Wine Relief 2013 is now in full swing. Bravo, Olly Smith, Wine Relief ambassador! He wrote a great article about the wines available from the big retailers in last weekend's Daily Mail. And so did the Terry Kirby of The Independent on Sunday, David Williams of The Observer and Jamie Goode of The Sunday Express (and wineanorak.com). Bravissimi!
Helen McGinn, author of the groundbreaking new guide to wine The Knackered Mothers' Wine Club, just published by Macmillan, founder of knackeredmotherswineclub, and also an ex wine buyer for Tesco, says she will be reviewing some of the Wine Relief wines in her new Thursday Daily Mail column.
Wine Relief is the wine-related arm of the huge biennial fundraising campaign that is Comic Relief that culminates on Red Nose Day, Friday 15 March. Various retailers are donating at least 10% from the sales of designated Wine Relief wines to the eventual goal of transforming lives for the better in the UK and Africa. Nick and I have been involved closely with Comic Relief and the people who run it since the beginning of Wine Relief in 1999 and are quite staggered by how well this organisation is run - Zero Wastage! They operate on practically zero overheads, with all their administrative costs donated, and they really do oversee closely how their money is spent. Always with a sustainable future in mind rather than just chucking money at problems.
You can find out which wines you can buy from Laithwaite's, Majestic, Virgin Wines, M&S, Waitrose, Oddbins and Selfridges in quantity with a very clear conscience between now and Red Nose Day by checking out this list of Wine Relief 2013 wines. As Olly remarks in his article, it would be great to see all the major retailers involved in 2015. Put those petty rivalries aside, folks, and think of the bigger picture! Be more like independent retailer Nik Darlington of Red Squirrel Wine in Richmond, Surrey, who wrote to me last night saying he wanted to get involved by 'donating 10% of sales proceeds on our quirkiest, wackiest, most critterish wines to Comic Relief'. Anyone reading this who wants to get involved, just contact me via Contact us/General enquiries at the bottom of the page.
If you're the sort who is more likely to buy by the case online than by the bottle off a shelf, do take a look at fine-wine traders Farr Vintners' Wine Relief 2013 offer. My tasting notes on the wines they are offering for Wine Relief are given in detail in Farr Vintners offer Wine Relief. There are some really lovely wines and (I know this is rather against the spirit of the thing to point this out) some of them represent quite a bargain in my view. Farr's offer lasts until the end of March and they will be donating a full £20 straight to Wine Relief on each case sold. Buy, buy, buy!
Unfortunately our Wine Relief dinner at The Quality Chop House on Monday 4 March is fully booked but there are still a few tickets left for Rose Murray Brown MW's Wine Relief event in Edinburgh on Thursday 7 March. See full details at Edinburgh's Comic Relief Wine Fair.
As I say, if you want to help, just make a donation here . It won't be counted towards our Wine Relief total, but the important thing is that it will help Comic Relief with its stated goal for the last 25 years of transforming the lives of countless people in the UK and Africa for the better while having fun.