VinoWeek - Episode 47 - Is Canned Wine Better for the Environment?

It’s summertime and Europeans have experienced some extreme temperatures. Highs which have eclipsed the torrid marks set by the heatwave of 2003, that killed thousands of people. A lot has been learned since 2003 and the European countries seem better equipped to handle the large high pressure weather systems that cover the continent during the summers. Marshall Shepherd writing for Forbes tries to make the connection between increasing extremes of weather and climate change.

Washington Post columnist Dave McIntyre takes a look at how winemakers are streamlining their use of energy, water and reducing their carbon footprint. The article focuses mainly on family owned wineries that are leading the way in reducing the impact their operations have on the environment. Will the big hulking corporate wine concerns follow suit?

Stephanie Cain wonders which package is more sustainable canned or bottled wine? Bill and I didn’t come up with a clear cut answer. What do you think?

Natalie Wang reports on Chateau Lafite’s launch of it’s own Chinese wine. The wine named Long Dai which means chiselled mountain is the product of a decade long project. No doubt this wine initially will be the target of well heeled conspicuous consumers.

Bill and I discuss these topics and many more in this weeks addition of VinoWeek. Thanks to everyone for listening. Cheers!

The wine of the week is the 2015 Zenato Alanera Rosso Veronese IGT. I discovered this wine at the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri tasting held in San Francisco last March. I tasted it alongside Zenato’s 2015 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, a powerful and well balance Amarone. Zenato is a large family owned wine company based in Peschiera del Garda, on the southern shores of Lake Garda in northern Italy. Their annual production volume is around 167,000 cases. That’s a big operation by Italian standards. I’m very familiar with the Zenato lineup; their Ripassa, a beefed up Valpolicella is extremely addictive. Zenato’s wines have a modern bent to them, though they hold true to their roots and are widely available in the marketplace. Alanera means black wings in reference to the Raven and the Corvina grape which makes up 55% of the blend. 25% Rondinella, 10% Corvinone and 5% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot round out the blend. Half of the grapes are partially dried for 45 to 60 days. After fermentation the wine spend twelve months in 300-500L French Tonneaux and 100-150HL tanks. The oak barrels are of 2nd and 3rd use. The wine spends three months in the bottle before release. This is a “Ripasso” styled wine but it has the IGT designation because the dried and fresh grapes are used to make the wine versus adding the finished Valpolicella wine to the left over lees of an Amarone vat. It’s the process not the ingredients that make the distinction. Here’s a little background on why the IGT designation was invented. Elegance, richness, beautiful balance and an incredible price point make this wine a no brainer case buy. The wine has a medium ruby color, with aromas of fresh and dried red cherries, licorice, cocoa, oak, raisins and a touch of coffee. On the palate it’s full bodied, and juicy with graceful tannins and very good acidity. The finish is both persistent and satisfying. I have no idea how they are able to make a wine of this quality and consistency at the price point it sells for ( $11 to $14 ) , but power to them. They make 12,000 cases of Alanera and it’s easy to find.


Pair the Alanera with medium and hard aged cheeses, charcuterie, any variety of meat dishes and of course your favorite items off the barbecue grill.