Wine in the Netherlands: Getting it Right

Gone are the old days of simple beers and ‘genever’ in this little country. Wine in the Netherlands is up-and-coming and hip-and-happening. People are increasingly on the lookout for fine wines; Dutch ‘ taste’ has improved and in a shocking unDutch twist of events: the Dutchies are even prepared to spend more on refined wines. La die dah! Who’s the snobbish country now, France!?!

Okay, you still win France - by a longshot
Okay, you still win France – by a long shot

So why is there sugar, salt and E-7rrt64X in my wine?

So far so good. All gentrified neighborhoods were downing nice wines, thinking that they were once again outsustainbiliting the beer drinking crowd. So you can imagine how big the shock was when the Dutch tv program ‘Keuringsdienst van Waarde’ did an episode of what the hell was actually in all that wine. Here it is (in Dutch, nice practice):

SPOILERS It wasn’t just grapes in a fluid form


Say what is in it?

Most of the wine bottles around in all the supermarkets and “Gall & Galls” (the Dutch equivalent of the liquor store, but with more branding) turned out to contain weird stuff such as:

  • Sugar (well, that’s in ketchup too, so eh)
  • Egg (well, probably only a little bit)
  • Pork gelatin (I like bacon a lot, this might be a bit too much)
  • Fish parts (that’s just weird)
  • Plutonium (wine from Russia, and okay I made that up)

And what’s even more troubling is the fact that wines don’t have to list all the stuff they contain, like that box of cereal you had in the morning. For some reason wines are exempted from that bylaw; I’m not sure why – but I’m gonna make a wild guess and just blame the French and the EU.


Straight from the wine farm

So how to solve this first world problem of wanting to drink classy but non-snobby/genetically engineered wine? Enter the Baltazar boys! Joost and Bas were already avid wine-drinkers but didn’t want much to do with the snobby wine culture you always encounter at that one stupid uncle’s dinner party. When they saw the aforementioned ‘Keurings van Waarde’  episode their minds were made up and Baltazar was born.

I'm sure they do acrobatic stuff too when asked for it
I’m sure they do acrobatic stuff too when asked for it

Saving you all the trouble of going to the wine store, these guys drive all the way up to a hand-picked small-scale wine farmer and bring the goods back with them to the Netherlands. These farmers are up-and-coming winetrepeneurs (if that isn’t a term yet, I’ll hereby trademark it) and make an honest and tasty bottle—so none of that snobbery or fishy parts will reach you.

They do this three times a month and consequently drop one classy box filled with three bottles of honest (and delicious) wine personally off at their members’ homes.



Besides the three wines, you’ll also get a nice fold-out card on the wines and their origins, and when you like a particular wine you can just re-order it online. So finally one of these monthly subscription things you can get drunk off! (and no worries, you can quit every month)

Afraid of all the Dutch stuff? They bring the stuff to your door and speak perfect English, so feel free to call ’em in the middle of the night and ask what the heck a Grauburgunder is! (and send my regards while you’re at it – in the middle of the night).

BALTAZAR video from BALTAZAR on Vimeo.

PS. They do gift boxes too, perfect item in case you forgot about Father’s day tomorrow

Abuzer van Leeuwen 🇳🇱
Founded DutchReview. Rotterdammer living in Leiden. Politics, innovation and epic food-reviews are his thing. Interested in doing anything with DutchReview? Contact him at abuzer[at]


  1. Finding egg is normal as far as I know. It’s used to precipitate the proteins present in solution in the wine. It’s been used for years and years. Regarding sugars, well just drink grape juice and you’ll figure out. And for God’s sake, stop blaming everything on the French (I’m french obviously) and start looking what it’s in “filet americain”. Very natural indeed 😉


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