I’m a huge fan of odd, weird, rustic, experimental and unfiltered wine. I’ve spent a lot of time drinking and trying all the classic varieties, exceptional vintages and well-known cellars but what keeps me being into wine is the way ancient techniques are coming back because they are proving to be the only way forward to a sustainable production system.
These techniques like biodynamic, natural and organic are now mastered by many producers around the world and the results are exceptional. The wines following these techniques are a true expression of the whole wine making process, and their characteristics are unachievable on an industrial scale.
Many chefs are aware of this and have adopted similar processes, applied them to their cooking and the resulting food is a perfect pairing with these wines.
My best example to illustrate this for you is the “Orange Wine” served at Silo, the UK’s first Zero-waste restaurant.
A Demua, Monferrato Bianco is a Ligurian, biodynamic wine produced by Stefano Bellotti of A.A. Cascina degli Ulivi. A certified organic, natural and biodynamic producer. The wine originates from a blend of ancient (over 100 years old) autochthonous grapes: Italic Riesling, Verdea, Timarosso, Bosco and Moscatella. The region sits in the south of Piemonte and its well known for its sophisticated cooking and exceptional wines.
The nickname “orange“ comes from a long fermentation on the skins which give this wine its intense, bright copper colour. For the same reason, it ages very well!
Production for this wine contains zero added sulfites so you can drink as much as you want and turn up to work the following morning without a headache.
We got it served fridge-cold, first, we barely noticed any character, It smelled of orange peel, apple cider, and a bit of elderflower, it was short and sharp when tasting it first, all we could get was apple, a good amount of acidity and a beautiful grainy texture. As it warmed up, it opened up on the nose and the palate, giving more peach, almond and chestnut notes.
It’s a very different wine and personally, I think it’s an incredibly enjoyable example of what an unfiltered, natural wine is about. It pairs perfectly with any type of dish, especially with Silo’s style of cooking.
For the evening, two veterans at Silo prepared a set menu around the wine, genius!
As a fun fact, A Demua means joy or fun in the local dialect, this makes perfect sense; for me, food and wine have to be fun, amusing and exciting.