Monday 9 February 2015

Co Op ethically correct 2015

The Co-operativeFood has been named the UK’s top Ethical Drinks Retailer for the second year running at the Drinks Retailing Awards 2015.

They were awarded this prestigious accolade for its market-leading commitment to responsible retailing of beers, wines and spirits in the UK and I think well deserved.

Since launching the first own-label Fairtrade mark wine in the UK more than 10 years ago, the retailer has led the way in the development of Fairtrade and is the UK’s largest retailer of Fairtrade wine, selling 52.5% of all Fairtrade wine sold in the UK. The profits have helped to fund invaluable resources in poverty-stricken communities across the world including running water, healthcare and education.

Furthermore, the retailer has reduced its carbon footprint by more than 36% in the last year by increasing the volume of wine bottled in the UK as well as switching to a lighter weight glass bottle for many selected lines. The move has saved 4,222 tonnes of CO2 emissions – the equivalent to the electricity needs of 18,759 households for a year.

In 1996, The Co-operative led the industry by putting sensible drinking advice on our wines and spirits, which was in addition to alcohol units. In 1999, they were the first retailer to label the ingredients in wine. In 2002, the first retailers to include calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks. We take all this information for granted now I guess with many brands including the details we need to be aware of. I'll therefore drink to that.

Rudolfo Griguol, one of Argentina’s most respected winemakers, produces The Co Operative's flagship Fairtrade Malbec from high altitude vineyards growing on sandy alluvial soils in the remote, picturesque Famatina Valley in North West Argentina. Made from 100% Malbec, the fruit was hand harvested and gently crushed. Purple red – almost black in colour – and bursting with plum, cherry and jam aromas, this full bodied wine has sweet but firm tannins with bursts of chocolate, tobacco and vanilla. Pair with red meat, especially steak, a good stew this time of year or roast meats.


Rather enjoyed Sainsburys Era Costana Crianza at a family gathering last week. Deep but fruity enough to savour with all types of food - we had homemade sausage rolls, hand crafted scotch eggs  (slight variation - had horseradish and beetroot within) - and honey cinnamon biscuits. Do so love a Rioja and this one didn't disappoint. Also paired particularly well with own Hummus, basil pasta and charred chicken salad.

Valentine Day fast approaches, quick - have a couple of samples to try before the Day itself, perhaps a nice pink rose, Barefoot maybe or a Da Luca Italia, actually think it might just have to be Aldi's Della Italia Prosecco - watch this space . . .

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