I have been in the UK for the last two weeks and thought I would look around to see whether I could find natural, biodynamic or organic wines. If I lived in London then the experience would have been very different as there are a number of wine merchants who sell natural wines, even specialise in them. This website has a map showing such oases. Around the country there are merchants who also specialise in these wines, the excellent Vins Naturels website links to some.
However, I live in the North East and it is a desert for the sort of wines which I love. I walked around a number of supermarkets and it was a depressing experience. Rows of shelves loaded with branded wines from the usual suspects, Yellow Tail, Gallo etc. Hardly any artisanal wines and, in my regular supermarket, I could not find one organic wine let alone natural wine. On the websites of the big supermarkets, Tesco lists 5 organic wines from almost 600 wines, Morrisons just two from over 500. Other big chains don’t even show organic wines.
The moral is, if you want to drink organic, biodynamic or natural wines, then search online for specialist merchants. The message is not getting out there to a wider wine drinking public. Just this week I read a thread on a well known wine forum which included comments about not buying natural wine in France as it doesn’t travel back to the UK. Complete nonsense of course. Many natural producers sell their wines in the USA, Australia and Japan in large quantities. I transport such wines regularly back to the north of England with no problem whatsoever. That people still go along with such nonsense shows that prejudice and clichés carry more weight than reality. But then after recent weeks why does that still surprise me?
The Real Wine Fair, RAW and other events show that there is a market in the UK but it is very London centric. We need change.