Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A time of Hope

The world has gone feverish for Hope. It’s the word that is lying in the back of everyone’s mouth as they talk about how bad things are right now. Businesses are closing left and right, especially here in New York where you can see empty storefronts and “Going out of Business” signs, where not 6 months ago there were fall line-ups and smug salespeople. Hope is what the world clings to, a way to convince yourself that tomorrow will be better. Barack Obama ran his campaign on a message that hope will see us through and that we will weather this stormy economy and life will once again be good, or at least as good as it was.

I found a winery selling hope, or at least finding a way to use it to help others. Hope Wine is a concept created by Jacob Kloberdanz in 2006 after he witnessed the sales power that teaming a wine business with a non-profit organization can have. Kloberdanz worked as a wine sales manager and would work with non-profit organizations on a monthly basis, not only to get that warm feeling when you help those in need but to also sell more product. After seeing these results, Kloberdanz decided to create a brand that donated to charity and helped raise awareness all year round.

Kloberdanz and a group of entrepreneurs out of Southern California, each with sales, marketing and managerial experience in the wine industry launched Hope Wines brand in early 2007. Their company partnered with Sonoma Wine Company to help create this private label. Today the company has five different wine varieties, with plans to expand into more varieties to support a growing selection of causes.

The wines, made by David Elliot (a 25-year veteran in the wine industry) are:

Sauvignon Blanc – Supporting the Environment
Chardonnay – Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness
Merlot – Supporting AIDS Awareness
Cabernet Sauvignon – Supporting Autism Research
Zinfandel – Supporting the Families of Fallen Troops

I decided to purchase some of these wines and try them out. It is great to see a company whose main mission is to help those in need, but are the wines also worth drinking in their own merit?

The Hope Chardonnay was quite good. I really liked the freshness and excitement in the wine. I was quite surprised to find that the wine had see very little oak and showed great apple and pear notes. It was very pleasant with the grilled shrimp I had with it.

The Hope Merlot on the other hand was not nearly as good. A perfectly drinkable wine, but nothing exciting.

I haven’t tried the Sauvignon Blanc yet, but when I do I’ll put up a note about it.
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