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Bits & Bites

Food news this month


A Sustainable Buzz

Love your mother with these trendy and health-conscious wine movements for Earth Day

1. Certified Sustainable Wines
Oregon Certified Sustainable Wines are at the forefront of the US sustainability movement. This group of producers ensures the land, animals, and rivers will be viable for future generations by adhering to responsible growing and winemaking practices. Our favorite is the legendary Adelsheim Vineyard, which has been making high-end Pinot Noir from the Chehalem Mountains in Willamette Valley since 1971. Try its 2008 Boulder Bluff Vineyard and you will taste how responsible practices translate to quality in the glass. $68, protocolwinestudio.wordpress.com

2. USDA Certified Organic Wines
Not only is responsibility in growing and winemaking practiced, it is regulated. In USDA Certified Organic wines, the use of fungicides, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and added sulfites are all prohibited. (Sulfites are a natural by-product of fermentation, so all wines have them. Organically made wines only limit adding more to the wine.) To celebrate the spirit of these au naturel wines, try Snoqualmie Vineyards Naked Riesling from Washington’s Columbia Valley. The 2011 vintage will impress! $11, lacostawineco.com

3. Biodynamically Certified Wines
Biodynamics are based on understanding the ecological, energetic, and spiritual aspects of nature. The idea is to treat the farm as a cohesive, interconnected ecosystem. Its most interesting detail is in the use of  “preparations”—stuffing cow horns with dung and planting them under the vines when the moon is either waxing or waning. Although this lunar-based system seems lost in space, if you talk to any of its followers, they will tell you the quality of their soil and wines have dramatically improved since they switched. Try Beckman’s Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache Block 8 in Santa Barbara County, and you may also drink the Kool-Aid. $53, fiftysevendegrees.com

// Lindsay Pomeroy


“I was a little nervous. At one point I’m presented with a bowl of water with flowers and herbs to wash my hands. I nearly drank it.”
Troy Johnson on his stint as a judge on a recent Iron Chef America episode. Read his Top 10 Observations from the show, which airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on Food Network.


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