Fairtrade Wine Tasting Evening, April 2010

Posted 27 Apr 2010 by Marc Fowler in Past Events

Just42, a youth work charity in Woodbridge, organised a wine tasting as a follow-up to Fairtrade Fortnight.

Wine expert Jude Mullins, from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust in London, began by explaining that there are many good quality Fairtrade wines on the market. Of the 290 wines listed on the Fairtrade Foundation website we had time to sample six:

Four from South Africa

  • Co-Op Fairtrade Sparkling Brut
  • Thandi Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon
  • Fairhills Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot 2008
  • Thandi Sauvignon/Merlot blend 2008

One from Argentina

  • Tilimuqui Torrontes

One from Chile

  • Co-Op Fairtrade Carmeniere 2008

One example of the advantage of Fairtrade certification is demonstrated in the Fairhills vineyards of South Africa set up in 2005. The Fairtrade premium has helped build schools, daycare and community centres benefitting the 1,000 Fairhills workers and their families.

Of the 25 guests present at the tasting, many were complete novices yet Jude soon had us commenting on the wine’s ‘appearance’, ‘nose’ and ‘palate’. We learned that a red wine could be clear, a nose could be clean and that a wine could be ‘long’, ‘medium’ or ‘short’ (this relates to the length of time the taste lingers). It was a fascinating evening and Jude commented that there was something suitable for any occasion, barbecue, aperitif or even a wedding in the case of the Sparkling Brut. Wine tasting usually involves seeing, swirling, smelling, tasting and not swallowing but the wines were so good the ‘not swallowing’ bit was ignored!

Personal favourites were the Sparkling Brut from the Co-Op (£7.99 a bottle) and the Fairhills Petit Verdot from Tescos (£4.49). “I would be happy to have any of them again” said Chairman of Fairtrade for Woodbridge, Anthony Lumley.

Fairtrade for Woodbridge are grateful to Just42 for organising and hosting the evening, to Jude for travelling up from London to teach us and to Budgens, the Co-Op, Wines of Interest (Ipswich) Adnams and Tescos for supplying wines.