yumitori wrote:At least some wineries are going biodynamic because they believe it will help them sell more, apprently. If enough people boycott the biodynamic wine but continue to buy the more 'traditional' stuff those operations may rethink their approach.
I missed the discussion of biodynamics earlier this week, but am moved to dip my oar in briefly at this juncture.
As religions go, the belief in biodynamics may do less harm than most - after all, at least the organic farming methods incorporated improve biodiversity and do less harm to the environment. The quackery of the beliefs, though, is disturbing. Douglass Smith and Jesus Barquin do a decent job of debunking biodynamics for The Skeptical Inquirer.
While I am generally in favor of agricultural practices that rely less on chemicals and have a smaller impact on the environment, I am decidedly not in favor of encouraging the marketing of debunked pseodoscience. Smith and Barquin stated my position fairly well in the following excerpt from their article:
"...our critical attitude toward the esoteric aspects of biodynamics does not interfere with our appreciation of many of its wines. Many biodynamic winemakers are indeed talented. The problem resides in the extension of disbelief in empirical technique, and in substituting for it beliefs in unscientific practices like astrology and homeopathy, as well as voodoo-style rituals and even 'geo-acupuncture.' We must confront this problem, not just as wine lovers and wine writers, but also as citizens who do not wish to live in, nor present to our children, a society in which pseudoscience and esoteric fantasies are considered reality. Irrational thinking, or reliance on mystical gurus with claims of clairvoyant intuition, does great harm to society. The best research studies to date have not found any distinction between biodynamics and the organic agriculture of which it is a part. The esoterica, it seems, add nothing. And we, as supporters of clarity and rationalism, are dismayed by the disconnect between belief and research. Our hope is that one day, under the clear light of understanding, better-grounded winemakers will dispense with biodynamics for good. Let us raise a glass to reason, and to that day."
So, what do I do when a wine I think I would like is marketed as "biodynamic"? If I lived with the courage of my convictions, I would not buy it on principal. In fact, though, I often do not act consistent with my beliefs. If I think I would like the wine and if it does not appear that I am paying too high a premium for the phony marketing mumbo-jumbo, I would probably go ahead and buy it. I just hope the more vocal, even strident, non-believers will ultimately help turn the tide against what I think is wrong-headed practices.