Changing the way people drink wine here in the UK is an exciting challenge and one that we accept wholeheartedly. If you’re a like-minded soul who shares our passion for great Italian craft wine that defies taste expectations – and want to keep track of the boxed wine revolution via – you can also sign up to receive our monthly news round-ups.
UPCOMING EVENTS – Come and say hello and enjoy a tipple with us at:
Vinotopia Summer Tasting, Tetbury – 6th July, Friday
Brighton Waitrose – 2nd & 3rd August, Thursday & Friday
Oxford Wine Festival – 7th & 8th Sept, Friday & Saturday
Red Cross Call My Bluff, Saddler’s Hall, London – 5th October, Friday
Festival of Wine, London – 13th October, Saturday
Festival of Wine, Edinburgh – 3rd November, Saturday
Two years ago, When in Rome was still fresh out of the starting blocks as a bleary eyed start-up. No one asked us if our wines were vegan back then. Now we get asked two or three times a week.
In June 2016, the Vegan Society announced that over half a million people in the UK had ditched meat, fish and dairy in favour of a plant-based diet. Embracing their new-found vegan status for a plethora of reasons including animal welfare, physical health and concerns about the environment.
During the same year, Google searches for ‘vegan’ rose by thirty-two percent [wish we could say the same about ‘box wine’] and two whole Veganuarys later we’d hazard a guess that figure is even higher. By a long way.
But ARE your wines vegan?
Yes, around half our wines are vegan friendly – including our Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Refosco, Falanghina and Pinot Grigio – and we’ve just added a vegan status on our online shop to make things clearer.
What makes a wine vegan or veggie?
A wine being ‘vegan’ or ‘veggie’ has nothing to do with the ingredients that go into making it. That’s only grapes and yeast, after all. What actually makes the difference is a part of the wine production process called ‘fining’.
Now, we all love a nice clear glass of wine don’t we? Bits and bobs are for scrumpy cider drinkers, not wine lovers. But getting rid of sediment and other visible molecules that would cloud our wine if left to their own devices is called ‘fining’ – and the four main fining agents used for this are albumin (egg protein), casein (milk protein), gelatin (animal protein) and isinglass (fish protein).
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that two are vegetarian – and none are vegan.
Cheerfully, we’re speaking to more and more winemakers across Italy who are starting to use clay, charcoal and vegetable based proteins.
The box wine revolution has certainly come a long way in two years. I wonder how different things will be for vegans and box wine in another two years?
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report, gender parity is still over 200 years away.
That’s shocking. But we weren’t shocked.
Winemaking is very much a male-dominated industry in Italy – and most other places for that matter. And we know this because Donatella Martincigh is the only female winemaker we work with.
We hope to meet more like Donatella. But we don’t want to wait 200 years!
Best Sauvignon in a box… on the planet
Over the last 30 years, Donatella Martincigh has transformed her family’s 20-hectare farm into an award-winning winery. Last year her Sauvignon was named the best Sauvignon in a box – in the world – when it was awarded Gold at the 2017 Concours International Wine in a Box festival.
Back when she was a bambino, Donatella’s mama used to put a little drink of red wine in her bottle (shhhhh… don’t tell Annabel Karmel whatever you do!).
Now she’s a fully graduated sommelier, but Donatella prefers to call herself a winemaker.
On our website we describe her Rosato as ‘A seize the moment wine – definitely not one for the cellar.’
It’s in this vein that we raise our glasses to celebrate all existing and budding female winemakers this week.
In fact it’s a double celebration of all things female, alongside International Women’s Day (on Thursday) it’s also Mother’s Day (on Sunday).
£10 off a box of Donatella’s Rosato this Mother’s Day
To celebrate, we’d like to give you £10 towards a box of Donatella’s beautiful Rosato to enjoy with friends or give to your Mama this Mother’s Day.
Grab yourself a 2.25L box (equivalent to three bottles) for just £17. No special code required, simply pop a box (or two) into your basket and the discount will apply automatically. Offer runs until 11th March (Mother’s Day) while stocks last!
For the first time ever, Waitrose stores across the UK have included box wine (from When in Rome, of course) as part of their front of store promotion between Valentine’s Day and Wednesday 28th February.
Yes, our Falanghina and Nero d’Avola are currently available to buy as part of the high street supermarket’s infamous end of aisle promotions – with a special offer that sees them both reduced by 25% from £25.99 to £19.49.
Box wine is here to stay
‘This is fantastic proof that the British public are ready to drop their existing prejudices of box wine and embrace the box wine revolution, ‘ says Rob Malin, When in Rome’s co-founder.
‘We’re delighted to have Waitrose’s support, helping us to bring great tasting craft wine from small Italian producers to the end aisles of their stores and into their customer’s trolleys.
‘Right now, we’re totally bowled over by the increase in take-up of the humble box by Waitrose customers across the UK’.
Want to enjoy 25% off our Falanghina and Nero d’Avola? Head to your nearest Waitrose store or visit Waitrose.com. Offer runs until next Wednesday 28th February or while stocks last.
Who was St Valentine of Rome?
Thumb through the history books and Saint Valentine of Rome remains an elusive character with a hodgepodge of different stories and characters associated with his name.
Our favourite yarn casts him as a young temple priest, who went against the Roman Emperor Claudius II back in the 200’s. Helping loved-up young couples to get married in secret.
Claudius was a true barbarian – in all senses of the word – who believed that married menfolk with broods made below par centurions and banned the poor fellows from getting married accordingly.
But Valentine, a hopeless romantic, continued to perform secret weddings for smitten young duos. Until one day, when Claudius got wind of his clandestine ceremonies and had Valentine arrested, jailed and finally beheaded on 14th February.
According to legend, Valentine’s final message was a note to his jailer’s daughter – who he’d struck up a friendship with – and he signed it simply: ‘From Your Valentine’.
Poor Valentine. We love a good rebel, especially a good ‘love’ rebel.
So, this February 14th, let’s raise a toast and remember the young temple priest who kick-started a romantic revolution 1,800 years that’s still going strong… here’s to you Saint Valentine of Rome.
Valentine’s Offer – Buy a box of Dolcetto and Pinot Grigio for £46
Alongside romantic love, St Valentine is also the patron of beekeeping – and as Dolcetto means ‘little sweet one’ we’d like to offer you a box of our beautiful Dolcetto, plus a box of our Pinot Grigio for only £46 including delivery.
Just add the two boxes to your basket and the discount and free delivery will be added to your cart automatically.