Most of us want a decent tipple this Christmas and if you’re anything like the team at Hello Eco Living you want the best ethical, organic or fair trade wines and beers out there.

Organic grapes for gorgeous ethical wine
Organic grapes for gorgeous ethical wine

We’ve spent the last couple of months sampling some fantastic drinks that you can enjoy this festive season without questioning your eco credentials. From wine to Port and over to larger we have found a collection of taste sensations  for Christmas 2009. Enjoy…


Pomegranate Wine – This year’s “must talk about” wine

Wow, Pomegranate wine – this is really different and such a treat. In fact we think that this would make a really great Christmas pressie and will have you being the centre of attention for bringing the most imaginative drink to the table.

Our Chris gave it his verdict: “On the nose notes of cherry and pomegranate dominate the lively bouquet. A fairly dry wine bursting with complexity and fairly a high alcohol content of 13.8 percent. It could pair well with a rich Italian dish, though we drank it with salmon and cheese and it did not over power. The pomegranate fruit is an unusual flavour for wine but becomes increasingly pleasing and familiar with each sip – we will be certainly drinking more of it in time.”

This corker comes from the Rimon Winery in Galilee and combines the health benefits of pomegranates (lots of antioxidants) with the pleasure of enjoying an unusual wine.

Pomegranate Dry wine RRP £21.99

Terra Prima Reserve Port – Hello Eco Living’s Top Pick!

We’re a bit addicted to this sweet, smooth tasting port and will be well on our way to ordering a batch for our Festive Season.

Terra Prima Reserve is an organically produced Port by Fonseca.  We’re impressed that it’s the only organic Port to be found on UK shelves and is available in a stylish green box (although we didn’t get to experience the box, boo). It’s also vegan and vegetarian friendly.

When we asked Chris to give his verdict he said:

A delight to drink and pick of the review – at £14.99 this port can rival those double it’s price – it’s fairly sweet, but full of mouth watering fruits, also good depth and complexity, a true gem, an ideal match with the christmas pud on the 25th or after dinner cheese and crackers.

Fonseca Port has great eco credentials and has long been recognised as a pioneer of bio-diversity and organic production in its native Portugal.  Winning the BES Biodiversity Prize earlier this year for its viticultural practices is a sign that Fonseca has earned its place amongst the great green pioneers of the world.

Terra Prima Reserve Port £14.49 in Waitrose or Booths

2008 Von Buhl Deidesheimer Herrgottsacker Riesling – A German Gem

In our household we’ve been cracking open red wines for possibly the past 6 months, since our fascination with Bordeaux began. So when a white gets mentioned I jump to attention – I love white wine but it’s often tough to find a good one. This one is definitely up there. It is so moreish. We drank and we simply wanted more.

A bit of background on this particular Riesling – Since 2007, Germany’s organic wine growing area has grown by 60% and now, almost 5% of all German vineyards are organically farmed. However, for them it’s not just about consumer demand, but about quality and respect for the environment. Changing the way they farm to become organic or biodynamic is no small feat – it requires commitment and significant cost but those that make the switch are convinced that by doingso, their wines will better reflect the “terroir” on which they are grown, resulting in a purer, more complex wine with more balance and natural character.

2008 Von Buhl Deidesheimer Herrgottsacker Riesling – £13.50, Jascots Wine Merchants

Freedom Organic Larger – Right here in the UK

We’re not just all about wine and port this festive season; we’ve also catered for the larger drinker. Freedom Brewery has a lovely story as well as being a tasty beer.

Freedom is Britain’s first lager only producing microbrewery is based on a farm next to a deer sanctuary in Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire (sounds like a very nice place to work!) It is situated on top of a natural underground lake of Burton brewing water – the world’s finest hard water for brewing. Water is drawn from this sustainable source via a bore hole and used without any treatment for the brewing process. The site has Soil Association accreditation for producing organic lager.

The taste is light with hints of caramel – a very pleasant drink for the boys and girls this December.

The products are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans (seaweed is used in the filtration process as opposed to fish based products). Freedom lagers are left to mature for a minimum of 4 weeks to enhance the flavour.

Freedom Organic Lager £24 – direct from the website for a case of 24 x 330ml bottles


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