The usually cogent Matt Kramer is letting his logic slip. In an interesting post on the future of wine, which consists of reasonable guesses for the most part, he claims:
Natural wines, so-called, won’t exist. Why not? Because they will have been mainstreamed, that’s why. It will be normal for producers to create wines more or less along the lines that are deemed “natural” today. What will be different will be that these same wines will be universally well-made rather than today’s more hit-and-miss “naturalism.”
Perhaps, but then he claims:
Conversely, wines made using reverse osmosis and spinning cones to reduce alcohol will be ever more common and—here’s the kicker—producers will be forthright about it. Strange as it sounds to us today, it will be the new “natural.”
Here again, climate change may be the prime mover. If producers in now-warm and possibly-getting-hotter zones can demonstrate that judiciously removing alcohol with technology does not materially affect the remaining “naturalness” of the wine, then a new generation of tech-savvy and tech-accepting wine drinkers will say, “No problem.”
I don’t get it. Natural wine enthusiasts reject wines made with sulfur because it’s considered excessively interventionist and obscures the influence of weather and soil on a particular vintage.Why then would they be OK with reverse osmosis since it also is manipulating the character of the vintage? Why is it “unnatural” to protect wine from excessive oxidation by using sulfur but acceptable to modify it’s alcohol content using hi-tech machinery?
I doubt that the conflict between technology and nature will be so easily resolved by natural wine enthusiasts simply forgetting their commitments.