If you’ve made the commitment to adopt a completely organic lifestyle, you may have resigned yourself to a life without happy hour drinks. You don’t have to! Many great organic wine and organic beer choices await you on your favorite organic restaurant’s drink menu. Look for these excellent organic vintages and brews to pair up with your next organic meal.
Notable Organic Wine Vintners
Perlage, one of the old wineries in Northern Italy, converted to organic growing practices in 1985. Grape varieties include Prosecco, Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, among others. Perlage is most well known for its sparkling wines, which appear on organic wine menus everywhere. Of particular interest are the Perlage Proseccos, sparkling white wines that have a nice, peachy taste. Its Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese consistently also receive good reviews year after year.
Grown in the Columbia Valley, Washington premier growing region, Badger Mountain emphasizes its commitment to organic farming and production methods as a way to protect the environment and provide a completely natural wine for organic wine drinkers everywhere. Wine varietals include Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvingnon, and Merlot, as well as some white and red table blends. Badger Mountain’s Chardonnay and Riesling both receive good reviews, with the 2008 Chardonnay rating especially high.
Bodega J. & F. Lurton
This Andes winery located in Piedra Negra, Mendoza is known for its outstanding Malbec. The grapes thrive in the Uco Valley, 3,000 feet above sea level, producing an especially rich flavor that is featured worldwide in organic restaurants. The 2002 was a particularly good year, followed by a very strong 2003 vintage.
Good Organic Beer Breweries
Otter Creek Brewing
Otter Creek Brewing began as a microbrewery in 1991. It introduced the Wolaver’s Certified Organic beer series in 1998, and the organic beer continues to be popular today. Wolaver’s ale varieties include pale, india pale, brown, oatmeal stout, and wit bier. There is also a seasonal pumpkin version that gets good reviews.
Located in Munster, Germany, the Pinkus Organic brewing family is currently in its sixth generation. It has the special distinction of being the world’s first brewery to produce 100% organic beer. It is also USDA-certified organic. Offerings include Ur Pils, Jubilate, Munster Alt and Hefe-Weizen. The Ur Pils is especially popular, earning 4 or greater on most 5 point reviews.
Happy hour can be happy again for organic diners! The next time you’re in the mood for a drink with your dinner, ask for the organic wine list at your favorite organic restaurant. You’re sure to find something to please.
Vladmir Grinberg has been involved in the natural food industry since 2001. He has made it his mission to promote healthy food choices by educating readers about the benefits of natural and organic foods. To help make healthy food more convenient for busy people, Mr. Grinberg also started OrganicDirect, an organic food delivery service for the New York Metro area.