I’ve heard it said that red wine tastes better on fruit days. First off, I can make my wine taste better? Second, what’s a fruit day? What does that even mean? Stay tuned and I’ll tell you all about it!
The biodynamic wine movement bases it’s entire operation on the lunar calendar. For vineyard practices, certain days are believed to be ideal days to water, prune, harvest, fertilize, etc. The lunar calendar doesn’t just determine when to do each vineyard practice; it’s believed that the lunar cycle affects us and our experiences of wine too. Biodynamic enthusiasts will tell you that wine will actually taste better on certain days than it does on others. This theory applies not only to biodynamic wine, but all wine. Crazy? Maybe. Maybe not!
Before you go discounting this whole idea, keep in mind that growing vines is essentially farming. The Farmer’s Almanac has used the lunar calendar for farming practices for decades, and if the moon can affect weather and climate patterns for other crops, it can certainly affect a wine crop, and potentially us!
There are 4 types of days the calendar presents: fruit days, flower days, leaf days and root days. These days are determined by the lunar cycle, so sometimes an entire day will be one type, and sometimes the type will change part way through the day! For example, it could be a fruit day in the morning and change to a leaf day at 2:00pm if that’s how the moon cycle was at that time.
Okay, so you might ask how on earth (or should I say on the moon) are we supposed to know which day is which?
Thankfully there are lots of handy calendars online. Here’s a link to one I like: https://ca.rhythmofnature.net/biodynamic-calendar.
Alternatively, you can download a biodynamic calendar app (the only one in the App Store), but you have to pay in order to see ahead in the calendar, which with my planner personality, I don’t like.
Enough moon talk. Let’s get to the wine!
According to the wine tasting theory, red wine is supposed to taste best on fruit days, and white is pretty freaking great on flower days; awesome!
Apparently both red and white are supposed to be less enjoyable on leaf days and root days. Boo.
I’ve read articles written by people that have tested the theory and found it to be true, and others who think it’s a complete joke. I love a good experiment, and drinking wine, so naturally, I had to see for myself! My husband did the experiment with me, and we found that red wine actually did taste the best on a fruit day!
We took this experiment pretty seriously, so before you judge me as completely off my rocker, have an open mind and read on.
Here’s our experiment:
I figured we’d each agree on our enjoyment of the wine for no more than 2 of the days, and that we would not be able to peg the fruit day specifically. (I clearly had little faith in this theory!)
- A good friend to determine 4 blind tasting dates for us (as I couldn’t check for myself in order to keep them anonymous)
- 4 bottles of red wine of the exact same producer, grape, and vintage (the control) 🍷 🍷 🍷 🍷
- Wine glasses (cause drinking from the bottle’s just not classy)
- Pen and paper (and an ability to keep secrets!) ✏️ 📝
- Open minds (reader, you need this too!)
I wanted this to be as legit as possible. I had my friend, Ivy, check the biodynamic calendar and select 4 days during my upcoming holiday. She checked 2 calendars just to be sure, and gave me 4 dates that covered each kind of day, without telling me which was which. (Very secretive!)
I wanted to do the whole experiment on holiday so that I would be in roughly the same type of happy mood each day (which ended up slightly failing, as I’ll explain below).
We selected a type of wine that we don’t normally drink a tonne of, (yes, it was difficult, but we found one) and a producer that we had never tried before, so that we wouldn’t have many past experiences to compare the wine to.
We purchased 4 bottles of the same wine, so that each day we could open a fresh one. Have you ever tried week-old opened cheap red? Yikes! Don’t! This way there could be little risk of the taste having changed from oxidation over the course of the week.
We made sure to chill them each to the appropriate temperature range, and to drink the experiment wine first, before any other wine or food that evening (to ensure we were of perfect clarity of mind and palate).
We each kept notes of our level of enjoyment of the wine and gave it ratings based not on quality, but on how we felt it tasted (as that was the goal of the experiment).
We did not peek at the biodynamic calendar at any time. (No cheating!)
Lastly, we did not discuss the wine with each other at all until the whole experiment was done. No tasting notes were given, not even if we liked it or not, nor any guesses or comparisons – we said nothing, to keep it completely subjective. (As wine education lovers this took incredible self-control!)
(Image from winefolly.com)
Upon comparing our notes, we both felt the wine wasn’t that great on Day 1, which turned out to be the root day. My husband gave it the lowest score, and I gave it the second lowest score on this day. Interesting! 🥕
We were in between on our opinions on Days 2 and 3, which ended up being the flower and leaf days, however I must add that I gave it a high-ish score on Day 3, the leaf day, as I drank it in the first good sun tanning weather I’d had on the trip. I believe the perfect weather probably affected my emotional experience of it – I was really happy when I drank it! It wasn’t very complex that day, but it seemed enjoyable. This goes to show that environment and mood also affect enjoyment of wine. 🌺🍃
Finally, we both pegged the fruit day right on! 🍓
On Day 4, we had just had an afternoon nap, woke up before a dinner date, and it was raining, but we knew we had to taste the wine before we could go out! It shouldn’t have tasted good in that setting, but it was immediately, upon first sip, the best and most complex it had tasted to both of us during the entire experiment. This was mind blowing to me, because I was not expecting to actually notice that much of a difference! Once we looked up the days and realized it was the fruit day, we were both shocked that it was noticeably better for both of us on that day, without us knowing any better or speaking to each other about it.
This could be one factor to explain how sometimes a wine is so good, but when you open the same one the next time, it’s not as good as you remember, or vice versa.
Based on my results I’d absolutely recommend saving higher priced red wines to drink on fruit days, or at least when you’re in a fabulous mood!
I want to try this with whites, and see if we can peg the flower day. 🌺
I also will choose dates for my friend, Ivy, and her husband to do their own version of the experiment to see what kind of results they get. 📝
If you think this is all complete BS, that’s fair. I honestly did too. Now, I’m open minded to it and will be paying closer attention! ✔️
I challenge you to try it for yourself. You might just be surprised! At the very least, you’ll have some bottles of wine with someone you like, and that’s pretty great in itself.
Happy fruit and flower days!