With the white wine chosen, we turned to the red. This was Ali’s favourite bit – he’s definitely more of a red wine person. Now, although we did want to support local producers, English red wine is very different. It is made from different grapes to more well known red wines, grapes more easily able to withstand our climate. This gives it a unique flavour, but not one which everyone likes. We tried some (I can recommend Quoins Vineyard, again in Bradford on Avon) but didn’t feel it was right for us.
So – what other options are there? Historically, I have always gone for red wine from Europe, thinking that it had travelled less distance which must be better. Not so. Life is never simple is it?! The emissions from trucks are often considered worse than that from a shipping container for example. A shipping container is so large, it can transport more goods, emitting less carbon ‘per item’ than lots of individual lorries. So there you go – this wouldn’t be the basis of our decision! (stats from Ethical Wine).
We could have gone for Organic wine, which is grown in such a way that it has a much smaller impact on the environment than other wines. However, this doesn’t take account of the people who grow the wine. Buying Fair Trade wine would ensure that our money went to support workers in developing countries and contributes to their communities through the Fair Trade Premium. I will note here that there are other labels and schemes to support farmers in developing countries which some argue go further than Fair Trade. We still chose Fair Trade as we wanted to find a red wine that was easy to buy, good to drink, and good for the world. Being good can be easy!
So off we trotted to our local supermarket, and many bottles later (!) came out with our favourite. Sainsburys FairTrade Pinotage. You’ll have to ask the guests what they think after the big day – or buy a bottle and give it a try yourself! It’s quite hard resisting the stack that are sat under the stairs…..