7 Organic White Wines For Under $10!

I recently discussed the shocking hidden ingredients in wine, and the ambiguity of organic wine labeling. The time has come to jump into the meat drink of the matter: AKA – the actual affordable organic wines available. Without further adieu, here are my thoughts on 7 organic white wines which are better for your environment, health and wallet. I’ve listed them from low to high prices, since that’s basically how I filter everything to buy in life. (Why spend more, when you can just…. not?)

melanie avalon white table wine green fin.jpgGREEN FIN – White Table Wine ($4.99 Trader Joe’s)

Wine Specs: 11% ABV, Sultana/Columbard/ Muscat blend

Health Specs: Made with Organic Grapes, Recycled Glass Bottle

Wine Facts: Green Fin is run by Bronco Wine Company, the fourth largest wine producer in the US, and the company responsible for Trader Joe’s infamously adored Two Buck Chuck. Exclusive to Trader Joes, Green Fin is sort of like the organic alternative to a glass of Charles Shaw. On the one hand, you just can’t beat the price of these wines, especially for organic. On the other hand, I find all the whites taste shocking similar, to the point that I’m suspicious they’re even different varietals. They all taste like similarly sweet, happy fruity concoctions more reminiscent of fruit juice spiked with a smidge of alcohol, than wine per se. They’re the type of wines I’d imagine would be the official wine of Disneyland, if Disneyland had an official wine: light, sweet, friendly, and non-offensive. If you like light and sweet, you’ll like these wines. Otherwise… maybe not.

Official Flavor Profile: “This pale straw colored wine has very intense orange blossom and honey aromatics, while delivering a full, rich body with a core of pear, and nectarine flavors followed by a smooth aftertaste that’s long and focused.”

My Thoughts: Green Fin’s White Table Wine is VERY sweet, screaming syrupy honey and apple. The overwhelming sweetness tends to dampen any nuances insinuated by the varied description. On the plus side, the White Table Wine boasts a low alcohol content (11% is pretty hard to beat these days.) If you’re an organic wine lover with a sweet tooth looking for a nightly glass of vino that won’t wreak havoc on your wallet or liver, this wine just may be for you.

pinot grigio melanie avalon.jpgGREEN FIN – Pinot Grigio ($4.99 Trader Joe’s)

Wine Specs: 12.5 % ABV, Pinot Grigio

Health Specs: Made with Organic Grapes, Recycled Glass Bottle

Wine Facts: See GREEN FIN – Chardonnay

Official Flavor Profile: “Fruit focused with perfumed apples and hints of citrus and honeysuckle. Intense fresh fruit blends with a smooth supple finish.”

My Thoughts: I think the Pinot Grigio may be my favorite of the Green Fin bunch, despite how similar they all taste. It’s definitely got lots of apple and honeysuckle, with a tinge more of an acidic punch than its brethren, but in a saccharine rather than mineraly way.

green fin chardonnay melanie avalon.jpgGREEN FIN – Chardonnay ($4.99 Trader Joe’s)

Wine Specs: 12.5% ABV, Chardonnay

Health Specs: Made with Organic Grapes, Recycled Glass Bottle

Wine Facts: See GREEN FIN – Chardonnay

Official Flavor Profile: Light, golden yellow wine is clean and crisp with citrus, typical fruit, and green apple flavors. These attributes provide an enjoyable lingering aftertaste.”

My Thoughts: Like the other Green Fins, the chardonnay is also very sweet. I personally perceive lot of sweet pineapple, as well as the essence of green apple (with all sourness completely removed.)

GROUNDSWELL VINEYARDS – California White Table Wine ($5.99 Whole Foods)

groundswell.jpgWine Specs: 12.5%, Unknown Blend

Health Specs: Made with organic grapes, Vegan, Eco-friendly glass bottle, FSC certified recycled paper labels

Official Flavor Profile: “A force of nature in its own right, Groundswell White erupts with a youthful mix of apples, pear and floral notes, making it a savor-worthy companion for those times when you just want to go with the flow.”

History: I couldn’t find much information on the Groundswell company, including the specific grapes used in the blend. Hmm….

My Thoughts: Groundswell’s White Table Wine is a nice mellow, light-to medium bodied wine. Though I have no idea what grapes constitute the specific blend, it’s a nice balance of sweet and acid. I personally taste lemon in the beginning, followed by some light apple, with a mineral, acidic finish. If you’re looking for a nice, light white wine with lowish-alcohol content and very decent price tag, this one may be a winner.

organic-natural-white-nv.jpgFREY’S – Natural White ($9.99 Whole Foods)

Wine Specs: 13.5 ABV, Chardonnay / Chenin Blanc blend

Health Specs: USDA Organic Wine, No Sulfites Added, Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sustainable methods, Biodynamic Farming

Official Flavor Profile: “A bright and crisp dry white wine filled with pleasant flavors of ripe melons and pear… Lemon custard and praline aromas follow through to a crisp, light-to-medium body of kiwi, honey nut and melon. “

History: Frey Vineyards proudly holds the title of “America’s first organic and Biodynamic winery,” established in 1980. Frey’s wines notably bear the USDA organic seal, rather than just “made with organic grapes.” As such, they have no added sulfites, and use traditional yeast. Frey’s methods of biodynamic farming encourage naturalistic, supportive approaches for the earth, water, and wildlife. (i.e.: composting grape waste; hand harvested fruit; no acid/sugar adjustments, etc.) According Frey’s website, 90% of the land is an “unspoiled natural habitat.”

My Thoughts: On the organic spectrum, Frey’s takes the cake. Their commitment to pure winemaking and environmental preservation is quite laudable. If all wineries followed their practices, all would be right in the wine world!

As for the wine itself, I do feel like Frey’s white table wine might be an acquired taste. The wine is very dry, with a lemony, almost astringent zip to it. Very minerally. In fact, when I first tried it, I was very much not a fan. However, as I had bought quite a few bottles under the allure of the price and organic promise, I’ve been sipping on it a bit more, and warming up to it. Now I think I kind of like it, and can appreciate more of the nutty, crisp flavors (honey nut, praline, etc.) If you want to hardcore support the organic wine movement, at least give this wine a try.

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LOST VINEYARDS – “Treehugger” Bianco ($8.99 Sprouts)

Wine Specs: 11-13% ABV, Trebbiano/Gargenega/Bombino blend

Health Specs: Made with organic grapes, Recycled glass bottles, Paint-free recycled aluminum tops, recycled cardboard cartons with non-toxic inks

Official Flavor Profile: “Crisp, clean and delightfully fresh, TreeHugger Bianco has a delicate tropical bouquet. Flavors of crisp pear and key lime give way to a complex finish of pear and tangerine that changes to lime and mineral.”

History: Run by Lost Vineyards, the TreeHugger line prides itself on being “better for our planet and therefore, better for you,” and also labels itself as “America’s No. 1 Ultra Value Importer.” I really like their website, which emphasizes their personal practices.

My Thoughts: Perhaps the most distinct aspect of TreeHuger is its golden goldilocks hue. I taste nice flavors of pear, grapefruit, and lemon meringue, with very light sweetness, and a very dry finish. This is a wine I’ll likely revisit in the future for a second opinion (from myself.)

CN_pinot-grigio-organic2.pngCANDONI – Pinot Grigio ($9.99 Whole Foods, Sprouts)

Wine Specs: 12- 13% ABV, (100%) Pinot Grigio

Health Specs: Made with organic grapes, Gluten-free, Vegan

Official Flavor Profile: “Candoni Organic Pinot Grigio is a refreshing, everyday wine. The beautiful aromas of melon, pear and pineapple are complemented by delicate avors of lemon and fig.”

History: The Candoni organic Pinot Grigio is grown in the “unspoiled” Veneto Region of Italy, and certified organic by Suolo e Salute. It does note to be 100% Pinot Grigio, which is important, since normally a wine only has to 75% of a varietal to claim that name. (Yey misleadingness!)

My Thoughts: Out of all the organic whites I tried for this review, I believe this one may be my favorite. It’s got a nice medium body with balanced sweetness and acidity. Daintily more nuanced than some of the other options, I particularly taste honeyed peaches and nut brittle, lending a nice blend of fruity dryness, with an earthy finish.

BONUS REVIEW:

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SALADINI PILASTRI – Pecorino ($12.99 Total Wine)

Wine Specs: 13.5% ABV, Pecorino

Health Specs: Made with organic grapes, Sustainable

Official Flavor Profile: This early-ripening grape produces a wine of great structure and character. Intriguing minerality, with notes of citrus characterize this high quality, classic wine.”

History: The Pecorino grape hearkens from the Ascoli region of Italy.

My Thoughts: Ok, this one doesn’t fit the criteria for this post, but I originally bought it in my buy all the organic wines spree at Total Wine (the sales associates swore it was the best), did the research and tasting notes, and would like to write it off on my taxes. Plus, if the intense fruity sweetness of the Green Fin wines discussed at the beginning are a huge turn off, this Saladin Pilatri Pecorino is the exact opposite, making it a nice way to end things. I personally get tons of mineral and lemon notes, with a peachy essence. Overall, it’s a very “grown-up” tasting wine. I know that’s not very articulate wine speak, but whatevs!


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