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THE GREEN LIGHT

This week we’re putting on our worst clothes, picking up the secateurs and tackling nature head-on (OK we swept the patio but it felt gooood). Casting an eye around the five metre square patch of land that we aspiringly call ‘the garden’, our thoughts turned to the environment and its conspicuous absence from discussion in parliament and in the press. According to Nasa, 97% of scientists agree that global warming is caused by human activity and something needs to be done about it fast. However, our government seems about as concerned as an Andy Murray on a strong anaesthetic. Wakey wakey, smell the bakey! Anyway, long story short, this week we are inviting you to join as we go green… by drinking cider?
Jawohl, you hear right. The chain reaction goes thus: 1) You pick up our new Planet Bee Cider (£2.50) 2) 25% of the profits go to Friends of the Honey Bee, which funds research and educational programs helping to preserve and restore the bee populations so vital to our country’s ecosystem and 3) You save the world! So, if any po-faced eejit questions your cider consumption, just tell them you’re saving the world. You may, at this stage, also want to know what it tastes like. Fair enough. It’s essentially a bottled autumnal apple orchard, rich and pure-fruited, with brilliant intensity and depth. Serve it with a mature Cheddar and a fruity chutney and whack on The Wurzels for West Country heaven.
You may have heard the news on the BBC that ‘greenhouse gases from food production will go up by 80% if meat and dairy consumption continues to rise at its current rate’. You may now, therefore, be wondering around your local wholefood shop in pursuit of lentils. So, as you turn to nut roasts and beans on toast (joking, joking, we know there are many delicious and nutritious vegan meals out there), why not celebrate your new, dairy-free ways with a bottle of the vegan dream that is Semeli Feast Red (£8.50). Hailing from modern-day Sparta, it is a cherry, berry and cedar-flavoured wine, made with the Agiorgitiko grape (which translates as St George), by Leonidas Nassiakos, who is one of the leading vintners in the Peloponnese. And you thought the Spartans were a blood-thirsty bunch…
Oddbins’ Head of Operations, Paul, does not like the colour green. Whilst we cannot agree with him on this irrational hue-aversion, we can empathise, as the mere fact of being vegetarian, vegan, organic or biodynamic does not necessarily have any effect on the flavour of the wine. They may, coincidentally, be delicious, like the bright, fruit-driven – and totally organic – Canard-Duchêne Green Champagne. Now, we turn to the topic of sulphites, which is an unpleasant quagmire, over which we lay the following bridge: sulphites are naturally occurring in all wines. What we can say, is that the amount of sulphur used has decreased and it is in the producer’s best interests to use only enough sulphites as is needed to protect the wine. Finally, if you are new to animal-free living, then you may not be aware that wine can be non-vegetarian/vegan at all and may, eek, still be buying wine made with animal products. Egg whites, fish bladders and, historically, even ox blood can be used to clarify wines, but vegetarian clarifying agents such as bentonite are increasingly common these days – and these wines are often (but not necessarily) marked up with a green ‘V’ on the label. So you may want to look at our vegetarian and vegan selections on Oddbins.com and in our shops – just ask our staff.Now, dismounting our soapbox, picking up a glass of Canard-Duchêne Green Champagne and relaxing under the wisteria (we wish), we bid you adieu and many happy, green times.