Archive for the 'Sustainability' Category

Stratospheric record for Garagiste wines

Garagistes Proffer for Alice AuctionI just got word from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance that the Garagistes package I donated to their Alice Awards fundraising auction pulled in a record haul: $285 smackers!

Contrats to the lucky (and so savvy) bidder — and thanks for supporting the BTA so generously!

Let’s break out the slide rule. In addition to DVDs of Life in Vine, The Real Dirt on Pinot Noir, and Mondo Ego, the package included a temporal panorama of Garagiste flavors:

    2003 Klipsun Cabernet
    2004 Peugeot
    2005 Cabernet Franc
    2005 Peugeot
    2006 Merlot
    2006 Deux-Chevaux

So, let’s stipulate that the DVDs made up $75 of the price ($25 each – what a deal!). That leaves $210 for the six bottles, or $35 each. Since the 6-pack we donated to the Auction last year pulled in $22.50 each, that’s a new world record!

Start screaming in earnest, Screaming Eagle

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Smooth isn’t just for wine anymore

On the move with Mr. Smooth!Sadly, aside from the wine-colored halo its amiably vain title character wreaths around himself in the title sequence, this piece has nothing to do with wine. So I won’t be insulted if you just give it a look, rate it highly, email it to all your friends, and think on it no more…

It’s a piece I made for the City of Portland to help launch its first foray into “bike boxes” (special areas at intersections reserved for bicycles to help prevent accidents), titled “On the move with Mr. Smooth.” Its audience is car drivers — since everyone agreed that bikers would easily figure it out on their own, we decided that the best use of the minuscule budget would be to weight the messaging heavily toward motorists. The basic idea: wrap a few key messages in a tongue-in-cheek storyline that didn’t feel like a standard, lecturing PSA. It’s meant for online distribution only.

Does it work? Since it’s a public policy issue, it’s naturally been the subject of some heated comment, but thankfully, the reviews seem to be generally positive. And, uh, no publicity is bad publicity, right? Right?

What’s your review? Take a look and let me know what you think…

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(P)retty (V)irulent (C)apsules

Traditional wine capsules on Burgundy and Bordeaux bottlesVirtually all professional winemakers finish the tops of their wine bottles with some kind of capsule — and while we are as unprofessional as they come, we’ve mostly done the same. Whether it’s composed of wax, lead, tin, or plastic, the capsule is thought to help protect the cork from microbial intrusion, but also to betray any evidence of tampering. A swig-safety cap, if you will.

But what if that seal — whose function is to keep the wine safe — is itself unsafe? That’s what I wondered when I discovered that the capsules we’d been using (and most of the industry uses) are made from PVC, a material targeted by scores of watchdog agencies for its dire environmental impact.

So I did some research, and the surprisingly terrifying results spurred me into a little R&D about how to finish our treasured bottles differently. This gripping journey of revelation and redemption awaits you below the fold… Read more

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