비arely a day goes by without a press release hitting my inbox with news of a drink whose makers are claiming to be doing their bit to save the planet – or what are known in the business world as “brands with purpose”.
You won’t be surprised to learn that much of this is driven more by enlightened self-interest than by a sudden wave of altruism. Research has shown that consumers, particularly younger ones, want to know whether the companies they buy from are sustainable, and that as many as two-thirds of them support carbon labelling. 결과적으로, an increasing number of companies are becoming B Corp-certified, which requires them, among other obligations, to consider the impact of their activities on the environment.
그 말, it’s sometimes hard to evaluate just how significant that contribution is. The Dutch beer brand Lowlander, 예를 들면, says it adds a plant to a seagrass meadow for every can it sells (seagrass apparently captures carbon 35 times faster than a tropical rainforest), but how many plants would make a real difference? And in what way, 바로 그거죠, does the team behind The Hidden Sea “remove the equivalent of 10 plastic bottles from the world’s oceans”? (Presumably by supporting Resea, by whom they are certified, though at a quick glance it’s not entirely clear.) Basically, you have to trust the integrity and transparency of the people involved, many of whom are new entrants to the market and share similar ethical values to their customers.
An increasing number of brands, 와 같은 Avallen, are also committing to the 1% For the Planet campaign. But is 1% enough? 예를 들어, 그만큼 Lost Explorer mezcal range, which partners with Voice for Nature, includes bottles that cost up to £140, a price point at which you feel they could perhaps afford to contribute rather more. One Gin, 예를 들면, which raises money to support charities that provide clean water, donates a more generous 10%. 그래서, as with so much, you need to read the small print – or the QR code, if the product has one.
In general, beer, spirits and alcohol-free drinks seem to have adapted more quickly to the environmental zeitgeist than wine brands have (maybe because their target audience is younger), but the game changer for wine could be paper packaging, which is much lighter to transport than glass, recyclable and more appealing (to me, 여하튼) than bag-in-box. However good the cause, 그러나, at the end of the day, the liquid needs to taste good – and, to my mind, this week’s picks really do.
The Hidden Sea Chardonnay 2020
£8 Co-op, 13.5%. A fresh, citrussy Australian chardonnay from a winery that promises to remove the equivalent of 10 plastic bottles from the sea for every bottle sold.
Cantina Goccia 3Q Red Blend 2017
£12.45 The Whisky Exchange, £12.50 WoodWinters, 13.5%. Could this be the future of wine bottles? A refreshing, quaffable, pizza-friendly blend of sangiovese, merlot and cabernet sauvignon in a recyclable paperboard bottle.
Lowlander Cool Earth Lager
£2 (330ml) Sainsbury’s, 4%. Pleasant, light, citrussy pils from a Dutch company that brews with botanicals (in this case, lemongrass) and plants seagrass in return.
£31.99 Virgin Wines, £33.70 Master of Malt, £35 mygreenpod.com, 40%. Deliciously fresh, young style of calvados that’s as good on the rocks as it is long with tonic from a “planet-positive” spirits company. Would be great with a good mature cheddar.
One Gin sage and apple gin
£35.05 Master of Malt, £35.95 The Whisky Exchange, 43%. Another attractive, apple-flavoured spirit, nicely balanced with the bitterness of sage. Ten percent of One Gin’s profits fund clean water projects. 그만큼 5.5% canned version with tonic (£14 for 6 x 250ml cans from socialsupermarket.org), while obviously not as ‘“ginny”, is pretty impressive, 너무.