Embrace kindness By Mikey on February 14th, 2022 in Blog Spread the love Just 3 short days after we celebrate romantic love, a more fraternal/ sororal love lingers with Random Acts of Kindness Day on Feb 17th. It’s time to embrace kindness. A day to consider how you can help karma help you; compliment a colleague; text an old friend you haven’t spoken to for ages; crack open a bottle of something delicious and take stock of your blessings with a loved one. We’ve wines so generous and giving in nature we’re left amazed every time we drink them, socially responsible Mexican spirits that care for the wider community and eco-focused drinks that give back to the natural world around them. What better way to celebrate kindness and giving than by choosing one of the most generous wines we’ve tasted? From Penedès in North East Spain, Mas Comtal’s Antistiana takes Xarel-lo, a grape normally only found in Cava, and from it makes the most layered, complex, rich and gorgeous white wine. From first to the last sip this wine gives and gives with Golden delicious apples, lemon zest, melon and a lovely smokey, toast character. It’s creamy yet refreshing, complex yet surprisingly easy-drinking, it ticks every box imaginable. Genuinely remarkable winemaking. From one side of the Spanish speaking Atlantic to the other, with Mexico our next stop for two outstanding spirits that take social responsibility very seriously. Ambhar Tequila Plata is a first-rate 100% Weber Blue Agave Tequila whose makers help support children stranded in Child Protection Services in the USA after their parents have been deported. LACES, the not for profit organisation supported by this producer helps establish mechanisms and policies to ensure these children are reunited with their parents, having survived difficult and often life-threatening migrations to the United States. When you combine supporting this amazing work with a tequila that is crisp, smooth and moreish with dried herbs, honeysuckle and a hint of Padron peppers, there is every reason to have a bottle in your home bar. While Tequila has to be made from a single variety of agave – Weber Blue – Mezcal, its smokey sibling, can be made from a host of different agave varieties. Generally made in very small batches, in tiny distilleries and by true artisans, Mezcal is never cheap. But this amazing craft is often threatened by large corporations cashing in and marginalising the vulnerable communities in which it’s made. Mezcal Amores does things differently. By guaranteeing fair pricing for agave growers, creating jobs in the local community, helping train the next generation of Maestros Mezcaleros, offsetting all carbon and investing in replanting programmes for any wild agave harvested, Mezcal Amores aims to change the game. Made from the Espadin variety of agave, Mezcal Verde Amores is an easy-sipping, super-smooth spirit with subtle smoke, a hint of latex aroma and caramel covered tropical fruit that lingers on the finish. Easy sipping, easy-going, easy on the wallet and yet with a proper, sustainable conscience, this is a Mezcal that deserves your attention. Staying in the Americas’ side of the Atlantic now, another wine that’s all about generosity of flavour. Domingo Hermanos Cabernet Sauvignon from the Salta region of Argentina enjoys a combination of very high altitude, free-draining soil, low rainfall and lots of sunshine, all of which makes for super-concentrated fruit. Packed with bundles of flavour, the grapes are handled very carefully before being vinified without ever touching oak. This style of winemaking is growing in popularity in a country more known for heavily oaked Malbecs, and using a variety – Cabernet Sauvignon – that more often than not, spends time in a barrel. With clean, complex, dark berry fruit, some of that bell pepper and herbs thing good Cabs always have, and the distant whiff of pub fireplace, this wine gives so much flavour, you’ll wonder how they pack it all in. Especially for the price. Back to Europe now with two very different drinks whose makers are united in their commitment to giving back to mother nature. Avallen Calvados embrace kindness through a Carbon Positive business founded in the UK. With a burning desire to make a sustainable and delicious product in the Norman home of French apple brandy production. Without any carbon offsetting required, every bottle of Avallen removes 2.73kg of CO2e from our atmosphere by way of the apple trees capturing greenhouse gases. Using only locally sourced apples and minimal water consumption in the distillation process, buying Avallen genuinely does have a positive impact on our planet. Charred and stewed apple, yellow pear and a little cinnamon are the top notes to a very smooth, lighter style of Calvados. Pop it in a hip flask for a brisque country walk or substitute it for gin with a light tonic and a slice of lime. C’est Magnifique! A few hundred miles East, from Wagram in Austria, the Diwald family have been farming organically for over 40 years and are true pioneers of the practice. Understanding that by being sensitive and kind to nature she will be more inclined to give back to you, they make wine that is a wonderful expression of the soil and climate of the region. Luft & Liebe translates to Love & Air which couldn’t be more apt for the giving theme. Made from Zweigelt, a sadly underrated black grape variety, this gorgeous, rich, complex red wine is like a greatest hits – red and black fruits, refreshing acidity, high but fine tannin, some dried herbs, a hint of smoke and lovely cooking spices. When you embrace kindness in your vineyard and your surrounding habitats this well for this long, it is no wonder your grapes (and the wines they make) are this good.