In 2022, Laithwaites saw itself doubling down on sustainability, with the aim of halving its carbon footprint by 2030. It committed to increase the number of UK-bottled wines in its range to help cut down on CO2 emissions from shipping glass bottles – shipping in bulk in large ‘bags’ drastically reduces the weight of the same volume of wine.
Other examples of the company’s efforts to improve its sustainability credentials included the release of the second wine in its ‘W/O’ range, an organic Lucido (better known as Catarratto) from Sicily. Bottled in ‘wild’ (100% recycled) glass and corked without a plastic capsule, it featured a fully biodegradable label made using a single colour printing process on environmentally friendly pulp. Information on the wine is accessed via a QR code.
From strength to strength
Over the last few years, the range seems to have gone from strength to strength, and I’ve noticed a general uptick in quality. In 2023, it’s still easy to find over-oaked wines, but there is a far greater variety that not only covers the classics – such as Bernard Moreau’s Bourgogne Rouge – but also does a great job of introducing customers to weird, wonderful and off the beaten track wines. Two such examples I’ve recommended below are Tommasone’s Biancolella from the island of Ischia, and Kutjevo’s De Gotho Graševina from Croatia.
Most of the samples I tasted from the summer 2023 range were between £10 and £20, and there’s plenty to enjoy, but – a word of caution – quality is a lot more variable when you dip below £10.
Laithwaites wines are predominantly sold online and via wine clubs, but the retailer also has a smattering of stores around the south of the UK, including in London, Beaconsfield, Gloucester, Reading, Banbury and Windsor.