You know that your nightly glass of wine is good for shaking off the stress of the day and beneficial for your health, but what about being good for the Earth too? Yesterday was Earth Day, and so today we are celebrating the planet we call home with wines that as good for the Earth as they are for your dinner table.
At one time, eco-friendly wines were a nice thought, but were lacking in critical acclaim. Luckily for us (and the Earth), eco wines have come a looooong way. When you're looking for eco-friendly wines, there are a few different labels to be on the lookout for. Here's what they mean:
Organic: Just like with foods, to be certified as "organic" a wine must not contain any artificial ingredients, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics or preservatives and be made from grapes that adhere to the same principles.
Made with organic grapes: This label might mean that a winemaker has added sulfites or another preservative to increase the shelf-life of the wine. It also could mean that the vineyard just didn't want to go through the time and expense of being certified organic.
Biodynamic: If you ever get the chance to talk with or tour a vineyard that uses biodynamic practices, do. It's a bit odd but extremely fascinating and I won't do it justice by trying to explain it here. Leave it to say, the grape growers rely heavily on an astronomical calendar including the position of the planets and phases of the moon to determine planting and harvesting times. Other unique rituals such as burying cow horns, dandelions flowers and ground quartz at specific times of the season are used to improve the soil, naturally feed the vines and provide a chemical-free solution to pests and diseases. In many head-to-head tastings, biodynamic wine have won out over their traditionally grown counterparts.
Eco-friendly/Sustainable Practices: These two labels are a bit broader and can mean that the winery or vineyard is making any number of earth-friendly decisions. They may avoid pesticides or only use recycled glass in their bottles. They may use a sustainable corking material or donate a percentage of profits to earth-friendly organizations. In short, they may be doing good but you'll likely need too dig a little deeper to find out just what good that is.
Cheers to the Earth - and great wines!
p.s. Did you know that along with your diapers and sunscreen and books and kid toys, you can also buy WINE on Amazon? Is there anything they can't deliver to my doorstep?!
And for more cocktail fun, head over to The Shopping Mama!