Lo-Fi, Progressive & Traditional Explained
A GUIDE ON WHAT TO EXPECT
It’s a big, wonderful world of wine out there. We stand there wide-eyed and thirsty in its path;
seeking guidance from wine labels and tilting our heads towards marketing-speak that more
often than not, give us little indication of what we can expect from the contents of the bottle.
To make things easier for you as you navigate the sometimes confusing world of wine, we at
Sometimes Always, split our wine selection into three wine-making style categories to help
you find a beverage that will resonate with you…. Or perhaps guide you onward into
uncharted waters with confidence as you continue your wine journey and explore new wine
So without further ado, here is how we categorise our wines:
Lofi / Natural
What do we mean by lo-fi & natural
Here you will find the wines that have a wild-look in their eyes. They will be the producers who strive to get their grapes to bottle with the least amount of manipulation possible. They are the #nofilter of the wine world.
Typically, you’ll find producers of lo-fi/natural wines to be small-scale, independent and family-owned and quite often it’s the farming that makes the difference with producers opting for an organic, biodynamic or sustainable approach to tending their land….no pesticides or herbicides and a gentler approach is the aim. In the cellar, the emphasis is on making the truest wine possible. The clearest transmission of grape to glass, ideally without adding or removing anything in the process. Hand-picking is a given and winemakers rely on fermentations from the wild, native yeasts that float around the vineyard and winery. There will be nothing added to the wine in the process… no yeast nutrients, acid, sugar, etc and little, or no sulphites to the wine at all.
It’s quite a diverse class of wines from bouncy Pet-Nats and slinky skin-contact whites to slurpalicious light reds and resonant global classics. There’s frivolous, joyous ‘knock em back” styles and there are wines for chin-stroking and pondering. They are ace. We love them and so will you and if you need some guidance just reach out to the Sometimes Always team for some suggestions.
What do we mean by progressive
Old mate Merriam-Webster defines progress as “a forward or onwards movement to an objective or goal” or ”a gradual betterment”. The more accurate Sometimes Always dictionary defines progress as ‘a delicious beverage that more often than not requires great company, good food and several bottles”. It is here that you will find those wines that span the divide between lo-fi and traditional. The ones whose raison d’etre is just to be as delicious as possible. Think pure, juicy, detailed wines that just deliver an abundance of drinking pleasure.
There will be textured, crisp and flowy white wines and crunchy and perfumed whole-bunch fermented red wines. You’ll find the alternative grape varieties…. Or appropriate varieties as one Australian winemaker calls them. Varieties suited to both our climate, culture and the food that we put on our tables.
It’s here you’ll see traditional varieties too; maybe with a little more of a juicy vibe along with a crisp, breezy detailed edge and purely-fruited line. Carbonic maceration is in the house too, and it is here you’ll find the classics from Beaujolais and their slurpable new world brethren and sistren. An exciting and diverse category that spans a range of styles and imbibing situations.
What do we mean by traditional
As you would expect, wines in the traditional category are the ones that pay homage to regional pedigree and the historical significance of the grape growing and winemaking traditions of their land. Think classic grape varieties and classic wine regions from both the old and new world and you’re on the right track.
The dictionary definition is “a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on from one generation to another” and that rings true for the wines in the Sometimes Always traditional category. Wine styles that are true to their region; wines that should typicity and lineage and a certain “somewhereness” that says that this wine can be from this place and this place only. There will be the obvious contenders – the iconic Nebbiolo-based wines of Barolo and Barbaresco from Piemonte in North-Western Italy, ethereal wines from the high-altar of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – Burgundy, focussed and classically composed Riesling from Germany and Alsace, etc. But it is here that you will also find their equivalent antipodean brethren and sistren. The world-renowned Shiraz wines of the Barossa, stellar Grenache-based wines from McLaren Vale, the Rieslings of the Clare and Eden Valleys, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Tasmania, Yarra Valley and the Adelaide Hills. And of course…. The stone-cold classic producers whose wines and intricate understanding of their terroir have become etched in wine history. We salute and raise a glass to them all.