Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Drinking responsibly

Sorry to leave you hanging for a couple of weeks -- I went out of town two weekends in a row. We now return you to your regularly scheduled bitchfest.

But no, actually I have something relatively pleasant to report today. It's about drinking responsibly. And I don't mean not getting shitfaced and puking in the bathroom at a wedding reception (Who among us hasn't done that?). I mean buying alcohol in such a way so as to minimize the damage you are doing to the planet. (Who gives a shit about your liver? Life is short.)

This article appeared on Salon.com today. It summarizes a paper that basically says that if you live east of Columbus, then surprisingly it takes less energy to get your wine from Europe (assuming it's shipped by sea rather than by air) than from California. This is because the California wine will arrive via trucks, and trucks suck. (Yay trains!) My Columbus readers ought to like it since you all get a shout-out, and also I think we should listen to the authors of this study because one of them appears to have added umlauts to his name for toughness.

Anyway, apparently Columbus is the spot where the average carbon costs are equivalent such that you can choose California or European wines based on your own preferences without feeling guilty about not making a green choice. Incidentally, if you like California wines and you are interested in sustainable farming practices, you may be interested in Benziger. We visited their winery in Sonoma the weekend before last for a tasting and we heard about their new sustainable, organic, and/or biodymanic farming practices that they are trying to implement for all their grapes. I was very happy to see this because I always liked their wines anyway, and have otherwise not really liked many of the organic wines I've tried. (Please let me know in the comments if you know of any good ones!) Admittedly, the Admiral was not a huge fan of the reds that we tasted at Benziger. But his taste is just incorrect -- really the reds are great. Trust me. If you buy a bottle and don't like it, I'll even drink it for you because that's the kind of friend I am.


Natalie said...

All of my life, I've been longing for a friend who would drink my wine for me. Finally, my dreams come true! :)

But no seriously, that's very interesting. I'd never thought of the transportation factor. I wonder if Australian wines get shipped to California and then trucked to the east coast, or if they're just shipped everywhere...not that I love shiraz or anything.

littlem said...

Happy now.

'Cause I live in NYC and, for the most part, like French wine better. Now I don't even have to feel bad about that.

As an aside, I went to IU. So I'm not going to comment at all on your (mighty and discerning) Big Ten football analysis.