earth that reflect where they were grown. Come raise a glass with us!

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One Response to “A Wine Manifesto for the Future”

  1. Tweets that mention A Wine Manifesto for the Future : Inside IWM -- Topsy.com
    February 11th, 2011 @ 12:53 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Vince Attard, ItalianWineMerchants. ItalianWineMerchants said: Today on our blog, our own @canterburywine responds to @bittman with "A Wine Manifesto for the Future": http://goo.gl/qGPKS […]

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