Natural Wine x Accessibility (Newsletter #6)
I want natural wine to be accessible to all. But is it even feasible?
This one is going to be a short one. I want to open up the discussion about accessibility to natural wine.
The industrialization of wine during the last century and the race to make it more affordable and accessible to those outside of traditional wine regions is what led us to the highly manipulated conventional wine we know today. Oftentimes, with accessibility come obstacles: exploitation of resources and people, dilution of the integrity of a product, manipulation of the original product and ultimately simply losing the essence of what was originally meant to be.
So how do we navigate this? Small batch production ensures that craftsmanship remains intact, but limits the amount that can be distributed; meaning that unless you’re in proximity to these wines, you might not have access to them when they are available. Most grocery or chain stores require orders in greater volume than a wine company can keep up with. Limited quantity might also lead to slightly higher prices (not always though!), which might also be a barrier to entry for some. Another barrier that might limit accessibility is the preservation of resources, the environment and people. Good, safe and clean practices come at a cost. (Understandably).
Despite all this, how do we make natural wines more accessible to folks without jeopardizing the values that come with said natural-ness? Many of my followers ask me where they can find natural wines in their area. The truth is— unless you live in a city like Los Angeles, Brooklyn, San Fran or in areas close to wine regions, it is difficult to find natural wine. Of course, as the movement grows, I’ve seen so many amazing businesses and shops pop up around the country, sharing wine and knowledge with folks in their community. But in general, unless you live near one of these shops, you may not be able to purchase natural wine. There are also a couple online retailers like Primal Wine and Mysa that are also doing great work and offering fairly priced wines with direct to consumer models, so accessibility is definitely on the horizon.
So what do you all think? Is it possible to make a low/fairly priced natural wine without limiting the access to it? Do you think we’ll ever see the day when natural wines are available widely at Whole Foods and Total Wine without sacrificing the integrity of what natural wine’s are all about? Will it ever be truly accessible?
I want to know your thoughts. Send me an email, leave it in the comments, DM me, whatever. Let’s discuss!