So Earth Day just passed us. Some of us might have recycled, some of us might have planted a tree and some of might have done nothing at all.
Most of you know that regardless of your political or personal opinion about global warming, we as humans are polluting our environment. With our cars, shampoos, hamburgers and even the flowers in our vases – we are creating a carbon footprint that is affecting our Earth and eventually our own bodies. And regardless of our collective opinions, we can agree that consuming green things is better for us and our environment.
One little fact about wine production that you may not always be thinking of when you open up a bottle of wine … vineyards that are not organically farmed use pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. Think of all the chemicals we use to keep our lawns green and flowers full. Imagine that on a full farm scale. Now, some of us try to eat organically – we dine at awesome cafes like Fresh Thymes (Lovering St in Trolley), shop at stores like Harvest Market in Hockessin and generally try to make conscious decisions when it comes to everything … but wine sometimes can get overlooked.
Organic wines once were weak and looked down upon for good reason – they simply were not good wines. Its easy to understand why organic wines have such a bad reputation. That was then, this is now … organic winemaking skills have improved over the last few decades to a point that even the most seasoned wine connoisseur wouldn’t be able to discern and organic from a non-organic wine. At Veritas, I never pick an organic wine over regular wines simply because they are organic – if I had to select between two equally good wines, one being organic, I’ll take the organic. But an ok organic wine will never win over a non-organic wine.
All that said – I want to concentrate on a specific wine company that is based within an hour of the shop – Yellow + Blue. I’ve written articles before about this wine company … but seeing Earth Day just passed us and Y+B is such a champion of the cause, this article reviews their wines.
Some background on Y+B: After working for a reputable wine importer for some 15 years, Matthew Cain decided to go out on his own and start his own wine company. An avid bike rider, Matt knew the value of the environment around him. With his children inhertiting a planet he once inherited, he knew his wine company needed to be environmentally responsible. Matt originally started with contracting a winemaker in Mendoza, Argentina making a organic Malbec and organic Torrentes. Once the wines were made, he had them shipped in hermetically sealed vats to Ontario, CA where the wines were packaged into Tetra-Paks – the same material used to make kids’ juice boxes. From Canada, the wines were shipped out to stores like Veritas. Since then, Matt has expanded his lineup to six wines from Spain,California and of course Argentina.
Why Yellow + Blue? Their carbon footprint is half that of a regular wine company. And while most companies take substandard wine and put it into a box to save money, Y+B set forth to put quality wine into Tetra-Paks for the sake of the environment. What does Y+B do with the money they save with the Tetra-Paks vs bottles? Y+B wines come in one liter containers, rather then the typical 750 mL bottles – this translates to 33% more wine for you!
Monastrell - Jumilla, Spain
You think you might not be well versed with this grape variety but there is a very good chance you’ve had this varietal, also known as Mourvedre inFranceandAustralia. You most likely have seen Mourvedre blended with Shiraz and Grenache (GSM Blend!) Here we have a 100% Monastrell. This wine offers colors of blue-violet with hints of red. The nose of the wine offers powerful aromas of blackberries, anise, olives and plums. On the palate, you’ll find a full bodied red, with firm tannins, and an opulently plummy finish.
Malbec - Mendoza, Argentina
This malbec as been the shop’s best selling malbec and one of the best selling wines in the shop wince we opened in 2009. It offers colors of deep purple with hints of maroon. On the nose, you’ll find heady aromas of black cherries and licorice. The palate offers a medium to full bodied wine with fine tannins and a long, mineral laden finish
Select Red - Santa Barbara,CA
Relatively new to the lineup and at Veritas, I’ve been super excited to sell this great California blend of Tempranillo, Mourvedre and Syrah. With a dark purple-black color and rich aromas of blackberry, leather and cardamom, this is a rich and powerful wine, with a long, spicy finish.
Sauvignon Blanc - Mendicino,CA
With the Sauvignon Blanc market seemingly so oversaturated with bland, jaded and one dimensional wines, its been refreshing to sell this juice! With a lucent yellow-green color, this wine displays aromas of Mandarin Orange, key lime and tangerines. On the palate, you’ll find medium weight, bright acidity and lingering flavors of lime and lemongrass.