One Hope is a brand of wine that focuses on something called "cause marketing." Typically, cause marketing is done for a limited time, i.e., daffodils in the spring for Cancer, stores selling pink ribbons in October for Breast Cancer, etc. One Hope took this concept to a new level; they decided they would donate 50 percent of their profits no matter what time of year you buy their wine. Even more, if there is a particular charity you want to support - simply buy a different varietal of their wine. This works because each grape has its own cause (Cabernet Sauvignon supports autism, Merlot supports AIDS, Zinfandel Supports Our Troops, Chardonnay supports Breast Cancer, and Sauvignon Blanc supports our planet).
Normally, I try not to talk to anyone at the winery prior to writing an article as I do not want to be swayed one way or the other. This time, however, given the charitable nature of the wine, I found myself wanting to learn more about One Hope Wine. In talking to CEO Jake Kloberdanz, I could see that this is a driven group of young entrepreneurs who care more about helping others than focusing on profits. They seem to have three goals in their production of the wine: first, offer a reasonably priced, easy to drink wine; second, raise a significant amount of money for their stated charities; and third, generate awareness of the needs of their partner charities. This is a refreshing change in a world where corporations focus exclusively on profits. This will be a brand to watch in the future and should be a prototype for other socially conscious corporations.
The marketing idea makes tremendous sense, but how does the wine taste? I love red wine - so I tried the Cabernet Sauvignon, which I found at Windmill Farms on San Ramon Valley Boulevard. The wine is very easy to drink, full of vanilla and berries with a light and mild aftertaste. It might not be an award-winning wine but when paired with the right dish, it kept me reaching for the next sip. My suggestions for pairing are spicy foods, chicken wings, chili, Mexican food and maybe even pizza. It sells for $18.99.
If you want a wine to start off Valentine's Day dinner on a charitable note then open a bottle of One Hope Wine, feel good that you are helping others, and be thankful for what you have. Happy Valentine's Day!
Don Colman, the Everyday Wine Guy lives in Danville and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org