The world is happy to wave the flag for natural wines lately. Stories about the stuff lurk everywhere. Festival, tasting, weeks and celebrations are like morels in the spring, but there is also a lot of misinformation. Wines being called natural that are not. This is a little bit like serving real pig in a blankets at a kosher bar mitzvah. Some of these mistakes are honest, some out of ignorance, some are from a pure marketing effort. The last of course, make my blood hotter than normal. But in order to curb the natural creep of dumbing down natural, here are some simple guidelines for the criteria. Grapes, maybe a splish of SO2. Nothing gets added to the wine and nothing gets extracted. Short and Sweet. To The Point. Simple. Prevent NatWashing and get it right. 1) Assume minimal chemical to no chemical farming. So if you're using the Monsanto poison Round Up? Sorry. 2) Wine with grapes and nothing else added. And that means yeast. Okay? Got that. If you add Yeast to spark fermentation OR Yeast Food to keep it going? Sorry. 3) No forceful machinery to alter the taste, texture or alcohol level of the wine. So, Reverse Osmosis or MOX? Sorry. 4) S02? Softcore natural means a little SO2 at bottling. Hardcore natural, means non, no way, no how. Those soldiers of the Hardcore are brave folk, the militant vegans of the wine world, the super glatt kosher of the kosher world. These folk bow down to the father of the genre, Jules Chauvet, as the master intended, but this method, the Chauvet method, has it's own controversies, such as: can one make a terroir wine in this fashion? Good question. I'll come back to this one after I figure it out. Like the Kabbalah, it could take a lifetime. But there are other fuzzy parts, and that's where the debate comes in and often the confusion. After the letter of the law, how natural IS natural? Clones? Machine harvesting? New oak? That's the wiggle room. For me, I'd rather no outside flavor influence, and that would mean the taste of new oak, and I prefer no machine harvest and prefer massale selection over clones. As the wines become celebrated, feted, and deified, the wines are also in danger of being NatWashed. Don't let it happen. Save the wines. This week's favorite natural wine: Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato 2007! From Sicily, of course. Drunk for too much $ at Franny's in Brooklyn @ $68, but utterly delicious. Delicate. Acidity to stand up to the chef's acidic palate (and mine). Strawberry, elegant, intoxicatingly spicy on the nose. A jumble of fun. You can find it retail for about $30.