Wine choice and carbon footprint: a fun talk with @tishwine, @drvino and others at the @nywinesalon
If you drop by Healdsburg and don’t have at least one interesting cocktail at Spoonbar I think you’re doing yourself a disservice. A trendy place with talented ‘mixologists’, it serves classic cocktails prepared to perfection and produces an interesting line of off-the-beaten-path concoctions.
Spoonbar makes it clear they don’t stock expensive European vodkas for one simple reason—vodka by its very definition is a fairly flavorless, odorless spirit. If the whole point of vodka is to be as smooth-drinking and inoffensive as possible, why bother trudging some expensive stuff in heavy bottles from 6000 miles away? Fair enough.
I think this has fairly direct parallels to wine. I recently attended a talk at the New York Wine Salon featuring educational discussions with tastings on the carbon footprint of wine consumption.
There was a table at the back of the room with innocuous, remarkably similar wines. The common theme? They came from all over the place and could have come from just about anywhere.
Anonymous wines are not unlike anonymous vodka. So if given the choice between these similarly personality-stricken wines, shouldn’t you choose the one that poses least risk to the environment? I’d say that’s about right.
Part of it comes down to understanding what you’re actually drinking and from where. The weight of the bottle matters, while shipping method is critical. Yet ultimately there are more pressing choices you should make before limiting your consumption of Chilean cabernet.
To try and substitute a wonderfully unique syrah from the Northern Rhone with something grown in the North Fork of Long Island would be pure heresy. In other words, don’t limit your consumption of Allemand just because he ships across the Atlantic. (And if you do, I can give my mailing address for your remaining bottles)
It’s a good idea to make sure it’s worth everyone’s while to buy that wine from Australia even if there’s a perfectly good substitute from France (and so on…). Keep doing what you’re doing as long as it’s not overtly wasteful. Lowering the thermostat during the winter will do a great deal more good than only buying wine made within a 100-mile radius.
On a personal note, it was a fun talk and great to meet and greet a couple of people with whom I’d conversed over twitter. Thanks again to Tish for the invite.