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Embedded Generosity: Buy Flipflop Wines, Do Good, Drink Well–Very Inexpensively

22 Sep

By Sharon Kapnick

Americans’ love for shopping and their penchant for giving can easily be gratified in one fell swoop these days. Because buying for yourself and helping others at the same time is a very appealing proposition, especially in times of economic hardship, it’s been gaining ground as a marketing strategy.

Embedded generosity, as it’s called, seamlessly incorporates charitable donations into the price of merchandise. You buy the item; the producer donates to charity. Giving doesn’t get any easier. The concept was featured by trendwatching.com, a self-described “independent and opinionated trend firm,” on its list of 10 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2010.

Several wine producers have partnered with charities to join the movement. One brand that has created an exceptional deal is flipflop wines (www.flipflopwines.com), which launched this year. In addition to giving to charity, they offer very good value, with a suggested retail price of just $7–and the wines can often be found for $5 or $6.

The producer of these seven award-winning screw-capped wines, meant for casual everyday drinking, has partnered with Soles4Souls, which distributes slightly used and new shoes to needy people in 127 countries. Since 2004, Soles4Souls has given away more than 13 million pairs of shoes, currently distributing a pair every seven seconds. flipflop will donate a pair of flip-flop sandals, up to 100,000 pairs in 2011, for each bottle of wine purchased.

The seven varietals include Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay, Moscato, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The quality is excellent for the price, and most of the wines have already been declared Best Buys by print wine magazines. Winemaker David Georges pointed out that “it’s harder to make good inexpensive wine than good expensive wine,” which after he says it seems obvious. These wines are a testament to his skill.

Georges adheres to the “recycle, reduce, reuse” philosophy, so this arrangement especially suits him. However, the label’s name refers not to the shoe charity but to Georges’ proclivity to work in the vineyards wearing his favorite flip-flops. Whatever, it’s certainly the beginning of a beautiful partnership.

Recommended Wines (I received samples of these wines)

NOTE: flipflop’s informative back labels include tasting notes, food-matching suggestions, storage information and a dryness-sweetness scale

2010 Pinot Grigio: Light bodied, refreshing, good acidity, flavors and aromas of citrus, apple and pear (more flavorful than most Pinot Grigios), medium dry to medium sweet

2010 Riesling: Medium bodied, flavors and aromas of peach, apricot and melon, medium sweet to sweet

2010 Moscato: Light bodied, good acidity, delightful floral and fruity aromas,
medium sweet to sweet, good with Asian food or dessert

2010 Pinot Noir: Light to medium bodied, aromas and flavors of cherry, spice and vanilla, dry to medium dry, exceptional bargain