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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Sparkling wine in support of gay marriage

11th January, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

A Crémant de Bourgogne has been created to be served at gay weddings in America.

Egal

Égalité, French for “equality”, is the brainchild of New York wine importer Biagio Cru & Estates Wines.

The brand, which features a rainbow-coloured heart on the label, was created in support of equality in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Darren Restivo, marketing director of Biagio Cru & Estate Wines, told The Huffington Post that he hopes the sparkling wine will serve as “a reflection of both our business and our personal values.”

The legalisation of same-sex marriage in New York in June 2011 reportedly boosted New York City’s economy by $259 million a year, leading Biagio to spot a gap in the market for a wine that could be used to toast LGBT couples on their wedding day.

“We saw this as an opportunity to do well by doing good. We’re confident people will respect it. How can you push back on treating people equally?,” Restivo said.

He has shrugged off the suggestion that Égalité could come to be seen as “the gay wine,” despite its target audience and the rainbow heart on the label.

“This wine reflects a spirit of inclusivity; it doesn’t exclude anyone. It’s not for any specific cause within the LGBT community. It’s about equality,” he told the HP.

Mundo Gay from Ribera del Duero

Mundo Gay from Ribera del Duero

According to Restivo, Égalite offers: “hints of peach and honey blossom on the palate, with a clean, dry finish.”

The brands’ name and label were developed through a focus group that brought together gay and straight participants with diverse backgrounds, including leaders in the fight for same-sex marriage.

To coincide with the brand’s launch this week, Biagio Cru & Estates Wines will make US$1,000 donations to LGBT advocacy groups The Trevor Project, the Ali Forney Center, GLSEN, Equality Maine and the Center on Halsted.

A portion of the subsequent proceeds will be similarly donated.

Égalite goes on sale across the US this month with a suggested retail price of $23.99.

This is not the first wine aimed at the LGBT community on the market. In 2008, Bodegas y Viñedos Robeal in Ribera del Duero released Mundo Gay in celebration of the legalisation of gay marriage in Spain. The 100% Tempranillo sells for €20 a bottle.

In 2004, New Zealand husband and wife winemakers Kim and Erica Crawford launched Pansy Rosé in Sydney in time for the city’s annual gay Mardi Gras parade.

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