08 December 2009

wining about it

It's around this time of year that we find ourselves sitting around a table with some close friends, catching up over a bottle of wine (or three). But as you quaff your vino, remember that, even among wines, some are a bit greener than others. Boxed wines, for example, leave 85% less waste behind than their glass-bottle counterparts.

You should also be aware that not all wines are grown in on the bucolic estates that the labels would have you believe. Recently on NPR, Michele Norris and Daily Beast writer Keith Wallace (founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia) discussed the dirty truth about "fast-food wines" - wines that, in all likelihood, are sitting in your kitchen (or cellar, if you're the type) right now. Due to high demand, many wineries have outsourced their production to factories where wines are, like cars, mass produced far away from real wineries; you can tell which is which from the legal writing on the label - if your bottle says "produced and bottled by", then that wine is actually made by a real winery. However, the words "vinted" or "cellared and bottled by" means you're drinking a factory wine. Wallace insists that there is no danger in consuming factory wines and that many, many famed companies engage in this practice, but this, as is so very common an issue in America, is more about letting consumers know what exactly it is they are consuming.

Interested in finding a greener or locally vinted wine? Check out this resource from Greenopia rating 25 different wines in order of their eco-friendliness and distribution size. You can also read the original Keith Wallace article from The Daily Beast here.

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