The centuries-old expression ‘the angels’ share’ refers to the small amount of wine that evaporates through porous oak barrels during the ageing process. My own experience of angels is that they live among us to look after us. Not an easy job, so I think it appropriate that they are, in turn, helped out from time to time. That belief is held in high regard in Martinborough, Wellington’s own little wine village.
Since 2009, a group of grape growers, winemakers and wine industry doers have been working under the radar to produce a wine from which the proceeds of all sales go to the angels of the local community. The Pinot Noir grapes are donated from vineyards; the wine is made free of charge; bottles, cartons and label printing are provided gratis; and the local bottling plant completes the job on the house. All sales from the resulting $20 bottles of Martinborough Angels Share Pinot Noir are imparted to the local Anglican church.
In its deliverance of community service and support, Martinborough’s Anglican church likewise operates under the radar. Nonetheless, it has ensured that all children have had their first meal of the day via a Breakfast Club; a Homework Club keeps those kids working to a future; and during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, it was the church that provided a much-needed counselling service.
It needs to be stated that community is the heart of the Martinborough spirit. When a local is going through tough times — be it an act of God or otherwise — you will see much activity to help that person out. The donation of Angels Share proceeds to the Anglican church is not spiritually based, but a matter-of-fact attitude that we all need to roll up our sleeves to look after one another. As one prominent winemaker put it, “We all need [the church] at least once in our lives.”
It’s coming up to the time when we recognise God’s son, a bloke who expressed his own divinity by making wine from water. Wine is proof that God wants us to be happy. God also ensures that the angels among us get their share. You can be good too. Angels Share is stocked by the Martinborough Wine Centre (martinboroughwinecentre.co.nz or contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
Angels Share Pinot Noir 2012
For $20 a bottle, this has all the aroma of a fruity, funky Martinborough Pinot Noir. Dark forest berry, damp autumn leaf and complex exotic spices on the nose are followed by spice and camphor flavours in the mouth, along with a silky, opulent texture and a vibrant finish. Perfect at home with a bacon, garlic, olive and lemon pasta dish.
IMAGE CREDIT: Jeremy Corban (after McCahon)