For many, a glass of wine with dinner is part of an evening ritual that helps slow the gallop of the day to a more comfortable pace. Knowing that your wine has been mindfully crafted to meet eco- and health-initiative standards can make it even more satisfying to sip.
Two recent food and wine events bear out that winemakers are turning their attention to organic and sustainable—as well as health-friendly—options in their portfolios. Among the interesting mix of products found at the 2012 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) and the 2012 Natural Products Expo West was one sugar-free wine, a vegan choice and a number of sustainable and/or organic wines. You might consider this line-up for a heart-healthy happy hour at your studio or facility.
Sugar free. Sacha Alexis Lichine of Château D’Esclans (La Motte, France), www.chateaudesclans
.com, launched a premium sugar-free rosé called Whispering Angel at the SOBEWFF event. The sugar (and therefore, the alcohol) is removed by natural fermentation. At about 70 calories per glass, it might be a good option for clients who don’t drink alcohol or who are watching calories.
Vegan. What makes a wine vegan, you ask? Animal products can be used as filtration aids in the winemaking process. Vegan wines don’t use any animal products.
Try The Vegan Vine’s line of sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon or red blend, produced by Clos LaChance Winery in Northern California, www.theveganvine.com.
Sustainable. At SOBEWFF, winemaker Patrick Materman poured a number of the signature Marlborough sauvignon blancs and pinot noirs that have put New Zealand and Brancott Estates on the world wine map. With a keen conscience about land legacy and use of resources, the winery has serious green initiatives in place. Beginning in 2010, all of its wines were designated as 100% sustainable; the company’s total grape resource accounts for about 30% of currently accredited sustainable vineyards in the entire country. Find Brancott wines by entering your ZIP code at www.prusawinefinder.com.
Also try the very affordable sustainable line from The Naked Grape, www.thenakedgrape.com. The pinot grigio is a perfect light refresher for a hot summer afternoon.
Sustainable and organic. At 85, patriarch Charlie Barra (Barra of Mendocino and Girasole Vineyards, California, www.barraofmendocino.com) has worked the same land since he learned to prune vines at the tender age of 10. Barra just celebrated its 59th harvest and is proud of the fact that all of its grapes are 100% estate grown, hand-picked and 100% certified organic.
More into suds? For those of you more in a beer mood, try Fish Tale Organic Ales from Olympia, Washington, www.fishorganicales.com. They specialize in amber, India pale and pale ales.