Wine & Spirits

Wines with a Cause

Good wines that do good all the time.

Bottles with a Cause
While I enjoy talking about wine, and drinking it even more, once in a while it’s also nice to show off our industry’s good deeds. When is the last time you were at a charity event that didn’t have wine in the auction? This month’s Wine Fest raises a ton of money for the U of M’s Amplatz Children’s Hospital, but I wanted to show you some examples of good bottles that do good all the time.

Ehlers Estates 120 over 80 2008 (Napa Valley, CA)
Blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc merlot, petite verdot
Price: $49.99
•  This is a great Bordeaux blend that will turn the head of any big red lover. With a history dating back to 1886, Ehlers is now held in a foundation, and while it can boast an organic and sustainable growing practice, what’s more impressive is that 100 percent of the profits go to cardiovascular research. Even the “E” in its logo is in the shape of a heart.

OneHope Wine Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Napa Valley, CA)
100 percent sauvignon blanc
Price: $18.99
•  A crisp and refreshing wine with bright grapefruit and grassy notes, it’s a beautiful summer white in its own right. But it becomes even more beautiful when you know that 50 percent of profits from each of this vineyard’s wines are donated to a different charity. This sauvignon blanc plants trees, merlot fights AIDS, chardonnay battles breast cancer, and so on.

Ventisquero Carménère 2010 (Colchagua Valley, Chile)
100 percent carménère
Price: $12.99
•  This wine drinks like a cabernet sauvignon, but you can drink it young. Blueberry and chocolate flavors are rich, not over the top, and have a nice soft finish. This winery is sustainable and part of the Global Reporting Initiative on all of its business practices. It supports the Clean Schools Project in Chile, as well as children’s charities in each country to which it exports.

Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes wine tastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public. Reach him at