Monthly Archives: June 2013

Green Drinks


As we prepare for another GreenDrinks gathering we have green on our mind.  Sharing from the Daily Sip:

Everyone from winemakers to the sales clerks at Whole Foods are talking about “green” wine and it can get confusing.  Any wine made in an environmentally responsible manner can be called “green,” but there are a few actual certifications that can make that term more meaningful. Here they are:

Organic: This term can apply to the grape-growing process (no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides or genetic engineering are used) or the winemaking process (no preservatives are used, such as sulfur dioxide). There are several organic certification programs in the U.S. and each one has its own rules. The “Organic” seal from the USDA promises 95% organic ingredients, while the “100% Organic” seal from the USDA indicates 100% organic ingredients. Both allow only naturally occurring sulfites in small quantities. The label “Made with Organic Grapes,” means the wine contains at least 70% organic ingredients, and may include artificial sulfites.

Biodynamic: These wines are organic by default because biodynamic wineries approach the vines, soil and critters that live in the vineyard as parts to a whole, and no chemicals are used. Some practices include burying a cow horn full of manure over the winter then digging it up in the spring and mixing the manure with water to spray over the vineyard, and timing activities in the vineyard to the cycles of the moon. The theory was put forth by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s, and many top-tier wineries now swear by the practice.

Sustainable: A sustainable wine may or may not be organic. The word means that the wine is produced in a manner that allows for healthy future production of grapes and wine, which often involves preventing soil erosion, avoiding harsh chemicals and water pollution. There are sustainable wine certification programs in many states, so check online for each state’s specific guidelines.

Fish Friendly: There are many organizations dedicated to preserving the health of local fish, such as California’s Fish Friendly Farming Program, which protects steelhead trout and Coho salmon in Northern California, or Salmon-Safe in Oregon, Washington and California. One of these labels on a bottle means that the winery works to improve water quality and the wildlife habitat on its property.

The U.S. has made huge strides in “green” wine over the past two decades, and the movement is still gaining momentum. However, we are still far behind some other countries, such as New Zealand, where an incredible 94 percent of the vineyards are independently certified as “sustainable” (for comparison, 12 percent of California’s vineyards are currently certified as “sustainable”).  Help support the “green” wine movement by contacting us for more information.  Cheers ~

Wine for your special day

your special day
your special day

Sharing from The Daily Sip:

Sometimes figuring out the wine for your wedding can be just as difficult as creating the guest list. Fortunately, we have some helpful hints to make it the fun, meaningful process it can be. 

1. Wine Source: You can use the wine list the caterer provides or choose your own wines (if your venue allows). Caterers often charge twice the retail cost of the bottle, but bringing your own wine can incur a corkage fee of $10-20 per bottle.

2. Which Wines: Consider the season (are you trying to cool your guests off or warm them up?), food (choose one red and one white to pair with the main dish), your guests (do they appreciate nice wines or don’t much care what they sip?), and a personal connection (such as the wine you had on your first date, a local wine, or one from your honeymoon destination).

3. How Much Wine: The number of bottles varies depending on the time of day (guests will drink less during the day than at night), whether you have a full bar, and whether you have a cockail hour. Most caterers plan for each person to consume one drink per hour, which will account for those who drink less and those who drink more. Use this Beverage Calculator to find out how much alcohol you’ll need for your reception.

4. Budget: Find that perfect balance between sticking to your budget and giving your guests wonderful wines to remember. Consider choosing another sparkling wine besides Champagne (Cava and Prosecco are wonderfully refreshing and vibrant at half the price), if you love a wine but can’t afford to pour it all night long just pour it during the cocktail hour, and buying a wine by the case often gets you a discount of up to 15 percent. 

Contact us to find out about our wines, personalized wine labels and to have us pour wine for your special day.  Cheers ~