The Carbon Footprint of Wine and Saying No to Plastic Wine Corks

Choosing a bottle of wine can be tough. Do you go with a Merlot or a Malbec? Is an Italian wine better than a California wine? Have you ever wondered about the carbon footprint of wine? And what’s up with those plastic wine corks? There are so many things to think about when choosing an  eco friendly wine that it can be a bit overwhelming. I thought I would discuss a few of the issue surrounding the carbon footprint of wine. And the next time you reach for a bottle you can understand why you should say NO to plastic wine corks and yes to local and organic. If you are looking for eco friendly date ideas, it is a great place to start!

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 The Carbon Footprint of Wine and Saying No to Plastic Wine Corks

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The Carbon Footprint of Wine

I have never been too picky about my wine. If it comes in at around $10 and tastes halfway decent I’ll buy it. I am definitely NOT a wine connoisseur! There are a few ways to reduce the carbon footprint of wine if you want to sip without guilt. Here are a few things to consider:

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Organic Wines

Besides the benefits of using grapes that are not sprayed with pesticides and fertilizers, are there any health benefits to drinking organic wines? Apparently there are! The big one being NO ADDED SULFITES are added to organic wine!
In a traditional wine there is a small amount of sulfites that occur naturally in the fermentation process. That is normal. However, additional sulfites are added as a preservative. Organic wine does not have additional sulfites and may be a better solution for people who suffer from sulfite allergies. This usually presents itself as an immediate headache (within 15 minutes of consumption) or flushing of the skin. Traditional wines may also add things such as oak chips to the fermentation process to alter the flavors slightly and these additives are also absent in organic wine.
 The Carbon Footprint of Wine and Saying No to Plastic Wine Corks

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What’s Up with the Plastic Wine Corks?

Have you ever wondered what’s up with those plastic wine corks? I did a little research and came up with some interesting information. Natural cork comes from only a handful of regions, mostly in Portugal and Spain. These old cork forests house an amazing array of animals and plants and the only reason they are preserved and cared for is because they are a vital part of the wine industry. Environmentalists fear that once the cork is not needed for stopping up bottles of wine, these forests will be abandoned and the Iberian lynx, the Barbary deer, the Egyptian mongoose, as well as rare birds such as the Imperial Iberian eagle and the black stork will die out with them. The reason plastic is used instead is mainly cost and apparently some issues with cork mold that change the flavor of the wine during aging.
 The Carbon Footprint of Wine and Saying No to Plastic Wine Corks

How to Choose Green Wine:

There are many factors involved in choosing green wine. Here are a few things to consider:
  • Find local wines when possible. While they may not be organic, they use much fewer resources for transportation than wines that came from half way across the globe.
  • Choose small wineries rather than large ones. Small wineries are usually better stewards of the earth than large conglomerations.
  • Organic wines are a great choice, although sometimes hard to find. Obviously, the fewer pesticides and fertilizers used to grow the grapes, the smaller the carbon footprint.
  • Skip the plastic wine corks. This can’t really be noticed until you actually open the bottle. But, if you find a wine you like with a natural cork, you might want to consider buying a second bottle.
  • Make your own wine! Nothing says eco friendly like a wine made in your own kitchen! Check out wine making kits on Amazon that will get you started!
For more information about choosing green wine, check out Treehugger. They have a great list of varieties to choose from and more information about the eco friendly winery trend.

Have you found a delicious organic wine lately?


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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke!

Comments

  1. The first time I opened a bottle of wine with a plastic cork, I was all "Ugh...no way"...I'm no wine connoisseur, but it seems very unappealing to me.

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