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Posts Tagged ‘organic/vegan/green’

Quinoa Vodka

We bring you this vodka for several reasons. According to the label it is “fair trade certified” and “sustainable.” But mostly because it highlights quinoa. The back label bills quinoa as “the mother of all grains, a superfood long worshipped by the Inca people. …”

Lo and behold, quinoa does in fact pop up at number five on WebMD’s list of top ten “superfoods.” Near yogurt, eggs, nuts, kiwi, and other leading superfoods, quinoa is described as:

one of the best whole grains you can eat. … “It is an ancient grain, easy to make, interesting, high in protein (8 grams in 1 cup cooked), fiber (5 grams per cup) and a naturally good source of iron,”… Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) also has plenty of zinc, vitamin E, and selenium to help control your weight and lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes. …

So far we see one other vodka distilled largely from quinoa, but very little in the way of quinoa beer, other than this one.

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vodka


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Vegan Beer

Maybe John has been asleep at the switch, but this is one of the first vegan beers we have seen come down the pike. Rebecca’s Divine Wit is Vegan Beer Brewed with Oranges and Coriander.

Wikipedia (not Wikileaks) says veganism is:

a philosophy and lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. Vegans endeavor to never consume or use any animal products of any type. The most common reasons for becoming, or remaining, vegan are moral conviction concerning animal rights or welfare, health, environmental concerns, and spiritual or religious concerns.

I suppose some beers have a bit of animal matter, in the form of isinglass or gelatin. This site explains and provides a helpful guidepost. So far as we know, TTB treats this term more like “biodynamic” or “premium” and less like “organic” or “Meritage.” Perhaps, when there are more vegan labels for alcohol beverages, the policy will get more clear. For a wine example, here is Flint Hills Red Wine (“for vegan enjoyment”).

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malt beverage


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Milk from Dragons, Grapes and Devils

milk

In many areas, TTB is fairly literal-minded. For example, if you are bound and determined to mention energy on your label, you are unlikely to get very far, without much regard to context, as in this example. Likewise, good luck if you want to use the term “organic” on anything not in line with the organic rules.

In other areas, though, TTB will view a term much less literally. Mother’s Milk Shiraz is one such example. As best I can tell, it contains no milk. There is a recognition that the term is not to be taken seriously, even though it is quite possible to make a wide variety of alcohol beverages with and from real milk. This vodka distilled from milk is but one example.

If you gave up Mother’s Milk before third grade, you may prefer Dragon’s Milk. Another alternative is Devil’s Milk. Even without ingredient labeling I am reasonably sure that the Devil contributed no milk whatsoever to DuClaw’s ale.

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World’s Most Popular Wine

franzia

Franzia’s been mighty busy. Franzia’s recent labels proclaim “The World’s Most Popular Wine.” That’s a lot of bag-in-box and other packages.

The label goes further to claim this wine is “also the World’s most cost and carbon efficient wine.” There is a nice chart with pretty icons to support this claim at least in part. The brand owner has explained:

The wine industry is perhaps the most vulnerable of any food and beverage producer to “carbon criticism,” due to its historical reliance on heavyweight glass packaging and its failure to migrate to more environmentally sensitive packages. … As the world’s leader in Bag-In-Box (BIB) packaging, [The Wine Group, Inc.] is in a unique position to assist retailers with innovative 3L and 5L BIB packages that eliminate the freshness trade-off associated with most other forms of alternative packaging. … The Wine Group is taking aggressive measures to reduce overall energy consumption by our wineries, and leading the industry to implement local bottling of imported and exported wine. This reduces carbon emissions through unnecessary transportation of heavy glass,” said [David Kent, CEO].

This packaging consortium has a good FAQ about the environmental issues but still it would be good to see more sources and evidence.

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Beware the Famous Name

Click for Michael-Scott Wine

Michael-Scott wines (above) have been around since 1998. Then, from out of nowhere, everything changed in March of 2005. That’s when The Office debuted on NBC, with Steve Carell in the lead role as the hapless Michael Scott. There is no word on whether this hit show has been good or bad for the winery, in Sebastopol, California.

In a similar manner, it looks like Montecastelli Wine, Inc. started using the Palin brand name in 2008. Seven months later, the brand took on a whole other personality when Sen. John McCain selected Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate. It was not necessarily the good kind of publicity. Serious Eats reports:

“It was our best selling wine before (the V.P. announcement),” said Chris Tavelli, owner of Yield Wine Bar, which has offered Palin Syrah, a certified organic wine from Chile, by the glass since July. But after Sen. John McCain tagged Sarah Palin as his running mate, sales of the wine with the conservative’s inverted name plummeted — not surprising in famously liberal San Francisco.

The Palin Syrah is organically grown in Chile.

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