The pick: Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017, a versatile wine that’s better for both you and the planet.
If there’s one take-away from this recent Earth Day, it’s that we need to keep at it all year round—not just for that one single day per year. The good news, though, is that, when it comes to wine, it’s dead-easy to make better choices, thanks to hundreds of new organics turning up all the time. And, a lot of people will argue that opting for, say, a bottle of Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon over a more conventional California Cab is not only better for the environment, it also tastes better. Win-win.
Backstory: Natural and organic wineries tend to produce lower-alcohol wines that taste fresh and approachable, unlike the heavy, intense alcohol-bombs that dominated the top-scoring wine lists, throughout the 1990s and early aughts. Bonterra, a California producer recently featured on Amazon Prime Video’s It Starts With Wine (coming to Canada soon, we hope), is actually not only organic, it’s also biodynamic and is well-known for its use of “animal partners”—bees, chickens and even sheep—who buzz and graze the land between the rows of grape vines to keep the circle of life going, naturally.
Why you’ll like it: The end result is a light-tasting, dry and herbal red with a hint of blackberry. This ain’t your grandfather’s silky-vanilla steak wine, but the good news is that it’s waaay more versatile. Chill in the refrigerator for a few minutes before serving, just to get it under room temperature, and serve with chicken thighs, pork roasts, summer ratatouilles or cheese plates.
Where to get it: Bonterra enjoys wide distribution across Canada and can generally be found in most provincial liquor boards for about $20. If you can’t find it, look for another west coast organic option—there’s no shortage, and new ones are popping up all the time.