“Alternative wines” word is a misnomer. Actually, it is not the wine which is the alternative, it is their growing methods which are markedly different from the conventional practices that make these ‘alternative’. The ‘educated and aware’ population does know what are the different types of wines available in market. They are well aware of the terms such as organic, biodynamic, preservative free and vegan. In fact, analysts point out the fact that these alternative wines are picking up in demand and finding more favour with the people.
While it is true that the people know about these terms, do they really know what is the real import? Or, in simple terms, why are these called so? Do you think people have an average knowledge of these terms or mere superficial one? Ask any person who drinks wines about what these mean and the answer would be very general and, at best, vague. To make things more hilarious, ask people to conduct a comparative analysis of these terms and the result would be exhibition of disaster of knowledge.
If the knowledge of people is good, it is only limited to the organic wines. People would elaborate in reasonable detail on organic red wines as well as organic white wines. They might even name some popular wineries, brands or grape varieties which are grown organically. So far as questions are restricted to organics, you can expect to get good answers and the moment you drift into the world of vegans or preservative free wines, there is obvious tension of ignorance on face of people.
Vegans are most likely to be related to vegetables due to similarity in words and you shall not laugh since this is the response you are most likely to get. When you tell them that these wines are made without the animal product content, you will be confusing them further. The saddest part would be the discovery of the fact that the wine which they have been drinking all this while has used animal matter in its refining process. And, if you attempt to share the fact that this matter is not a part of wine and it gets precipitated out, you are making things even worse. The faith of people on wineries and brands is expectedly going to dwindle with this bit of newly gained knowledge.
And, as if this is not sufficient, there would be another earthquake by the name of biodynamic wines. While it is easy for people to understand that the forces of nature in universe have a bearing on us, it is very difficult for them to digest that very same forces also have a bearing on growth of grapes for wines. The reaction is likely to vary from disbelief to ridicule. Tell them that the farming is done based on lunar cycles for growing grapes biodynamically and the counter question will be a satire- why don’t they consider solar cycles and constellations into account?
I can tell you that doing farming for grapes in these ways in easier than giving answers and making people understand the simple logic behind these practices, if not their usefulness.