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01.21.2007

WBW#29 (Biodynamic Wines) Roundup Has Been Posted

wbw_icon.jpgNearly forty bloggers from around the world participated in this month's virtual wine tasting event known as Wine Blogging Wednesday. For those of you unfamiliar with the event, it is hosted by a single blogger who chooses the theme, and then on the appointed Wednesday, anyone who wants to participate posts a review of a wine meeting the theme.

January's event theme was biodynamic wines and was hosted by Jack and Joanne over at Fork & Bottle. Jack is a friend of mine and has been a devotee of biodynamic wines for a long time, so the theme didn't come as much surprise when I heard he and his wife were going to be the hosts for the event.

Biodynamic wines are, of course, made according to the methods and prescriptions of Rudolph Steiner, who essentially codified and documented the various farming practices that currently make up the Biodynamic method. Steiner, and biodynamics get a lot of grief from folks like me for being based on thinking like this:

"Go to a museum and look at the skeleton of any mammal and go there with the consciousness that in the form and configuration of the head there is working above all the radiation of the Sun...as it pours in the mouth. A lion exposes itself to the Sun differently from a horse. The forming of the head and that which immediately follows the head, depends on the way the animal is exposed to the Sun. [The] sunlight thrown back by the Moon is quite ineffective when it shines on to the head of an animal. There it has no influence. The light that is rayed back from the Moon develops its highest influence when it falls on the hinder parts of the animal.... This will enable you to discover, from the form and figure of the animal, a definite relation between the manure...and the plants of which the animal is eating. Thereby [the animal] will provide the very manure which is most suited for the soil on which the plant is growing." (Agriculture Course, Lecture Two, June 10, 1924)
Cosmic pseudo-science aside, two things are very clear about biodynamic agriculture and biodynamic winegrowing in particular: more and more winegrowers are switching to biodynamic, and there are some undeniably fantastic biodynamic wines out there. It's pretty clear that biodynamics works, though less clear exactly why, and even less clear which parts of it work and which parts are new-age hokum.

Anyone interested in great wine should definitely be interested in biodynamic wine, and you'll be hard pressed to find a better way to start exploring it than the wine reviews that are part of this month's Wine Blogging Wednesday roundup. From Pinot Noir to Cabernet to Riesling to Syrah and Rhone Blends, bloggers reviewed biodynamic wines to fit every taste and budget. Enjoy!

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.