Drinking for Good on Earth Day & Everyday
I know I’m a little late on this, but I love that earth day comes right after tax day. I’m not sure if Mother Nature was directly involved, but it sure seems considerate that we have a fun day to get outside a week after we’re forced to deal with the IRS.
When it comes to earth-friendly drinking, the question of organics comes up constantly. In winemaking, “organic,” “natural,” or “certified organic” can mean many things. It could mean that the grapes were farmed organically. It could mean the wine was made without synthetic chemicals. It could refer to some amalgamation of both, or like “natural” have no legal definition.
Unlike other products, “organic” in winemaking doesn’t mean chemical or additive-free. Many winemaking additives (like powdered tartaric acid and sulfur) are considered “organic” because these elements exist in nature, though looking at 100lb bags of they seem as chemical as Red Dye #4.
That’s why if you’re drinking for good, you should take labels like “organic” with a grain of salt, drinking wines you enjoy and looking for additional ways to be green.
For example, don’t be afraid of alternative packaging. Lightweight cardboard boxes and aluminum cans are great alternatives to heavy glass bottles. Like choosing local produce, choosing alternative packaging means less CO2 in the environment thanks to cheaper, more efficient shipping. Plus, modern technology means alternative packaging and poor taste (or poor quality wine) aren’t synonyms. Earthwise Vineyards creates a great red blend from organic Spanish grapes, that’s sold in small boxes–easy to ship, easy to drink, and easy to store after opening. (Plus, it tastes pretty great).
Many glass-encased wines are getting greener too. Dreaming Tree wines, the label created by rockstar Dave Matthews, uses 100% recycled labels and glass that weighs less to ship.
Likewise, Natura wines from Chile are farmed organically yet come int around $12 per bottle, proving green doesn’t have to mean expensive. Recently, I tasted their Chardonnay and was pleasantly surprised at its citrus flavors…so pleasantly I finished the whole bottle!
Or, you can drink green by supporting local wineries via the wine club, which I like to call the “CSA” of wine. Often, you’ll get an awesome discount and winery will make a higher margin than if you’d bought the wine at a store, now that’s a win-win.
Cheers to Mother Earth, and raising a glass to drinking well and doing good!
Laura Loves: Re-using the packaging that comes with wine and other goodies in the mail–padded envelopes and flat rate boxes aren’t single use! (And if the postman is not so nice, just wrap yours in a paper grocery bag…DOUBLE RECYCLING)
Trading disposable plastic glassware for re-usable, non-breakable glasses like silicone wine tumblers or GoVino flutes.
Fun Facts: Earth Day was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970.
Wine crafts count as recycling…go to Pinterest!