Beaujolais Nouveau Now Red and Green

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As reported by Reuters, a fleet of cargo ships is set to invade U.S. ports from Boston to Miami next month, laden with millions of bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau. At about the same time, cargo planes carrying 30,000 cases of the first wine of the 2008 harvest in plastic bottles will also be heading toward North America. The two biggest producers of Beaujolais Nouveau are going green by transporting their wine by sea rather than air or packaging the vintage in environmentally friendly bottles. Boisset, the second-largest maker of Beaujolais Nouveau, is bottling its entire harvest in recyclable PET bottles. The green shipment is due to arrive in time for the wine’s traditional third Thursday in November release. Meanwhile, Georges Duboeuf, the largest maker of Beaujolais Nouveau, struck a deal with the French government to allow an early release of his wine so that he could use ships to haul about 75 percent of his 2 million U.S.-bound bottles, instead of the one-third that usually arrives by boat-significantly changing the carbon footprint, as well as keeping the cost level down for imbibers. But not all of its Beaujolais Nouveau is coming in glass bottles. Bowing to the wishes of Whole Foods, the large U.S. organic foods supermarket chain, they have joined Boisset in offering the breezy, young wine made from Gamay grapes in plastic bottles as well. Whole Foods will be offering both Duboeuf and Boisset. The PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, much like those used for soft drinks, weigh nearly 50 percent less than glass-so shipping costs are lower (a case of glass bottles weighs about 38 pounds (17 kgs), but the same case in plastic bottles weighs about 22 pounds (10 kg)). And although some wine lovers may not like the idea of plastic bottles, it does not harm the wine for up to three years. When DuBoeuf’s shipments arrive in Miami and New York it plans to transport the wine from the docks to restaurant dining room tables by motorcycles; a Beaujolais biker chef-squad roaring through Manhattan and Miami’s South Beach to get the first wine of the season to tables (in South Beach, Carlos Fernandez of Hi-Life Café, Juan Pablo Viejo of Andu and Tony Dee of Ocean Prime are participating).

Via Reuters

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