Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Your wine bottles are melting the planet, snob

I just got a press release saying I should buy my wine from Oakland vintners because shipping bottles from Napa spews way more carbon than shipping grapes, since glass is so bloody heavy.

And it turns out there is new scientific research to confirm this, described the author Tyler "Dr. Vino" Coleman on his awesome blog.

Which has been covered elsewhere, but everyone, including Dr. Vino, emphasizes the solution of continuing to buy wine bottles, but from a local winery.

Yet Dr. Vino's research found boxed wine "has much less (carbon) intensity" than bottles.

Wine snobs object to boxed wine because it was historically used for low-quality wine and sometimes even marketed to alcoholics as cheap guzzle. Also, the wine suffers is you leave it in the box too long, since it's wrapped in plastic, so you can't age the wine.

The thing is, the vast majority of Americans who buy bottled wine do not cellar -- heck, their wine is lucky to last 48 hours! And the composition of wine, from what I gather, has evolved in response. Most bottles serve as props to perpetuate the acknowledged, romantic fiction that they will be lovingly aged by sophisticated drinkers in the cool, dry caves under their chateaus.

Get with the program, Monsieur Terroir! I'm ready to start buying some quality boxed wine to drink in my sweltering shack!

I'm also ready to start re-using my bottles. Hook a hose up to your tank or barrel or whatever, stick it in my used bottle or portable plastic tank, and fill 'er up! If it works in France it can work here. And ideally I would be able to buy not just from the winery, but at the wine shop, supermarket, heck even my gas station. I mainly use them for Ben & Jerry's anyway, and they're right across from Acme Bread and could give Kermit Lynch a run for their money!

It's time to end this preposterous charade of wastefully shipping bottles around.

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dto510 said...

The Oakland Heritage Alliance is using the idea of reduced carbon-footprint wine to promote the financially-iffy Vintner's Hall idea at the Oak-to-Ninth development. The building it would be in is currently slated for demolition for a large park. The vintners say they can build a hall if the city doesn't charge them rent and pays for the seismic work. The OHA is trying to justify this enormous subsidy by arguing that Oaklanders would drink wine from the city, rather than all the way from Napa, thus helping the environment. Did you get the press release from them? The working paper doesn't go into hyper-local comparisons. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a real argument in front of the City Council (probably not, since they have little interest in free rent no matter how green the occupant).

November 27, 2007 11:25 AM  

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