The year is 2020, we were all suddenly told to shelter in place and the walls were starting to close in. I reach for my trusted friend, red wine, to get me through the weird space time continuum we seemed to have entered. However, most of the wine in my stash consisted of bottles from a small private vineyard in Napa and that wasn’t an acceptable product to waste on a random Tuesday evening. So I went to the grocery store to supplement my intake. I was grabbing mid-range standard brands like Josh, Penfolds, Meiomi (you know the usual suspects) so I thought I was picking pretty respectable wine.
Not soon after, I noticed my teeth were getting super stained and I had frequent headaches after drinking – even just from drinking a glass or two! What was happening? Could I not hang anymore? Is this what happens after you turn thirty?! AM I GOING TO HAVE TO BECOME A WHITE WINE DRINKER?! For those of you who don’t know… I drink red wine year round. I was horrified thinking that my red wine drinking days may be behind me. Maybe I could convert to liquor, but red wine is in my blood and I have always enjoyed its luxurious and deep complexities.
Then coincidentally I was invited to a virtual wine tasting through a friend. She went around like a little wine elf, porch delivered a bottle of wine to all of us in confinement and scheduled a call for us to chat, mingle and taste. Of course I picked a red wine (cabernet) to try and we all popped our bottles open together on the call. The host was telling us how these were ‘clean crafted’ organic wines and I was apprehensive because all other organic red wines I have previously tried weren’t really that good. They were always missing that full body or oomph that is distinctive of a decent red. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and overall profile of the wine.
I drank two glasses during the call and corked it for later. Immediately I noticed that I didn’t even slightly have a headache and when I looked in the mirror, my newly dentist-polished teeth didn’t show a single tinge of red and somehow my lips were still pink. Y’all… I am ALWAYS that hot mess of a girl with basically an entirely black mouth when I drink red wine. THAT WAS ME OKAY! I am not afraid to say it, I own that archetype. But how could this be? I had no headache, and no staining. What was this magic? Was this clean-crafted wine the answer I was looking for?
What is Clean Crafted? || For a wine to be considered clean-crafted it goes through two rounds of independent testing to guarantee that its free of all the gross stuff they add into wines like synthetic pesticides and chemical additives and it has to have fewer than 100ppm of total sulfates. Additionally, the farming and production practices are evaluated and reviewed to confirm that they are in fact clean crafted. Without that, it doesn’t get the Clean-Crafted seal. One really big missing ingredient? DYES! That is why my teeth were getting super stained from store bought wine. I had no idea that mass produced wines contained so much dye to hide all the imperfections! In addition to the above requirements, these particular wines are also low on sugar, which along with the low sulfate count, reduces the headaches and hangovers. Sign. Me. Up.
Where Does It Come From? || These wines are sourced from all over the world. Because the company works directly with growers and producers who embody the clean-crafted commitment, the wines available are wildly delicious with an authentic sense of place. These wines majority come from sustainable organic and or biodynamic farms and they are tended by people, not mass produced industrial agricultural methods. Similarly to how I wouldn’t know about my favorite vineyard in Napa without traveling there (they also do not sell in stores) these small vineyards utilize the company for exposure. Each one has a little profile on the site where you can learn about the history and I love the chance to support small, independent farms.
All Wines are 100% Vegan || All wine is vegan right? Wrong. You would think ‘it’s just grapes so it would be vegan’ but mass-produced wines use animal byproducts to clarify wine. When you have young wine it is often very hazy and they contain a lot of tiny molecules such as proteins, tartrates, tannins and phenolics. They are not harmful but we typically like our wine to be clear and bright. When wines are left for long enough they will self stabilize and self-“fine” but since mass produced wine can’t wait for that process to finish, they introduce fining agents which act like magnets to precipitate out the haze-inducing materials. All of the clean-crafted wines are either refined with clay or are left to self-“fine” which simply allows nature to takes its course.
Where Can I Get Them? || Since most of the farms and vineyards which are practicing these methods are small, family owned wineries they do not have a distribution channel. Therefore these wines are only available through Scout&Cellar which, after discovering all of this information, I immediately signed up to become a rep for. There are multiple ways you can buy wine: either directly from the site, or you can become a circle member. The membership has different levels and a exclusive selection of wines that are not available to the public (like some French reds I have my eye on) plus you get priority expedited shipping, flat rate pricing even when you get expensive wines in your box, and some freebies from the wineries when they throw in extra perks.
So in short, why do I drink clean-crafted wine? It’s better for me, it’s better for the environment, and it tastes great! Yes I still enjoy a boujee glass when I’m at a nice restaurant and my coveted bottles from Napa, but a nice weekday glass no longer needs to be a trade off between a possible hangover or stained teeth. If you ever want to put in an order or set up a tasting with you and some gals feel free to email me and we can chat! I would love to help host your event or just talk to you more about clean-crafted wine but also feel free to hop onto the site and shop around – you should see my rep name in the corner!
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