For Earth week, Kevin and I decided to try two different wines in alternative packaging. One of these wines you'll appreciate, the other – not so much.
We started with the Bouchard Beaujolais Nouveau 2008 from Boisset. We picked this up because it's in a special PET plastic bottle. Why is this important? Because every year, tons of wine is shipped over from France in a hurry, and the weight of all those bottles is a drag on jet fuel. Beaujolais Nouveau takes a lot of heat for this, so this year, the producers went a little green. In fact, Boisset is a leader in the field of green packaging, having released a California wine in a PET bottle and they pioneered the French Rabbit tetrapak. According to the press release for this particular bottle,
"Were all of this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau imported to North America
similarly packaged in PET or other alternative packages, we estimate
saving literally millions of pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from
entering our atmosphere," notes Boisset. Life-cycle analyses conducted
by third-parties have suggested that PET bottles produce 40% fewer
greenhouse gas emissions than a traditional bottle. For all the
Beaujolais Nouveau imported to the US and Canada, this translates into
an estimated reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of more than
2,000,000 lbs2. For the world’s total Beaujolais Nouveau production of
5 million cases, Boisset estimates savings of more than 37,000,000 lbs of CO2.
Not a bad wine for earth week, right? Well, not really. It's a bad wine. Happily, I think it's just the wine that's bad and it doesn't have anything to do with the packaging. We both found it to be a little fuzzy and having no finish. I also thought it was a little sour. We served it chilled, as directed, but I think I'd rather use this wine for Sangria than drink it on its own.
Next we tried the Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel. Yes folks, a wine in a box. Don't judge it – Franzia is no longer the norm. Off the top of my head, I'd recommend the Black Box Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, the Rain Dance Shiraz from South Africa, or this Bota Box Old Vine Zin.
Are these knock-your-socks off wines? No, but they have a lot going for them. If you like an everyday table wine, but can't finish a bottle on your own, a box is perfect. It's the equivalent of about 4 bottles (3 litres) but you can take a month – sometimes two months – to work your way through the box. The wine stays fairly "fresh" the whole time. I have a couple of girlfriends who would benefit from having a box wine sitting around.
Our friend Mike, from The Naked Vine, recommended this particular box to us. He took it with him on a cruise (1 container of wine per cabin, you see). Since we're headed on our own cruise this summer, we thought we'd try it. Our verdict is that its not bad at all. It's got a lot of big fruit up front, very punchy and full of various dark berries. It has a full feel in your mouth, although it does have a fairly short finish. It's pleasant.
Now, Kevin and I have a disagreement on this one. He gives it extra points just for being in a box, with his final assessment being a .
Alternatively, I look at it as I would any glass of wine. If I hadn't known it came from a box, I would have scored it a , so I'll stick to that regardless of from whence it came.
Happy Earth Week! Go a little green, if you can!
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