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Carbon, wine bottles, swikis wine shows
November 21, 2007

November Newsletter

In this issue

Going green with reds and whites Finding wines with swiki...and food too
Get it off your chest
A couple of shows
Buy some wine
Christmas nosh-up

How much carbon will you have with that wine?

Even without the election we will be hearing plenty about climate change over the next few months. Plenty of people will be giving of some hot air about what can and should be done about it, and how to reduce our carbon footprint without reverting to the stone age. Some people talk a lot, some take action in small ways. A large number of people doing small things on a daily basis can help.

If you are reading this then you are probably a wine drinker. How many wine bottles does your household use in a year? How long was the wine in those bottles? What effect on the environment does the packaging of these wines have?

Most wine gets put into and out of a bottle in fairly quick time. The bottle is then 'recycled'. In other words the consumer chucks it into her recycling bin and it gets sorted and transported to a facility where it is melted down to make other glass products. Highly energy inefficient.

Or maybe we should use returnable bottles. The bottles are collected and sent for washing and refilling. Ah, but with health concerns they need to be washed in lost of hot water and detergents. Not a good idea in a thirsty country, and heating all of that water uses energy too, not to mention carting all of that glass back and forwards.

The answer is to use refillable bottles that the consumer keeps. With just a little care you can keep your bottles fresh just by rinsing them with half a cup of cold water. And you can use the bottle over and over again.

Of course if you plan on keeping a wine for more than a few months for bottle aging you probably need to use the traditional bottle with screw cap. Like they used to do with corks some time in the past. Everyday drinking wines though don't need a special one use bottle manufactures especially for them.

My mates at have a client who proudly shows them a bottle that has been used 150 times. It gets refilled every week. It's not a returnable bottle, it's a returnable customer.

Swiki New search page

I've put this snazzy new search facility onto the home page of Vinodiversity. its called Swiki, short for Search What I Know or something. You can type in a word and then find what's on the vinodiversity and related sites, then onto the web as a whole. Or you can just click onto a keyword in the "Buzz Cloud" of recent and popular searches. It's sort of fun but serious.

Why not just use Google? For wine related searches at least Swiki gives you better results than just plugging into Google, well at least for discerning wine drinkers it does. Give it a try on the vinodiversity home page http:/

I've also set up a separate swiki for wine and food paring at Why not use it to get some ideas for matching the Christmas Turkey (just go for sparkling red I say) or for any of the other seasonal delicacies.

Comments: Your say!

The Vinodiversity site is now an open forum for your comments. You can share with other readers your experiences in visiting wineries, matching food to your varietal wines, or any other tips and tales about the wonderful beverage. It's your chance to get your name on the world's most exciting website about varietal wines, you can even upload a picture, but keep it nice. See

Tahbilk Wine Club

Don't forget you can join this exciting wine club as a "Friend of Darby" and receive a bonus. All you need to do is sign up to the club via the form at then notify me when I have made a purchase from the club I will send you a bonus reward.

Wine Events

The Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show is one of the highlights of the year for those of us in the weird and wacky wine scene.

I went to Swan Hill over the weekend of 20-21 October for the Australian Inland Wine Show. Inland seems to be a nice euphemism for irrigated. Wines from the Murray Darling, Riverina, Riverland and Swan Hill regions were shown. Brumby wines from Piangil north of Swan Hill had a classy 2004 Durif that scored a gold medal. There were of course plenty of sweet wines and fortifieds that did well. Among the dry whites I was impressed with the Trentham Estate Vermentino, although the judges did not give it a medal.

I also made my way up to the Australian Altertnative Varieties Wine Show in Mildura, thanks to some excellent chauffering by PBM. See the gold medal winners here

Don't forget the Monthly Fed Square Victorian Regional Wine Showcase. These are held from 4-30pm to 8-30pm on the first Wednesday and Thursday of each month. The December showcase will be the Mornington Peninsula's turn. Each showcase gives the visitor a chance to visit about twenty or so vineyards without moving more than a few metres. You can get more info, and a discounted ticket from the fed square website at There will be no Showcase in January.

You can find more Australian events at events at

Cheap Wine, Just Click the Button, Tim.

Wine is about to get a bit more expensive, along with a lot of other agriculture-based products. So here is a few suggestions on getting more value out of your wine budget.

1. Check out ReWine at These guys have excellent wine at very affordable prices, starting at under $5.00 per bottle, even less if you buy your wine in 4.5 litre refills (6 bottles worth). These are not cleanskins. They have the ReWine label on them, they want you to come back. They reckon the best way to keep customers is to sell them good wine at good prices. Try them and you'll see what they mean. For alternative variety wine lovers, and aren't we all, there is a crisp Marsanne for $5.86 per bottle, or a fruit laden Gamay at $8.88, or a meaty Swan Hill Durif for just $10.20

2. Join the Tahbilk wine club. See above. You can order from a wide variety of wines at a discounted price, get free delivery in Australia and get a bonus from yours truly.

3. Remember to check the email specials which change every week or two. You can often pick up a bonus magnum, or maybe even a dozen cleanskins. See what's on offer at

4. For the brave - try some auctions...after you have read my advice at

Christmas Nosh Up If you're looking for a restaurant then try this service They have thousands of restaurants in large number of cities. You can search by locality, price, cuisine and ambiance (funky-cool or formal etc.) You can also use the service to get restaurant meals home delivered ideal for the pre-christmas rush. See what you can find.

Please forward this newsletter on to any friends who may be interested. Don't forget you can just reply to give feedback to me or use to tell the world what it is on your mind.

Next month, an innovative idea for wine trifle, and some summer wines.

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