Food, Wine & Just Good Living With SaucyJoe

It started with a love of food, wine & fun and blossomed into a maddening pursuit of the best recipes, techniques, grills, smokers, wines, crafted beers, rubs, marinades and sauces... We do more than play with our meat though -- we review and discuss all things cooking, drinking, reading, laughing and living at SaucyJoe's.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Beaujolais in Plastique? No No Nouveau!

So just go ahead and try to find one or more varieties of the Beaujolais Nouveau outside the confines of your wine merchant's locale.

It brings about conversations akin to asking for a Venti latte w/ a double shot (Starbuck's novice speaking here) at the feed store in Sarah Palin's home town. The people you're speaking to don't doubt what you seek exists, they just don't see a need for it, or really want to do more than ask around the store for opinions as to how to bag your quarry.

I spoke M-O-R-E S-L-O-W-L-Y and louder and still the natives of two urban food islands didn't speaka my language.
So, forgiving the Krogerundi and the Albertsonistas, I moved on to Whole Foods. NOTE: This IS Texas and although wine has become more readily available, liquor stores still rule the roost, and they're clustered on the edges of town where they were once the only place to get a bottle of anything. I wasn't inclined to drive that far.

And after enduring numerous displays playing up Wine Spectator's Top Ten, I finally found a young clerk (who was a dead ringer for the Mac Guy minus 4-5 years) as he wheeled in the cart of -- no surprise here -- Georges Dubeouf's 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau.

Okay, a trip to the real stores over the weekend will bring us a much better set of choices, but at this point I'm thirsty and ready to fill this square. Only, there's a hook: GD has decided to go GREEN and package their BN in plastique. Granted it's environmentally friendly, really much better in the carbon footprint-landfilling-bulkage department, but I can't help balk at a wine bottle I can squeeze.

Kinda takes the whole nouveau wine-snob argument down a few notches. This is Fox News-level discussion I suspect. Debate w/ decibels you can really sink your chops into because we have wine you can't possibly be serious about, delivered in ketchup bottles. Ooof.

In fairness, we'll taste and then report in w/ brevity (right). But this year's review will happen after we find the other choices ... in glass.


Blogger SkiSullivan said...

Here's a recent press release regarding the plastic bottles:

But not all of its Beaujolais Nouveau is coming in glass bottles. Bowing to the wishes of Whole Foods, the large U.S. organic foods supermarket chain, they have joined Boisset in offering the breezy, young wine made from Gamay grapes in plastic bottles as well. Whole Foods will be offering both Duboeuf and Boisset.

The PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, much like those used for soft drinks, weigh nearly 50 percent less than glass, Egan said, so shipping costs are lower.

A case of glass bottles weighs about 38 pounds (17 kgs), but the same case in plastic bottles weighs about 22 pounds (10 kg), according to Jean-Charles Boisset, president of Boisset Family Estates.

The move is expected to lower the freight costs by a third and the result is that the suggested price for Boisset's Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau and Bouchard Aine & Fils Beaujolais Nouveau will be $12.99, instead of up to $14.99 for U.S. consumers.

When asked if shipping by air negated the carbon footprint benefits, Egan replied, “Because we produce less, more of it needs to be here more quickly.”

Although some wine lovers may not like the idea of plastic bottles, Egan said it does not harm the wine.

“It's not great for long-term aging. But for up to three years it protects the wine just as well as glass,” he explained.

Thu Nov 20, 10:36:00 PM CST  
Blogger Dr. Dave said...

OK Mr. Green Jeans Egan. I agree that plastic cuts shipping costs, but that's just a part of the carbon footprint each product generates. Let's look at recycling. Glass recycling has been going on for a long time. The actual cost of recycling glass is less than making glass from scratch (sand is pretty scratchy!). Plastic recycling is a pretty new industry in comparison. Plastic bottles cannot be recycled into other plastic bottles. Plastic bottles normally get shredded at centrally located large recyclers (Yes, the stuff gets transported long distances before the first recycling step even starts.) and they ship the shredded plastic out as (typically) additives for asphalt. Sometimes it sits for a couple years before a buyer is found. Plastic recycling is rarely profitable. That's why your local recycling facility is so picky about the types of plastic they'll take.

So, go ahead and pour that Nouveau from glass bottles. Your carbon footprint (Billy stop that! You're tracking carbon footprints all over the house!) isn't any larger than those plastic Nouveau snobs. I applaud any effort to reduce excess energy consumption. I just can't stand the intentional misinformation.

Fri Nov 21, 05:27:00 PM CST  

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