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Make your own wine

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Making your own wine curbs pollution linked to long-distance transport of wine and cuts down on wasteful packaging associated with store-bought wine (think heavy glass bottles).

Find it! Winemaking suppliers

Like a painter needs a brush and canvas, a home winemaker needs a fermenting bucket and carboy caps. Below is a sampling of the many vendors offering the compulsory paraphernalia required in the art of home winemaking. Basic starter kits are also available for those not yet ready to enter the more esoteric realm of malolactic bacteria and liquid champagne yeasts. The Joy of Home Winemaking also offers a thorough listing of suppliers of home winemaking equipment and accoutrement.

Before you buy

Learning the art of winemaking takes time and access to information. You'll want to seek specific how-to instructions from the experts—and make sure it's a hobby you can handle—before purchasing equipment and supplies. Find out how to make your own wine from start to finish with resources like:

Making your own wine helps you go green because…

  • It diminishes your carbon footprint by eliminating the need for highly polluting, fuel-intensive long-distance transport of domestic and imported wines.
  • It cuts back on the cycle of waste produced when purchasing heavy glass wine bottles. You can use bottles over and over again when making wine at home.

Given the worldwide popularity of wine, chief environmental concerns surrounding the product are oil consumption and smog-creating carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emitted during the transportation of heavy glass wine bottles in long-haul diesel trucks. Diesel exhaust contains over 450 chemicals, 40 of them believed to be toxic to humans and detrimental to the environment. Carbon monoxide from vehicle emissions accounts for 56 percent of total carbon emissions nationwide and, along with nitrogen oxide, contributes to air pollution.[1] It's estimated that most food products, including wine, travel an average of 1,500 miles before reaching our kitchen tables.[2] Wine made, bottled, and consumed at home does not have to make this journey.

According to reports published by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2005, 10.9 million tons of glass containers (including beer, wine, juice, soda bottles, and other products) were disposed of in the United States; just 2.8 million tons were recovered for recycling.[3] It takes a glass bottle about 1 million years to break down in a landfill.[4] Although bottling plays a part in home winemaking, it takes place on a much smaller scale, plus bottles can be reused.

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Comments

09/03/2008
10:35am
Rebecca

My husband and I made homemade sparkling mead (honey wine) to serve at our wedding instead of imported champagne and bottled some to give as guest favors. It was a fun thing to do together and our guests loved it!

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