Sometimes when you’re clutching at straws, desperate to find something real to grab hold of, you fall flat on your face. You want a sure-shot fancy-schmancy respectable sparkling representation of a wine, but you’re unwilling to pony up for fine French Champagne. There’s lots of ersatz bubbles out there misrepresenting itself as Champagne. In fact, there’s a lamentable pervasiveness of deception throughout the wine industry. Wineries have been known to label “non-reserve” wines as higher-priced “reserve” wines, for which there is no lawful certification process.
Beware reserve. They can often taste no better than non-reserve. While many non-organically certified wineries do in fact exclusively use organic grapes from organic growers, the certification process is expensive and cumbersome. There are numerous certifying entities, such as the highly-regarded Oregon Tilth. If you are seriously concerned, research the winery and make your best judgement.
White zinfandel, though it legally is wine, it is a bogus sham to place it in the same beverage category as a charming dry rose’ from Provence. At the end of the day, trust your better judgement when it comes to wine. When buying wine, find a voice/source that you can trust, and proceed. Don’t just swallow the spurious claims of some deceitful Joe on the street.