Our wine selection at the Grand Trunk is a carefully chosen variety of “old world wines”from small conscientious producers that focus on quality rather than quantity. We aim to offer you value as well as breadth of selection and rarity. We have met many of our producers and visit many of these estates each year. You will be able to find wines ranging from areas such as Aosta, Italy to Bandol, France and from Priorat, Spain to Burgenland, Austria.
Wine is made from the fruits of the earth and is a major part of culture from each wine growing village or region in the world. Cuisine from the region tends to pair beautifully with local dishes. We love to cook whether it’s a Paella over the wood fire, a mushroom risotto on a cold winter night, or roasted free range chicken with a tarragon sauce and we also like to pair it with wine from the region. Offering wine that has a sense of place or typifies an area of the world is what we aim to do at the Grand Trunk. Visiting wine regions throughout Europe each year helps us understand why big bold, juicy reds are made in Montsant, Spain and why focused, minerally, stony whites thrive in the Loire Valley. Why does Alsatian choucroute garni pair so well with Gewurztraminer or Riesling from Alsace and Florentine steak with a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano? People from these areas have been eating the food from their region and pairing it with the wine that their neighbor makes and they have been doing this for hundreds if not thousands of years.
Due to the fact that many of these producers are small they tend not to add extra sulfites into their wine. Many of our producers are sustainable, several practice organic cultivation, and a number are certified biodynamic.
A thing about Sulfites
Many of us actively search for wines that are low in sulfites or with no added sulfites. In order for a wine to be imported or sold in the United States the label must legally state “Contains Sulfites”. A winemaker adds sulfites to wine to stabilize and preserve the wine, however mass produced wines especially wines that may be the product of a second or third pressing and sold as bulk or “cheap wine” typically is loaded with sulfites compared to other wines. An organic wine producer may legally add some sulfites to the wine but it is a much smaller amount compared to non-organic. A biodynamic wine estate can not add any sulfites to the wine. However, small amounts of natural sulfites are minimally present on the stems and skins whether organic, non-organic, or biodynamic practices take place.
A thing about sustainable, organic and biodynamic wine practices:
In a nutshell all of these practices are different levels and techniques of cultivating the vines and intervening with rot, pests, and other disasters that may take place in a vineyard.
A Sustainable vineyard works with nature (bugs, plants, animals) to promote a natural synergy with the vines in order to preserve the land and its surroundings. No insecticides, chemical fertilizers, or rodent poisonings are used. Reasoned intervention may take place but always on the most natural level.
An Organic Vineyard is one in which no pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers are used. Little to no sulfur dioxide (sulfites) is used. As with sustainable the goal is to promote the natural health of the surrounding earth for future generations. There are different levels of organic certification ranging from 100% to 70% which means that some percentage of sulfites may be used.
A Biodynamic Vineyard goes through a strict certification which takes minimally seven years from the internationally recognized Demeter Association. This method of practice originated in Europe, the focus being on using only natural resources from the vineyard to promote the natural health of the vine and its surroundings thus being ecologically self suficient. A certified biodynamic vineyard meets and exceeds the standards and regulations for organic farming. No chemicals may be used in any sort and no sulfur dioxide is allowed. These wines are typically unfiltered and unfined. The idea is that the vine will live longer and produce more pure concentrated fruit, even though in difficult years there may be smaller yields. This type of viticulture looks at the farm as a single interconnected living unit.