Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thought of the Day: It's Not a Wine Club, It's a CSW

This week, I wrote a post urging people to consider joining wine clubs at wineries that make great wine at reasonable prices.

Sadly, we're not yet at the stage where one can reliably find organically or biodynamically grown wines in local markets, large or small, or even specialty wine stores, whether it's Bevmo or K & L.

We the good-for-the-environment-wine drinkers have to change our buying habits.

No more Trader Joe's - even when it's organic, it's like from Spain, or whatever, or it's a $4 Fred Franzia organic Green Fin which is made from Thompson Seedless grapes, not known for its varietal charm. (Franzia says it will be a 1 million case a year brand, exclusively through TJ's.) And let's pass on the Franzia Family's newest Panther Rock created label: the organic CottonWood Creek wines, even if they come in eco-friendly bottles, because they, too, are mostly Thompson Seedless (Sultana) because we don't know enough about Franzia's viticulture and water use. It's likely these grapes come from Central Valley sources, which four times as much water to grow as irrigated grapes in other regions of the state.

The time has come to rename the Wine Club to the Community Supported Winery or CSW. It's the same concept at "the box" you get from your CSA. You support farms/wineries doing good work, and you give them your business.

In exchange, you create a relationship. You are invited to visit and dine and drink at the winery on occasion. You are cultivating a long term partnership, in your own small way. And you know where your wine is coming from. All good stuff.

Yes, it takes a little more effort, but the payoff is Very Big.

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