Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Change the World Wednesday – 31st Dec

Last CTWW of the year.

Yes, there is a challenge, two actually.

First is have a Happy New Year!

plasticglassSecond, don’t use/accept a drink in a plastic glass.

Not even to toast in the New year.

Besides, plastic glasses are just so tacky.

Good wine doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.

Even beer is cheapened by plastic.

Once you have got over New Year, continue the challenge for the rest of the year. Make it a whole year of refusing plastiuc glasses.

See you in January.

Advertisements

Change the World Wednesday – 19th Nov

Is it too early for seasons' greetings?

Is it too early for seasons’ greetings?

Christmas is just five weeks away. Somehow, I don’t seem that excited any more.

We finally had two days of rain, not torrential stuff, but it wet the ground and brought some new life to the praça.

The plants I donated to the botequim are doing nicely, better than they did alongside the house where they only got sun for half the day. They are all showing new growth.

My herbs are also doing well. The guava tree is full of fruit and I have harvested three lots of chillies. The passion fruit vines are growing prolifickly and I watch each day for signs of the first flowers

Click the banner for full post

With the silly season nearly upon us CTWW is seasonally appropriate.

Cheers!

If you are planning to entertain friends and family this season, and plan to serve “adult” beverages, do a little research and plan an Eco-friendly bar. Here are some things to consider:

  • Wine is the most Eco-friendly alcoholic beverage. Choose organic varieties which don’t include preservatives. While boxed wine may not look classy, it is the most earth-friendly of wine packaging options. Glass bottles would be the next choice.
  • If you’re serving beer, cans are better than bottles because they weigh less which gives them a lower carbon footprint.
  • Opt for liquors and wine with natural cork instead of synthetic corks or metal tops.
  • Avoid frosted bottles. Chemicals are used to create them.
  • Look for beverages which are distilled locally and check that the company uses minimal energy and water to create their libations.
  • Serve drinks in glass rather than plastic and use glass straws.
  • Use cloth cocktail napkins instead of paper.
  • Use local, organic fruits and herbs in mixed drinks. And don’t forget organic “munchies” to go along with the cocktails.
  • Make ice in an ice tray rather than use the automatic ice maker in the refrigerator. You’ll use less energy.

The idea, this week, is to plan ahead to ensure that your home bar is “green”.

OR …

If you aren’t including alcohol in your celebrations, make plans to “green” any get-togethers you are hosting or attending. Consider local, organic foods and reusable serving pieces. If you are traveling to an event, share a ride with others. Use natural elements to decorate. Supply visitors with comfy slippers or socks so that they will feel comfortable to remove their shoes at the door.

 

OR …

If you’ll be spending quiet time at home this season, plan to make the experience green. Use all the ideas above, on a smaller scale, to make your personal time fun and Eco-friendly.

Well, the purple bit doesn’t apply, that’s just plain silly. Imagine Christmas and New Year without a tipple ot two, takes all the fun out of it.

I’m not planning on anything extravagant, so I’ll do the blue bit with the green bits added.

Screw tops I leave on the shelf

Screw tops I leave on the shelf

Yes, wine will be included. Some orgnic wines are appearing here in Brazil, but they are invariably stoppered with synthetic corks or screw-tops, both of which I try to avoid, particularly the latter; I hate them. When I buy wine, it sometimes sits for years before I get to drink it, so cardboard is out; besides, I think that is so tacky. Boxed wine also has a plastic bladder, so I wonder at the environmental value of boxed wine.

I refuse beer in cans, mainly. With the exception of three options; Guinness, Murphy’s Stout (both imported as cans) and a São Paulo beer that is only available in cans. Beer cans are lined with BPA or BPS, and for that reason I avoid them.

Non-alcoholic drinks, soda, etc don’t feature in my celebrations, unless for the kids, that’s unavoidable. But I do make fresh fruit juice with no added sugar.

There are some beers here in Brazil that are made with GMO corn, I refuse to buy them as well.

Plastic, wouldn't consider it.

Plastic, wouldn’t consider it.

Plastic cups… I continue in my crusade at the bar to get the regulars to return to glass. Even at work, I encourage my students to drink from glass rather than the disposable cups provided by my bossette.

At the botequim, if there is a spill, we use cloths to wipe up. Generally speaking serious drinkers don’t spill their drinks, but it does happen, and there is the condesation that drips of bottles and glasses, that also gets the cloth treatment.

Pestiscos (bar snacks, munchies), I prefer to make my own at home and take to the bar, which I share around of course; they are always welcomed. Organic they may not be, but they are better than the flour-based commercial ones.

I wouldn’t consider using an auto-ice maker, all my ice is made in ice trays. Domestic appliances like this I consider a waste of resources that panders to consumerism.

So within limits, I do adhere to green principles, even for the silly season; and beyond.

Change the World Wednesday – 26th Mar

Not cheap

Disaster!

I threw out some food and some wine.

What’s worse, it was my cooking and the wine wasn’t cheap.

Yesterday, I decided to use the last of the sole (halibut) fillets in my freezer. I have never heard of, but couldn’t see why not use fish in a lasagna. Problem was, I had no lasagna; shopping day today. But I did have some macaroni, so a base of white parsley sauce, peppered sole fillets and more white sauce macaroni on top.

I opened the wine, it looked more like iced-tea, and was definitely musky.

Musk = glandular secretions from animals such as the musk deer, not that I am in the habit of sniffing around musk deer butts. I am using my powers of imagination here.

It wasn’t pleasant on the palate at all.

The ‘lasagna’ I ate one plate for lunch, I wouldn’t make it again. The problem was that I made enough for three meals, and had only eaten one.

It had to go. The guilt trip lasted the rest of the afternoon.

Click on the banner for the full post

On with CTWW. I didn’t realise, this Saturday is that lights out thingy.

Yes, Earth Hour 60+.

I consider this to be symbolic rather than effective.

Earth Hour – March 29, 2014 at 8:30 pm (local time)

I have never been convinced that even if the whole world participated, the use of alternative light forms, candles, torches, etc does not offset the switching off of lights.

But it doesn’t hurt to have symbols to raise awareness.

This week, in honor of Earth Hour and to raise awareness, please take photos of what you, personally, are trying to protect. Perhaps it’s a beautiful spot in nature that you particularly love. Maybe you are protecting the clean water which comes out of your faucet. It could be a photo of a river, a favorite tree, an animal, or the sky. The idea is to share, visually, your reasons for living green. You can post the photo on your blog or, if you wish, send them to me (HERE) and I’ll include them in next week’s post (put “CTWW” in the subject line so that I’ll be sure to see the email).

 

OR …

If you’d rather not do the photos, please observe Earth Hour by turning off your lights for one hour beginning at 8:30 pm (your local time) on Saturday, March 29, 2014.

My photo is of the local praça (park) in front of my house. It’s not particularly obvious, but under the bushes there is a lot of rubbish.
Rubbish under the bushes that surround the praça

Rubbish under the bushes that surround the praça

Plastic water and soda bottles, beer cans, disposable cups, and those nasty things shopping bags. I am constantly picking up what I can, and trying to raise awareness of the locals on the issue.

Our green spaces need protecting, whether they are urban or rural it matters not.

I try my best to live a greenish lifestyle, I’m not always successful (as above with my ‘disaster’) and suffer a measure of angst when I do something that goes against the grain. It raises my hackles when I see people not even trying.

As for the lights out… I probably will  because at that time I will be watching the news, I can do that in the dark.

Monday Moaning

Vegan friendly

I read this morning about ‘vegan wines.’ Then I nearly choked on my second coffee as I pondered… but, but wines are made from grapes and stuff (yes, there are fruit wines), there’s no steak or pork chops in wine making.

Which all lead to the big question; what the hell are these veges and vegany people up to now?

Well, the post talked about organic farming and there was a new term for me ‘biodynamic’ which sent me off to that great internet oracle Wikipedia:

Biodynamic agriculture is a method of organic farming that treats farms as unified and individual organisms, emphasizing balancing the holistic development and interrelationship of the soil, plants and animals as a self-nourishing system without external inputs insofar as this is possible given the loss of nutrients due to the export of food. As in other forms of organic agriculture, artificial fertilizers and toxic pesticides and herbicides are strictly avoided.

So, I am on a learning curve and I haven’t even finished my second coffee.

Reading further, I discovered some things about wine that I didn’t know. “Many wines are refined and clarified with egg, fish bladder and/or gelatin to remove various particles.” Quote from: Organic Authority.

Toe Jam

So, my initial reaction that they were worried about bullshit ah, manure, was a presumption. Although they don’t specifically mention bullsh… ah, manure in the vegan aspects, I wonder if they object to that as well.Which further lead me wonder what we would do with all the bullsh… ah, manure and political rhetoric in the world if we couldn’t use it to fertilise our grapes.

All this of course prompted me to wonder whether or not ‘toe jam’ was considered to be an animal product.

I am not a vege, nor a vegan, I am a healthy, if overweight (mainly due to my sedentary lifestyle), carnivore and consider these vege and vegany things to be fads perpetrated by the misguided; unless you are specifically allergic to some products.

I wonder as to where the bus will stop next… will grapes be banned from wine because someone heard one squeal as it was be cruelly trodden on?

Here’s something new to consider. Biodiversity itself uses animal products. For example, spraying the vines with ‘Preparation 501’ to enhance photosynthesis. Prep 501 is made from cows horns and manure.  Check here.

So we really are on the horns of a dilemma. How far do we go?

Check out the list on One Green Planet, there’s hardly anything in the supermarket that veges and vegany types can eat. I must admit, I was suprised.

NB: This was written somewhat tongue in cheek between my second and third coffees of the morning. I realise that there are those of you who take this seriously and consider your ideals to be loftier than those of us who are mere carnivores… It appeals to my mischievous nature.

%d bloggers like this: