Study finds third-party certified organic wines taste better

Anyone who shops in grocery stores that offer standard produce and organic produce knows that, in general, organic products cost more. This is despite the fact that there's no perceived taste difference between organic produce and normal produce. Interestingly, while organic wine is available, they tend to sell at the same price as non-organic wine.

A new study conducted by researchers from UCLA has found evidence that organic wines taste better. The study was conducted by Magali Delmas, an environmental economist from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, and Oliver Gergaud, an economist at the Kedge Business School in Bordeaux, France. The study conducted by the two researchers found that organic wines are judged to be higher-quality by experts.

However, the difference isn't just whether the wines came from organic or conventionally grown grapes. The difference in quality is notable in wines that are certified organic by a third-party accreditation service, but not those self-labeled by a French wine industry-backed group that encourages conscientious practices. A trio of highly esteemed wine guides certified third-party wines an average of 6.2 percent higher than those certified by the industry group.

The researchers based their findings on data gathered from 128,182 French wines produced from 1995 to 2015. Wines that were certified as biodynamic by the third-party association fared even better when judged by the wine experts. Biodynamic wines use methods that time planting, trimming, and harvests to coincide with seasonal and lunar cycles while integrating animals for a complete ecosystem.

The scientists on the project say that their findings are important because conventionally grown wine grapes use more pesticides than most other crops putting the health of farmworkers, wildlife, and neighboring communities at risk. Obtaining the third-party certification requires inspections and audits to ensure the product meets the criteria while the self-labeled organic wine industry association does not.