By Gina Trippi
Every year at this time, we see countless articles about what wines are best to serve at Thanksgiving. But Eric Asimov, New York Times wine critic, says it is difficult to make a bad wine decision for the Thanksgiving table.
“Whichever wines you serve, they will be well received,” he says. “Nobody comes to Thanksgiving for the wine. They come for the people.” Asimov believes you can’t go wrong.
So let’s go right! Serve wines from wineries that not only make great wines that pair well with a traditional Thanksgiving menu, but that show their gratitude by donating proceeds to worthy causes.
Indaba, a South African winery, makes food-friendly wines that present character and structure well beyond their very affordable price. Drawn from some of the world’s oldest soil, Indaba wines are made by family farmers. “These are real wines made by real people,” Indaba says.
But serving Indaba is more than just supporting small family businesses; it’s about participating in the future of South African children. Cape Classics, the importer for Indaba, has established The Indaba Education Fund (IEF) to improve a child’s capacity to develop through Montessori training. Offered in the child’s earliest years, Cape Classics believes this educational opportunity will greatly improve the child’s chances for a successful adulthood—enhancing family life, elevating societies and building a better future for South Africa. Toward this goal, the company donates $.50 of every case of Indaba sold worldwide to IEF.
Joseph Carr named his winery after his father Josh, who served in the military and as a volunteer firefighter. Carr continues to honor his father’s commitment to community and public service through charity. Last year, Josh Cellars donated one dollar from each bottle of wine sold up to $50,000 to Operation Homefront for military families. Operation Homefront has helped more than 590,000 families with basic necessities such as food, infant supplies, rent and utility payments.
A former bike racer, John Grochau, donates $.40 of every bottle sold of his GC Commuter wine, an extraordinary Pinot Noir, to the Brett Jarolimek Memorial Fund. Named in honor of a cyclist killed in a collision with a truck in Portland, OR, the fund supports bicycle safety and strategic partnerships to enhance motorists’ and cyclists’ awareness and education and to further bicycle safety infrastructure projects.
Rickshaw Wines are dedicated to two ideas: that California wine should be available at reasonable prices and that people should do what they can to help each other. To achieve the first goal, Rickshaw scours California for the best grapes. To achieve the second, the company donates 5% of the gross profit from each bottle to food-related charities in states where the wine is sold.
And then there’s Smith Story. Following old world techniques, these wines are made with respect for the grape growers and the land. Their red blend, named for their beloved goldendoodle, Lord Sandwich, is not only perfect for Thanksgiving but also serves a mission. Smith Story has established a nonprofit organization, SocksforSandwich.org, which collects and distributes socks to those in need, including North Sonoma City Services, Center for Domestic Peace and fire and flood victims around the country.
This Thanksgiving, support wineries that support community.
Gina Trippi is the co-owner of Metro Wines, 169 Charlotte Street in Asheville. Committed to the community, Metro Wines offers big shop selection with small shop service. Gina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828.575.9525.