Any eco-conscious wine lover will tell you, there are two types of wine drinkers: Those who favor organic wine and those who aren’t as good as those who favor organic wine.
Now, I write that as a joke – a joke I’m sure organic stalwarts are sick of hearing – but it turns out that organic wine lovers may have the last laugh. A new study suggests that organic wine really does taste better than non-organic wine.
The research, which comes from the University of California, Los Angeles, took a surprisingly simple approach. According to the LA Times, the research team looked at tens of thousands of reviews published between 1998 and 2009 in Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast. Wines from 3,842 wineries were included, with only 1 percent of them certified organic. When comparing wines of similar vintages and varietals, those produced from certified organic grapes scored a significant 4.1 points higher.
If you’re surprised that your organic-touting friends may have been right all along, you’re not alone. “I was surprised by this,” Magali Delmas, an environmental economist at UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability and the study’s leader, said about her team’s findings. In fact, other research as proven that, thanks to joke-cracking jerks like me, an anti-organic wine bias really does exist. The LA Times cites a 2015 study where, in some situations, people would actually pay more for wines that weren’t labeled as organic – a bias that leads some organic wineries to choose to not label their wines as organic.
Delmas hopes her team’s study will lead more wineries to be proud of their organic status. If they don’t, she says they’re missing an opportunity. Meanwhile, don’t expect your organic wine advocate friends to miss the opportunity to bring this study up every chance they get.