Vinophiles face a large number of choices every time we buy a bottle
of wine. Cabernet or Merlot? Chardonnay barrel fermented or unoaked?
Imported or domestic? California or local? (Well, I can dream, can‚€™t
I?) Were the grapes farmed organically? What is the carbon footprint of
this massive bottle?
No wonder we spend so much time in wine stores!
Add one more factor to consider: Fair trade certification. We‚€™ve
seen ‚€œfair trade certified‚€ labels crop up on coffee, tea, chocolate
and other agricultural products over the past few years as a feel-good
reassurance that the developing world workers who toiled to give us a
more delicious way of life were paid a fair wage and provided reasonably
tolerable working conditions. TransFair USA,
the California-based non-profit that certifies fair trade products for
sale in the United States, is now bestowing the label on wines from
Argentina and South Africa at selected retailers.
It‚€™s a laudable concept, and one to consider if the wines are good.
You can read my assessment of fair trade wines in today‚€™s Washington Post.