Fairtrade wine: Make a difference to people’s lives in Fairtrade Fortnight

fairtrade wine

Check out the round logo if you're looking for Fairtrade wine

Every year I give a nod to Fairtrade Fortnight wine and here I am again, nodding.

In these next few days, thousands of people in the UK are recognising the efforts of farmers who live in some of the poorest countries in the world.

The sale of Fairtrade wine directly helps workers on wine grape plantations. It helps to increase their incomes and improve their communities.

There are 42 Fairtrade wine producer organisations across South Africa, Chile, Argentina and Lebanon. This network is supporting more than 5,000 people.

If you buy a Fairtrade wine you’ll be helping farmers and workers. You’ll be making a difference to people’s daily lives.

Three  Fairtrade wine choices from the High Street

A white from Aldi

Cape Original Fairtrade Chenin Blanc Chardonnay (£5.49, Aldi, 12.5% abv) The grapes are grown in the Western Cape of South Africa. It is one of the Fairhills range of wines which supports Fairhills Fairtrade Projects.

The project’s benefits have included childcare facilities on the farms, adult literacy schemes and a housing renovation programme.

The white wine is refreshingly crisp, with notes of lemon, apple and pear. There’s a good acidity which livens the palate.

An organic red from Sainsbury

Sainsbury is hugely supportive of Fairtrade. Its SO Organic Cabernet Sauvignon (£6.50, 13.5% abv) also hails from South Africa.

It has a robust, welcoming, rich nose of black cherries, forest fruits, with vanilla adding a velvety softness. There’s a gentle spiciness and a hint of chocolate.

Origin Wines  produces and bottles the wine, which  has no added sulphur.  The company supports the Fairtrade Fairhills Project.

Origin Wines says on its website: “Fairtrade is the best way of ensuring that the people involved with producing our wines are as happy with the final product as we are.”

A red blend from the Co-op

The Co-op is one of the high street’s strongest Fairtrade wine supporters. It has  several wines in its range.

Co-op Fairtrade Bonarda-Malbec (£5.25, 13% abv) is a tasty snip at the price. Bonarda and malbec grapes create a wine punching with plums, spice and vanilla.

The grapes are grown in the Famatina valley, which is in the La Rioja region of the country.

Here the La Riojana wine co-operative is the largest producer of certified Fairtrade wine in the world.  The co-operative has an exclusive partnership with our Co-op stores in the UK. Sales have funded a 150,000 litre reservoir to bring much-needed water to isolated villages.

You’ve helped to do that, if you’ve bought a Fairtrade wine from the Co-op.

Here’s a vodka nod to Fairtrade Fortnight

Fair Vodka

Waitrose is now stocking the world’s first Fairtrade certified vodka, FAIR Vodka (£34, selected stores and waitrose.com, 70cl).

FAIR Vodka is distilled from quinoa which is sourced from a co-operative embracing 1,200 independent farms in the Bolivian Andes. The resulting vodka is smooth, spicy and fruity and would be great in martinis. Fair Vodka has the added benefit of being gluten-free.

Read more about Fairtrade Fortnight 2019  at fairtrade.org.uk  . You can follow the hashtag #fairtradefortnight on social media. There’s also a useful link here where you can find Fairtrade wine retailers

First published in over 30 regional newspapers including:
Hull Daily Mail – Leicester Mercury – Cambridge News – Liverpool Echo South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales –  Huddersfield Examiner
– The Chronicle, Newcastle  – Teesside Gazette 
Birmingham Mail – Coventry Telegraph  – Paisley Daily Express 

Wine news is good news as the days grow longer and warmer (we hope)

Prosecco SO organic Extra Dry Sainsbury wine news

I love this time of year when everything is so new again; there’s a fresh start as the sun warms and the days get longer.  Well, I’m not so sure about the sun bit yet, but you know what I mean. It’s a busy time in the wine world too, with lots of springtime wine news and things happening.

Wine news:Organic range from Sainsbury

Sainsbury has extended its organic range with the addition of a prosecco, a sauvignon blanc and a French rosé.

This comes on the heels of the wines So Organic Malbec (£6.50), So Organic Côtes du Rhône (£7.50) and So Organic Merlot (£6.50) which launched last November. Sainsbury say they saw a 25% jump in demand for organic wines last year, which they believe is driven by younger customers.

So Organic Prosecco (£10, 11% abv) isn’t cheap when you consider how much you can spend on a bottle of prosecco these days. It’s not a DOCG designated wine (the top style of wine in Italy) unlike my favourite prosecco from Sainsbury, Taste the Difference Conegliano Prosecco which comes in at around the same price.

Saying that, I shared a sniff and a dip of So Organic Prosecco with some girlie friends, including lots of swirling and chatting, and the aromas got a thumbs-up; pears, tropical fruit, a little bit of cinnamon (I don’t know where that came from) and freshly sliced apples. The label on So Organic Sauvignon Blanc (£6.50, 13.5% abv) declares the wine has “citrus and grapefruit flavours and a delicate herbaceous note” but I found the opposite. It is from Spain and the sun-dappled grapes have delivered a wine of tropical fruits, guava and a hint of nectarine. So Organic French Rosé (£6.50, 13.5% abv) is grenache-based and has  squishy strawberry aromas with a hint of spice.

Wine news: DOmaines et Chateaux range in tesco

Domaine Bariol 2016 wine news

Over at Tesco, a new selection from Domaines et Chateaux has arrived on the shelves.

The team searches for smaller parcels of French wines and once they’re sold out, that’s it, they’re gone. I read today that that is something called WIGIG – when its gone its gone.  It sounded more like a 70s folk group to me.  Hey ho.

My favourite of the new four wines I tasted was Domaine Bariol 2016 (£9, 13% abv), a white from the Côtes du Rhône. It is a blend of marsanne and viognier and has a nose of white peach and honeysuckle with a peep of candied fruit.

Those same notes carry through to the flavours and it was pretty much spot-on with my Sunday afternoon roast chicken and buttery bacon and cabbage.

Wine news: Cono Sur Bicicleta lifts its game

Meanwhile one of my reliable go-to wine brands, Cono Sur Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir wine newsBicicleta, is having a makeover. New bottles with a bicycle embossed in the glass are out next month with a nod to making the wine a little more premium. The bicycles are a tribute to the vineyard workers who travel around the Chilean vineyards on bikes.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir (RRP £7.49, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury, Morrisons, Co-op, 13.5% abv) is the UK’s best-selling pinot noir and its notes of strawberry, violets and cherries are smooth and tempting.

Wine news: ALDI launches weekday helpings of wine

Aldi half bottles 50cl bottles

Finally, Aldi has brought out a new range of half-bottles for those weekday nights when you fancy a tipple with supper but you don’t want a full bottle calling “finish me, finish me”. The wines are Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir and Malbec and they are £2.99 for 37.5cl.

Let’s raise a glass to Spring! Yay!!

First published in over 30 Trinity Mirror regional newspapers including:
Hull Daily Mail – Leicester Mercury – Cambridge News – Liverpool Echo South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales – Huddersfield Examiner
– The Chronicle, Newcastle – Teesside Gazette 
Birmingham Mail – Coventry Telegraph  – Paisley Daily Express