Two organic wines that also demonstrate environmental and social responsibility:
Proud Pour "Save the Ocean" Sauvignon Blanc ($17.99) Mendocino County, California From the producer: "Proud Pour is dedicated to making your Happy Hours even more celebratory. Every time you buy a bottle of our North Coast Sauvignon Blanc, 100 wild oysters are restored to local waters. This group of hardworking bivalves will filter 3,000 gallons of water a day, protect our coastlines from erosion, and provide habitat for fish, crabs, shrimp, and thousands of other species. By the way, eating oysters is good for the planet! Oyster farms improve water quality in the ecosystem around them, and the shells from oysters we eat can be collected and returned to the water as the foundation for new wild reefs.
Berlin Kelly founded Proud Pour in 2014 as a way to connect her passion for high-quality, sustainable foods and wines with her concern for the environment. She had begun creating fermented beverages as part of New York City’s Homebrewer’s Guild, and the lightbulb went off one evening when she was drinking wine, eating oysters, and watching ShellShocked, a documentary about the oyster’s decline and efforts in New York to restore it. Soon after, Proud Pour was born.
Proud Pour’s Sauvignon Blanc is a bright, refreshing wine with a rich bouquet of flavors. Hints of citrus, melon, and stone fruit transition onto the palate, accompanied by a pleasant minerality and vibrant acids that finish smoothly. This wine’s balanced profile and clean finish are sure to please any oyster-lover.
This wine is ready to drink now and should drink well through the end of 2019.
Enjoy this wine with your locally-farmed oysters, clams, mussels, sea scallops, or periwinkles! Or simply on its own for a relaxing evening!"
From me: Some Califonia Sauv Blancs are too ripe for my palate, but this one, coming as it does from the north coast area, has a beautiful balance of acidity. I recently met the co-CEO of Proud Pour, Brian Thurber, and I found him to be both sincere and ambitious in the pursuit of environmental change. I think that this organic wine represents real value for quality and does actual good for the world.
Santa Julia Organic Malbec ($9.99) Mendoza, Argentina From the producer: "Julia is the only daughter of José Alberto. Created in her honor, Santa Julia represents our commitment to reaching only the highest standards of quality through sustainable practices that contribute to the care of the environment and being useful to the community in which we live.
For the Santa Julia Winery, being natural, taking care of the environment, and growing in harmony with the community where we find ourselves, have been our founding pillars since the beginning.
Not only do we work at taking care of the land, we also take care of those who work it, and the community that surrounds it. We are convinced that the wine does not come only from the land, the climate, or the variety, rather that it is fundamentally the expression of the sum of people that intervene in the process of creating it.
The Santa Julia Winery was the first winery in Mendoza that has achieved the certification “Fair for Life”. The recognition allows us to commercialize our wines in external markets with the seal “Fair for Life”. This certification assures the consumer that the winery follows strict guidelines for quality, that the workers throughout the production line enjoy good and fair working conditions. What’s more, a percentage of what the consumer pays goes back to the workers through a commission that decides the best way to reinvest this money for the same workers.
Our winery possesses a satellite classroom in the Santa Rosa Farm, in which exists the possibility that adults complete their primary studies, as well as support classes in the main subjects for kids and adolescents in rural areas. At the same time, in the Maipú estate, a primary school was constructed in 2013 thanks to a donation of land from the winery.
This purple-red wine is packed with ripe fruit flavors of plum, cherry and strawberries with hints of chocolate and a spicy finish. It will pair well with steaks, burgers, and pastas with red sauces."
From me: This Malbec is vinified in stainless steel only, so it has no presence of oakiness, and it drinks a bit lighter and brighter. Because of this, I find it nice for summer, especially with a little chill on it. If you are feeling particularly ambitious, you might consider making a nice dark sangria with it! Besides providing good wines at good prices, I really appreciate that the company puts forth good efforts on behalf of their workforce.
1. Taste with as clean a palate as possible. Try to avoid smoking or chewing gum just beforehand. If you have just eaten, drink some water to clear the flavors of the meal.
2. Keep an open mind. Try new things! We all get into ruts when it comes to our palates, but the fun of a tasting is that you don't have to commit to the whole bottle. If you don't like what you've tasted, you can spit it out.
3. Spit or swallow--it's up to you! Just make sure you use the spittoon!
4. See, swirl, smell, sip, savor. Give attention to all aspects of the wine. Here are a couple of links that explain the process:
5. Have fun! Wine tasting has an air of elitism around it, but unnecessarily so. Your palate is your own-it's as individual as you are-and the most important part of appreciating good alcohol is knowing what you like and why you like it. You don't have to use fancy words or spend a lot of money on a bottle. As the kids say, you do you!