Blog

ORGANIC WINES

This month we are taking a look on Organic wines, with some great selection. But, is organic generally better than conventional?

You can’t generally say it like this. The question is always how the producer works his vineyard. You can also as a conventional producer work in close relation to nature. There are many options to choose from. And there are many regions in Germany and in the whole world where due to humidity etc. the pressure of putrefaction and illnesses is high which you can maybe not fight that well with organic means. Nevertheless I would say that it makes sense to aim at it if it is possible to work organically. There are also different options. We have the EU organic seal which has the mildest criteria to achieve. We know it from the supermarket – the green leave. Then we have an ECO Vin seal at the Trollinger. That is also organic but with stricter rules from this organisation. Then we have 2 wines that are certified by Demeter. The Meinklang and the Beurer. That means biodynamic agriculture which follows the ideas of Rudolf Steiner and goes quite some steps further. 

ORDER YOUR JUKY WEINME BOX NOW!

Wine Hack – What to do with all those easter bunny chocolates?

Easter is over and you got a bunch of chocolate bunnies, now you wonder what to do with them?
Here we leave you a super hack of 4 steps to enjoy them in a very original way,
you can also share it and even toast with them!


1. Uncover your chocolate and uncork your favorite bottle of red wine

2. Eat the little bunny’s ears (only the ears)

3. Pour your favorite wine into your chocolate

4. Drink and enjoy it! Cheers!

 Prost!

Happy birthday Riesling!

The first written mention of Riesling in Germany and around the world is of March 13, 1435. The cultivation of a Riesling vineyard is commissioned on an invoice there. Namely in Rüsselsheim, which today is better known for the production of cars. The Riesling is now 586 years old. Congratulations!

What makes Riesling special?

This is a great occasion to say a few words about this great grape variety. In Germany it is by far the most important grape variety and with 45% of world production it is also clearly the leading producer. Riesling develops well in colder climates and has therefore always been doing well in Germany. Riesling has a unique aroma profile that ranges from apple and citrus aromas over manadrine and apricot to stony and floral aromas. In addition, wine that has been stored for a long time can develop a special smell that is often described as gasoline. But this is by no means meant badly, but a quality feature! In addition, the grape variety reacts very well to the soil, the terroir, where it is grown. And due to its acid structure, it can be produced in various degrees of sweetness. In other words, Riesling is a grape variety that allows for extremely diverse wine styles!

Celebrate Rieslings birthday by trying it

We took the Riesling birthday as an opportunity to take a closer look at the different degrees of sweetness. Our box in March therefore contains 3 Rieslings from dry to semi-dry to Kabinett. All come from other areas of Germany and are hence very different to one another. If you want to know which of the three is the perfect company to currywurst and how you understand what kind of Riesling you buy in the jungle of the German labeling system, order the WEINME Box (until 25.03.21). We explain that and more to you in the video about the wines. Today we’re opening up a Riesling though to celebrate the day! Cheers!

The climate impact of the wine on your table

 


At WEINME we just had a monthly box on the subject of “wanderlust” containing wines from Argentina, Chile and South Africa. When we had the idea for the topic, the question for us was whether wines from so far away are acceptable for us from a climatic point of view. So we have researched the issue of the carbon footprint of wines.

Here we want to share what we have learned.


First, let’s make some comparisons with other common foods to see how much our joy in wine is a climate sin:

A bottle of German wine from Rheinhessen has an average of 0.675 kg of CO2 (source ifeu). In an extreme scenario, this can go up to 4.5 kg of CO2 if a Napa Valley wine is sent to New York by plane (source AAWE). For comparison, a kilogram of apples: If they come from New Zealand, you add 0.8 kg of CO2 to the atmosphere (source ifeu) and thus more than a bottle of Riesling from Rheinhessen. For German apples this is only 0.3. In a liter glass, strained tomatoes come at 1.9, more than the much scolded avocado, which with an average of 0.6 per kg is more comparable to our wine from Rheinhessen. Two 200g organic steaks for your dinner beat every bottle of wine that could be opened with a massive 8.68 kg of CO2.

The production of wine therefore produces relevant greenhouse gases, as is the case with all other foods. That is why you can continue to enjoy wine without feeling like a climate destroyer. But let’s take a closer look at which factors have a major influence here. Because the development of greenhouse gases in wine production has a wide range, as our example above shows.

Main factors affecting the carbon footprint of wine

In general, greenhouse gases are created in wine production wherever machines, heaters etc. are used that consume energy and produce exhaust gases in the process. The two biggest factors by far, however, are packaging and distribution.

In the example of the wine from Rheinhessen, the packaging accounts for 48% of the total greenhouse gases produced (source ifeu). That’s because we like heavy, beautiful glass bottles and only use them once. Producing glass requires a lot of heat and therefore produces a lot of CO2. The weight of the glass bottle compared to the amount it contains also has a very negative impact on the climate balance, because it plays a very important role in the development of greenhouse gases in logistics. Other containers such as Tetra Paks and cans are lighter, but also have other disadvantages for mother earth. Glass bottles are also best suited for longer storage of wines. However, using glass bottles several times could reduce greenhouse gases by more than ¾.. There is also no need for thick bottles to store the wine. These only serve to give us consumers an impression of value. They do not contribute to the quality at all.

The second big issue is distribution. In addition to the length of its path, the means by which it is taken are decisive here. A wine that is drunk in New York and comes from Bordeaux emits only 69% of the greenhouse gases in comparison to a wine from Napa in California (source AAWE). This amazing difference is due to the fact that wine per bottle that is shipped in large quantities on the ship does not have very high emissions per kilometer, while trucks are less ideal. Wine shipped by plane is by far the least climate-friendly, which is hardly surprising.

Is the fermentation of wine a climate killer?

Another area in which Co2 is created in wine production is during fermentation. As with any alcoholic fermentation process, yeast converts sugar into alcohol and CO2. This CO2 usually escapes directly. However, since it is also CO2 that was previously absorbed from the air by the vines, the basic process of wine production is still CO2 negative. This means that less CO2 is emitted during fermentation than was previously bound. If you look at the other factors discussed, it is also much less influential on the overall carbon footprint of the bottle of wine on our table. Namely less than 0.1 kg of CO2. Nevertheless, there are some wineries that are experimenting with capturing the escaping gas and converting it, for example, into components that are used for colors (source: The Drinks Business). That would be a great way to have a positive impact on the climate!

What can you do yourself to keep the CO2 footprint of your wines low?

As consumers, we can begin to see heavy bottles not as a sign of high quality but as unnecessarily harmful to the climate. Since these bottles are also more expensive, no winery will use them anymore if their customers don’t want them to.

In addition, you shouldn’t drive you car to buy a few bottles of wine. For example, 5 kilometers by car have a significantly higher climate footprint than a local bottle of wine overall when delivered to you! So if you don’t get wine by bike or on foot, it’s more climate-friendly to buy it online.

But does it make sense to only buy local wines? This is certainly a personal question, as they do in fact produce less CO2 due to the shorter distribution routes. However, we have seen that large loads on ships by no means add much more to the CO2 result. Therefore we have decided to introduce you to wines from South America and South Africa.

The distances within Europe are not as far as from California to New York. And if you look at other foods in comparison to wine, we consider this to be entirely justifiable from a climate point of view. However, we would not send wine by plane for sure!

It is important to be aware of the climate impact

Almost all food and activities today emit greenhouse gases. We should all think about where we can directly and simply positively contribute our part. And above all, make us aware of the impact our activities have.
At WEINME, for example, we have decided not to pack flyers and print advertising in our boxes. Because these usually only produce rubbish and increase the weight on delivery. We therefore send all materials such as our wine descriptions digitally. So they are always available as a nice side effect. We also ship in recycled cardboard boxes. All small changes that add up the more we go on step by step.

That feeling of not knowing which wine to choose…

Why do we often feel lost in front of the shelf and why it doesn’t need to be like this!

 

We talk about a situation in which all of us who love wine have probably found ourselves in before. We are looking forward to a dinner with friends, a date or any other occasion for which we want to open a great, exciting bottle of wine. Full of anticipation and in a good mood, we go to a wine shop, supermarket or online store and find ourselves in front of a huge shelf (whether digital or physical). This is the moment when anticipation turns into frustration! You have no idea what to take now!

Which of the countless wines is good and ideally exciting and new? What is best for the situation? There are really only two options: Either you choose the tried and tested wine that you already know or you choose a new one and run the high risk of being disappointed. But who wants to drink the same wine over and over again when there are so many great ones to discover?

There are 3 things that make wine seem so complicated:


  • The large number of producers and variants
  • That it is so difficult to put into words how a wine tastes
  • That experts often seem snooty with incomprehensible descriptions

But the choice of wine doesn’t have to be that difficult after all! The great variance is not only confusing but also a great opportunity to try and find many exciting wines. If one moves away from the view of the producer and towards the grape variety and region, wines and their styles begin to unravel themselves. And the better you understand which styles you like, the easier it is to find comparable wines that are described similarly. Because in addition to many creative and artificial descriptions there are also many attributes such as tannins and wood influence, which are described relatively constantly. We shouldn’t give in to the impression that wines are only for experts! Wines are made for those who appreciate them. You don’t have to be a sommelier to enjoy a wine! As well as it doesn’t matter which wine the experts like. What matters is what you personally like and how you can find more of it!

Let’s simplify the wine choice and enjoy more

At WEINME we want to celebrate the joy of trying new exciting wines! The idea is to go on an exploration tour where we delve deeper into interesting topics such as special wine moments, styles and interesting grape varieties. In doing so, you can better understand your personal taste in wine and as well as which grape varieties and regions are exciting for you – completely relaxed from home. In short videos and with descriptions, we explain what makes the selected wines special and why we chose them. You don’t have to attend sommelier classes to better understand which wines are right for you! A little curiosity and a willingness to try out the new will help you enjoy wine more!

5 myths about wine

 

It’s time to debunk some of the most persistent myths in the wine world! With it’s long history there are plenty for sure. The following 5 are the ones we though most useful to know.

Share with us other myths about wine you find curious, interesting or funny!


1. “Red wine has to be served at room temperature”

As most myths that keep persisting over time this one too has a base in something true. As this rule was set in times when people probably didn’t heat their flats to above 20 degree but room temperature was between 16-18 degree. And that is the right temperature for full bodied red wines. Lighter reds are actually better served a bit cooler still. And as with every rule like this it’s good to break it and try out what you prefer for your favorite wine! The only rule you should never break is to follow what you like best!


2. “All wine gets better with age”

Absolutely not! Most wines are actually better to be drunk young. As a rule of thumb you can say that wines that strive for their fresh and fruity aromas should be drunk early since those aromas fade over time. While wines that have complex aromas from wine making techniques like barrel aging can develop further their earthy, smoky, chocolaty, etc. aromas. But not all of those wines having past a wood barrel are great to age! They need quite some tannins and complexity of aromas to smoothen out over time. Usually when you buy a wine that is already some years old when it’s sold this can be a sign that it might develop in an interesting way with age. Examples are usually full bodied red wines with complex flavours from places like Bordeaux in France, Barolo in Italy or Rioja in Spain.


3.  “Champagne has to be served in a flute”

We are all used to toast with a flute of sparkling wine in hand. But this is actually not great for the aromas of great Champagnes! The narrow flute doesn´t allow the aromas to disperse within the glass and takes away this great brioche note a Champagne or other sparkling wine might have to offer! So here is the good news: Safe money on flute glasses, use your white wine glasses instead and enjoy sparkling wine more! Not convinced? Just try it out and let us know what you think.


4. “Blended wines are inferior to the ones from pure varieties”

This myth probably comes from the thought that a blended wine is a mix of grapes that can’t stand alone. However mixing varieties that combine different nice characteristics, for example of different fruit flavours, can create great wines. So it’s not true that blends are inferior to pure variety wines. What is true is that the combination of grapes allows for more room to model the style of the wine, especially if there are several varieties at work. Likewise blending different varieties can be used to keep a style of wine persistent over different vintages where weather and other influences would otherwise create contrasting results. So long story short, blends are not inferior at all but might require you to look more into the details to tell what style of wine hides behind a label.


5. “Bottles sealed with a cork are better than those with a screw-cap”

We all connect drinking wine with the ritual of opening a bottle with a corkscrew. It’s so familiar that we make a connection with the quality of a wine. Maybe also because cork is usually more expensive than a screw-cap for the winemaker. But all kinds of studies and tests clearly show that it’s not better. Screw caps are a modern way to close a bottle that actually allows for less exchange with air than a cork. Especially on nice fresh young white wines this preserves their fruitiness better! And even red wines made for ageing do so more slowly and constantly under a screw-cap. So don’t judge wines by screw cap or cork but by their ability to wow you!


 

©️ WEINME 2020