Wednesday, January 02, 2008

How Green Is Your Wine?

Wine leaves an enormous carbon footprint each time we drink it--unless we try to drink more locally- produced bottles. That's what blogger, teacher, author, and now NYTimes op-ed writer Tyler Colman contends in his thought-provoking piece on wine and environmentalism. (photograph by Andrea S. Neumann)

I find that I am not sad to see wines with Stelvin closures, but I must confess that I will be sad the day (and given the carbon footprint issue it seems inevitable) when wine is not bottled any longer, but Tetra-paked.

We can stave off the inevitable a little longer, however, by doing what Dr. Vino suggests and trying to drink more local wine. Everybody has vineyards near them--trust me. I grew up in suburban Philly and there was a winery outside New Hope, PA. Not the epicenter of the wine universe, but still. The point remains that we could all do something to offset our foreign wine purchases by seeking out, and then supporting, local wine.

If you are on the west coast and want to know more, why not sign up for Tyler's class at UC Berkeley on February 23? He'll be discussing just this issue, and leading you to some great new wines that just may help to save the planet.

8 comments:

john witherspoon said...

Hey Dr Debs

Dr. Vino also calculated that it was less of a carbon impact to drink Magnums than 750ml bottles. :) YAY Unfortunately even though my wife and I live a pretty green life, I still haven't convinced her to start buying magnums on a regular basis. haha

John

Tim said...

Yikes, Tetra-paks! I've only tried one wine in a tetra-pak thus far and I don't want to relive it. Say it isn't so!

Dr. Vino said...

Hey Deb -

Thanks for your kind words!! I'll have to shoot for UCLA (or USC?) in the future to come down to your part of the state!

And, John, yes, you're right about the magnums! I actually used that logic at our holiday party this year where we had several magnums. Mmm, so nice...

Cheers all.

Jill said...

I don't know if it's of any consolation but I've been investigating carbon offsets for d547, so that people can buy wine from us and know that we're paying to the environmental factors. Not a solution, totally, but at least a start.

Dr. Debs said...

Yes, the bottle size--yikes! Dr. V caught me out promoting 375mls. Mea culpa. I'm with you on Tetra-Paks, Tim, but I do fear this can't continue. Maybe we need to do as the Europeans do (or did) and take our own containers to wineries to be filled? Dr. V, you come on down. It would be great to see you here in the 'hood (USC) but as a UC alum, I'd go to Westwood for sure. Jill, I'll be interested to see what you think about the carbon offsets. Will this become a way for retailers to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers?

Fredric Koeppel said...

Unfortunately, if you live in Memphis, as I do, there is no choice of local wine. There are wineries in Tennessee, but they're all in the middle and eastern parts of the state (where it's hillier and cooler), there's a winery in the Ozarks and of course a nice local industry in Missouri, but the wines from Tennessee and Arkansas are terrible and no, I mean NO wines from Missouri make the four or five hour journey south to Memphis.

foodette said...

I am big on living a green life, but this seems like the wrong way to do so. Maybe I need to see this guy speak, but I feel there are so many ways to make a bigger impact that to drink wine out of cardboard. Wine is bottled in recyclable glass bottles, no? And there is even a general backlash on how eating locally isn't enough of a difference maker to make up for other lifestyle changes that are so much more necessary. I'll tell you what - how about I bike to work. Then, can I please keep drinking my wine out of a normal bottle the way it's been done for hundreds of years?

Dr. Debs said...

Fred, point taken--perhaps my excitement at New Hope wine drowned out my good sense on this issue but perhaps MORE local wine might be had to the fine folks of Memphis, at least some of the time? Foodette, Dr. V doesn't say we should drink out of carbon--he encourages us to drink local so that we don't have to drink out of cardboard. Or goatskins!