Sunday, October 14, 2007

Waiter, there is a carbon footprint in my wine!!

A recent survey in the UK has shown that the public is ready to accept light-weight bottles for their wines. I discussed the issue of moving from the standard 500 gram wine bottle to a 300 gram bottle
in a September 2006 entry on my blog and the reasoning behind it. At the same time there is a movement to increased bulk shipments of wine. Better technology in bulk shipments, without sacrificing the quality of wine, will see more and more international wine companies moving in that direction in order to reduce their carbon footprint.
Plastic wine bottles will also be weighing in on the issue and as the technology improves we may see more public acceptance. And it is all about "carbon footprint". What is a carbon footprint? According to the founders of this family business, "A Carbon Footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide." And yes it is a business, complete with job opportunities. Now that Vice-President Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize I am sure his fees will increase nicely. After all, he is leaving a big footprint. "Peace" prize? I guess there is nobody out there who has done much for peace these days, but I did not think that green house gases were considered a war. War on terror? Yes. War on greenhouse gases or global warming?
Back to bottles now. OK, apart from lighter weight bottles costing less to ship, will there be an increased breakage problem? And if so there will be a lot of messy foot prints. At least Champagne and sparkling wines won't see light weight bottles any time soon. They have to withstand a lot of pressure.

Considering that the average tire is inflated to somewhere between 30 and 40 psi, these bottles have to be able to handle up to 100 psi. As you can see, in spite of my giving some do's and dont's about how to saber a bottle of sparkling wine, my friend Kevin Doyle caught this moment of pressure and breakage on film. As I said no light weight bottles in the near future.
And finally here is another footprint; my kind.
Kristoff Coates, Founder of Grapefoot, is working diligently to constantly improve the Beta version of this website. He was kind enough to include some issues of my newsletter in his "All About Wine" section.
Until next time, enjoy your wines, no matter what form of packaging they may be using.

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