This is the first of two parts looking at green wine and environmentally friendly ways to produce and package wine. Part II, which looks at how green wine tastes, is here.
Each week, I get a handful of news releases detailing the wonders of some producer ?s latest foray into environmentally friendly wine. Almost always, the releases focus on the packaging and almost never on the wine itself. Their point, it seems, is that we should focus on the product ?s carbon footprint (a way to measure how much in the way of greenhouse gases ordinary things produce), instead of the product.
This is not a good idea. People drink wine because they like the way it tastes, not because it comes in a box that meets European Union specifications. In addition, the entire concept of what ?s green and what isn ?t is so unclear that some green products could be worse for the environment than some non-green products.
Green wine has a role to play, but only if it tastes good. If it doesn ?t, then consumers will ignore it — regardless of how many trees the packaging saves.