To this day my brother claims credit for starting the stone washed jeans look that came about in the 80′s. As a teenager growing up in suburbia a long time before mobiles, camera phones and social media it’s tricky to explain how his fashion sense trickled so powerfully into the wardrobes of some of the greatest rock and pop idols of the time. But we never question it, of course. Twenty years have passed and luckily stonewashed jeans have yet to make much of a resurgence, however my brother’s influence on people around him has gone from strength to strength.
When it comes to inspiring Britain to get on their bikes there’s no denying that Wiggo is the new Boris, but I’ve been cycling long distance way before Wiggo became a household name and before Barclays stumped up the cash for Boris’ bikes. The inspiration behind it? My brother.
My brother is a keen cyclist. He’s cycled round the world on some serious expeditions, none less than 400km a time. China, Eygpt, Kenya, Vietnam, Cambodia, Paris…. a great way to take a break and get fit, you might think, but he’s no normal athlete. Following a life changing snowboarding accident where he broke his neck, his cycling adventures have been anything but a holiday. With limited upper body movement and no use of his fingers he has nevertheless managed to travel km after km on a hand bike. And despite his own hardship each challenge has been done to raise money for others and for charities that give hope and inspiration to people faced with seemingly insurmountable life changes like his.
On reflection of his monumental achievements my world of wine is a comparatively selfish place. Who cares what a wine tastes like or what food it goes best with, surely there is a more worthy and rewarding way to make a living. Having said that, what it lacks in generous margins and serious profit the UK wine trade makes up for in intuitively charitable initiatives and often lots of free bottles. From the fledgling efforts of www.sportstarts.org to the mammoth Wine Relief a partner to Comic Relief, now there’s Piggy Bank wines. Just launched in Waitrose this is a brand with generosity in every bottle. They’ve created 6 wines in the range and for each bottle sold they donate 50p of the price to one of three charities that have been selected by you, the drinker.
Eye-catchingly labelled with a distinctive monochrome Piggy Bank logo you’ll be as drawn to the wine on shelf as you will be the charitable incentive to try a bottle. Launched on the 1st August they started with three charities that once the Piggy Bank is full will receive a split of the £10,000 generated. Then it starts again with another three charities chosen by the public and voted for through social media tools. Continuing their commitment to doing things differently the guys behind Piggy Bank wines have chosen three charities to start with that “might sometimes get less attention.” One of which is Back Up a charity committed to transforming lives after spinal cord injury, a charity that helped my brother in the early months after his accident and continues to do excellent work.
The Piggy Bank wines themselves are rather generous too, arguably punching above the quality of their £7.99 peers. My favourite is the Piggy Bank Grenache Vin de Pays d’Oc 2011, jam packed with sweet spiced morello cherry, star anise and black liquorice characters. Medium bodied in style it’s a great BBQ red. The Olympics said it would inspire a generation, Piggy Bank is a range of wines for inspiring imbibing!
COMPETITION TIME – JUST RETWEET TO WIN!
WIN A BOTTLE OF PIGGY BANK WINE – to enter all you have to do is RT (re-tweet) part or all of my tasting note above this week (13-19th August 2012) to be entered into the prize draw, six lucky winners who have re-tweeted between those dates will win a bottle of Piggy Bank wine. Follow me @MissBouquet and Back Up @backuptrust for more details.
Competition closing date 19th August 2012.
Prize winners will be selected at random on 20th August 2012. This competition is open to UK residents aged 18 and over only. One entry per household. No purchase necessary. Full terms & conditions are available on request from email@example.com