OrganiKey UK
Currant Affairs -
It’s yet another rainy day here in the UK and I just slipped into a bottle of Cono Sur’s 2010 Organic Pinot Noir. This Chilean wine is a lovey ruby hue in the glass and looks medium bodied. It smells and tastes like tart red currants. The flavor is pretty bold for a Pinot Noir, fruity while also being acidic and fairly tannic. There are few hints of toast and black pepper. This mouth-watering glass of wine pairs quite well with my “snack” - a camembert sandwich on organic wheat bread with organic watercress and mustard.
The label has a bit of a different idea about the flavors, stating it is “an earthy wine with a delicate and bright color, fresh, juicy and crisp red-fruit notes of cherry, raspberry, and strawberry intertwine with softer traces of black fruit - plum - and a soft smoked feeling.” If you twisted my arm, I could maybe agree with the cherry and plum bits, and perhaps the sourness of raspberries is evoked at some point. The label also cutely describes the origin of its bicycle image by saying it refers to the cycles of nature and the way the farm workers get to the vineyard.
Other positives: Carbon Neutral Certified Delivery, Soil Association seal of approval, and organic certification from BCS Öeko Garantie GmbH. Available for less than 8 pounds at the Co-operative.

Currant Affairs -

It’s yet another rainy day here in the UK and I just slipped into a bottle of Cono Sur’s 2010 Organic Pinot Noir. This Chilean wine is a lovey ruby hue in the glass and looks medium bodied. It smells and tastes like tart red currants. The flavor is pretty bold for a Pinot Noir, fruity while also being acidic and fairly tannic. There are few hints of toast and black pepper. This mouth-watering glass of wine pairs quite well with my “snack” - a camembert sandwich on organic wheat bread with organic watercress and mustard.

The label has a bit of a different idea about the flavors, stating it is “an earthy wine with a delicate and bright color, fresh, juicy and crisp red-fruit notes of cherry, raspberry, and strawberry intertwine with softer traces of black fruit - plum - and a soft smoked feeling.” If you twisted my arm, I could maybe agree with the cherry and plum bits, and perhaps the sourness of raspberries is evoked at some point. The label also cutely describes the origin of its bicycle image by saying it refers to the cycles of nature and the way the farm workers get to the vineyard.

Other positives: Carbon Neutral Certified Delivery, Soil Association seal of approval, and organic certification from BCS Öeko Garantie GmbH. Available for less than 8 pounds at the Co-operative.

Ooh-La-La Organic!
Perhaps in anticipation of our holiday in France and Belgium this weekend, or perhaps because this dismal January-like weather has driven us to drink, my husband and I bought a nice bottle of French red for the evening. Being a fan of Côtes du Rhône, it was a treat to find an organic bottle at the Co-operative down the street. Produced by Perrin et Fils under the Nature label, this 2009 bottle is quite a surprise.
I was hoping for something with a tinge of spice, and the inclusion of Syrah along with Grenache promised a bit of pizazz. But, as is often the case, the information on the label has little to do with my interpretation of the wine’s flavor.
They say, “aromas of ripe red berries and a hint of pepper, complex spicy fruit in the mouth and a deliciously long finish.”
To me, the nose is dark plum, black cherry, cedar, currant, and leather. It has a lovely deep garnet color and looks pretty full bodied in the way it coats the glass (look at those legs!). My first sip caused an initial impression of astringency, even a bit of sourness. It tastes like you have just crammed a handful of currants in your mouth and the sourness hits you in the corner of your jaw. But in a pleasant way, really. Then, it shifts gears a bit and the currant transitions into blackberry and smooths out into a lingering finish, tannic and mouth watering. It would be difficult for me to describe anything about this wine as spicy. But it is definitely yummy in its own unique way.
Oh, and I just tried it with a little chunk of Brie (of course) and it changed into a sweet fruit bomb. Wine is so bizarre. Hopefully it will go well with the roasted butternut squash soup I’m making for dinner. With cinnamon, cloves, ginger, red chili flakes, roasted garlic and onion, and black pepper, the soup will probably satisfy my hankering for spice.
(photo from http://www.winealign.com)

Ooh-La-La Organic!

Perhaps in anticipation of our holiday in France and Belgium this weekend, or perhaps because this dismal January-like weather has driven us to drink, my husband and I bought a nice bottle of French red for the evening. Being a fan of Côtes du Rhône, it was a treat to find an organic bottle at the Co-operative down the street. Produced by Perrin et Fils under the Nature label, this 2009 bottle is quite a surprise.

I was hoping for something with a tinge of spice, and the inclusion of Syrah along with Grenache promised a bit of pizazz. But, as is often the case, the information on the label has little to do with my interpretation of the wine’s flavor.

They say, “aromas of ripe red berries and a hint of pepper, complex spicy fruit in the mouth and a deliciously long finish.”

To me, the nose is dark plum, black cherry, cedar, currant, and leather. It has a lovely deep garnet color and looks pretty full bodied in the way it coats the glass (look at those legs!). My first sip caused an initial impression of astringency, even a bit of sourness. It tastes like you have just crammed a handful of currants in your mouth and the sourness hits you in the corner of your jaw. But in a pleasant way, really. Then, it shifts gears a bit and the currant transitions into blackberry and smooths out into a lingering finish, tannic and mouth watering. It would be difficult for me to describe anything about this wine as spicy. But it is definitely yummy in its own unique way.

Oh, and I just tried it with a little chunk of Brie (of course) and it changed into a sweet fruit bomb. Wine is so bizarre. Hopefully it will go well with the roasted butternut squash soup I’m making for dinner. With cinnamon, cloves, ginger, red chili flakes, roasted garlic and onion, and black pepper, the soup will probably satisfy my hankering for spice.

(photo from http://www.winealign.com)

The idea of thousands of tiny trees forming a minuscule forest that can convert sunlight into clean hydrogen fuel for storage and transport - brilliant! Thank you geeks :)

Well designed and lovely looking infographic from Ethical Ocean.

While being both visually appealing and informative, it offers a broad perspective of green products and the act of greenwashing in the United States and Canada. As a general bit of info, I think it’s great and probably should be widely distributed. It would be nice to see things like this with more specific details in the future.

Although, I must also say that I was quite surprised by where the UK landed in the compilation of green scores for several countries. Of the nations on the list, it is second to last (with the U.S. having those dubious honors). Strangely, even China did better when examined with their scoring criteria. Come on!

Google has outdone itself once again today. In celebration of Earth Day, clever Googlelites have created a new logo with plants forming letters that then grow flowers in their signature colors. A cute little rhyme follows, “Roses are red, violets are blue, for Earth Day this year, let’s all plant a few.” The link leads to an Earth Day page developed by Google that has compiled information about community gardens, where to get discounted seeds, and how to connect with other gardeners. Also included are links to gardening tips, Earth Day resources, and YouTube videos on gardening. Lastly, Google pledges to “help Friends of the Urban Forest to plant trees at schools in San Francisco.”
Good work!

Google has outdone itself once again today. In celebration of Earth Day, clever Googlelites have created a new logo with plants forming letters that then grow flowers in their signature colors. A cute little rhyme follows, “Roses are red, violets are blue, for Earth Day this year, let’s all plant a few.” The link leads to an Earth Day page developed by Google that has compiled information about community gardens, where to get discounted seeds, and how to connect with other gardeners. Also included are links to gardening tips, Earth Day resources, and YouTube videos on gardening. Lastly, Google pledges to “help Friends of the Urban Forest to plant trees at schools in San Francisco.”

Good work!

Apparently, today is National Scrabble Day. I am not sure to which nation this applies, perhaps to every one of the hundreds that play Scrabble. Personally, I think every day should be Scrabble Day, though unfortunately most people (those with weaker minds) don’t agree with me. Since Scrabble is an acquired taste for many, much like monkfish liver, Do the Green Thing has come up with these fun ideas to enjoy the game in very different ways. While part of me trembles in horror at the game being so desecrated, I must admit that these are pretty clever tips.

Hallo everybunny! Hop u have a buntiful Easter weekend!

(Link courtesy of Cute Overload)

A Marvelous Machu Picchu Pick-Me-Up ~
It can be a bit tricky at times to find a coffee that is both organic and Fairtrade. Frustratingly, many seem to be one or the other, but what about those of us who want our daily brew to be both? Luckily, I have come a cross a few from Clipper, Percol, and Sainsbury’s SO Organic line. As always, I was excited to try something new, this time from the folks at Café Direct.
The Machu Picchu organic Fairtrade ground coffee delivers on its promises. It is definitely “a rich, smooth tasting coffee with overtones of fine, dark chocolate.” The smoothness really coats your mouth, as if you were eating a delicious coffee-flavored pillow (or I guess a marshmallow, since pillows aren’t considered edible by most people). This suave Peruvian also makes sure that you don’t notice any bitterness or acidity while it gently slips caffeine into your bloodstream. I also noticed a bit of pleasant smokiness left over from the roasting, which always reminds me of my favorite coffee shop in Brooklyn that used to roast its beans in-store.
My only complaint is the packaging. Using my beloved french press, making coffee in the morning is a constant chicken-before-the-egg battle for me. I am not really functional before caffeine, but I have to muster up what shaky motor skills I can in order to make coffee. Even though it is a shockingly simple process, I almost feel like I need coffee to make coffee. So, the packaging of this one presents a problem for me. It does not have any of those easy-open or resealable niceties that others so thoughtfully include. Before I wisely reached for the scissors (although a dangerous tool to have in my hands before noon), there were a few moments that came close to inducing a coffee explosion in the kitchen as I attacked the bag with my fingers, teeth, and withering glare.
Storage is also slightly problematic because the bag is rather fat, or let’s just say big boned, and it is a bit of a pinch to fit it in my storage jar. Plus, there isn’t much room to roll the top over and all of that delicious coffee just seems so dangerously exposed to the wilting and fading influence of the evil air. Although, this really shouldn’t be much of a problem because it is so delicious, I will probably gobble this one up before it has a chance to deteriorate.
UPDATE: The helpful people at Café Direct kindly pointed out that there is a resealable sticker on the back of the bag. After being adequately caffeinated, I easily found the sticker and closed the bag safely. So, problem solved!

A Marvelous Machu Picchu Pick-Me-Up ~

It can be a bit tricky at times to find a coffee that is both organic and Fairtrade. Frustratingly, many seem to be one or the other, but what about those of us who want our daily brew to be both? Luckily, I have come a cross a few from Clipper, Percol, and Sainsbury’s SO Organic line. As always, I was excited to try something new, this time from the folks at Café Direct.

The Machu Picchu organic Fairtrade ground coffee delivers on its promises. It is definitely “a rich, smooth tasting coffee with overtones of fine, dark chocolate.” The smoothness really coats your mouth, as if you were eating a delicious coffee-flavored pillow (or I guess a marshmallow, since pillows aren’t considered edible by most people). This suave Peruvian also makes sure that you don’t notice any bitterness or acidity while it gently slips caffeine into your bloodstream. I also noticed a bit of pleasant smokiness left over from the roasting, which always reminds me of my favorite coffee shop in Brooklyn that used to roast its beans in-store.

My only complaint is the packaging. Using my beloved french press, making coffee in the morning is a constant chicken-before-the-egg battle for me. I am not really functional before caffeine, but I have to muster up what shaky motor skills I can in order to make coffee. Even though it is a shockingly simple process, I almost feel like I need coffee to make coffee. So, the packaging of this one presents a problem for me. It does not have any of those easy-open or resealable niceties that others so thoughtfully include. Before I wisely reached for the scissors (although a dangerous tool to have in my hands before noon), there were a few moments that came close to inducing a coffee explosion in the kitchen as I attacked the bag with my fingers, teeth, and withering glare.

Storage is also slightly problematic because the bag is rather fat, or let’s just say big boned, and it is a bit of a pinch to fit it in my storage jar. Plus, there isn’t much room to roll the top over and all of that delicious coffee just seems so dangerously exposed to the wilting and fading influence of the evil air. Although, this really shouldn’t be much of a problem because it is so delicious, I will probably gobble this one up before it has a chance to deteriorate.

UPDATE: The helpful people at Café Direct kindly pointed out that there is a resealable sticker on the back of the bag. After being adequately caffeinated, I easily found the sticker and closed the bag safely. So, problem solved!

Just as everyone was starting to frolic in the sunshine and grow green thumbs, the snow returned. I keep peering out my window at the pots I just planted with organic basil and rosemary. There are a few impossibly tender looking little green shoots peeking out of the soil, looking so vulnerable in the face of this unseasonable onslaught of icy weather.
I hope all of the gardens, flowers, blooming bushes and trees, and farms around the UK survive the chill!

Just as everyone was starting to frolic in the sunshine and grow green thumbs, the snow returned. I keep peering out my window at the pots I just planted with organic basil and rosemary. There are a few impossibly tender looking little green shoots peeking out of the soil, looking so vulnerable in the face of this unseasonable onslaught of icy weather.

I hope all of the gardens, flowers, blooming bushes and trees, and farms around the UK survive the chill!

SO Organic Pinot Grigio is SO Disappointing ~
Many people may scoff at buying organic alcoholic products because alcohol is, after all, a poison itself. So, if you are poisoning yourself to begin with, why would you care if there are other poisons mixed in? It is a good point for those who are following an organic lifestyle solely for their own health. However, for those of us concerned with the health of the environment and the farmers that grow our food, then it makes sense to choose organic regardless of the debatable health benefits of the product.
Unfortunately, organic alcohols have been slow to catch on worldwide. Of course, there are vineyards that have been growing organic grapes from the start and there are many new specialty organic spirits on the market these days. But the overall availability of a variety of organic booze is pretty limited.
This fact was reinforced the other day when I went to Sainsbury’s to buy a bottle of organic white wine. The only bottle they had, out of their dozens of choices, was a Pinot Grigio bottled under their own label, SO Organic. Now, I have long been a wine snob about store branded wines, but I figured I would give this one a shot. Perhaps special attention was paid in the sourcing and production of this one since it was their only selection of organic white wine in the store (at least on this day).
The description on the bottle was very promising and sounded perfect for my tastes. “This is a crisp and refreshing dry wine, full of ripe peach flavour and subtle almond notes.” The text went on to explain that the wine was produced by the Nardi family, third-generation winemakers that had been creating organic wines since 1981.
The trouble began right from the start. The wine had almost no nose (or smell) whatsoever. Desperate snuffling, almost to the point of snorting the liquid, drew out only a smell of alcohol, yeast, ferment, and sour coriander. The color was a bit odd as well, very light, almost green. It could romantically be described as pale green straw. It seemed to be a fairly full-bodied wine, strange for a Pinot Grigio and very different from the “crisp” description, with well developed legs and a thick coating on the glass.
Then I went for the first sip and…cough cough cough cough.
It was pretty horrible. My first impression was that it was watered down sherry of some sort, a very cheap sherry, perhaps a Spanish Manzanilla that went terribly wrong. I gave it another shot. This sip had some lemon notes and a bit of watery green or unripe peach flavors. The acidic, alcoholic onslaught was followed by a metallic aftertaste that lingered in my mouth.
I poured the rest of the glass on the salmon I was marinating for dinner and decided that the rest of the bottle would just have to be expensive cooking wine.

SO Organic Pinot Grigio is SO Disappointing ~

Many people may scoff at buying organic alcoholic products because alcohol is, after all, a poison itself. So, if you are poisoning yourself to begin with, why would you care if there are other poisons mixed in? It is a good point for those who are following an organic lifestyle solely for their own health. However, for those of us concerned with the health of the environment and the farmers that grow our food, then it makes sense to choose organic regardless of the debatable health benefits of the product.

Unfortunately, organic alcohols have been slow to catch on worldwide. Of course, there are vineyards that have been growing organic grapes from the start and there are many new specialty organic spirits on the market these days. But the overall availability of a variety of organic booze is pretty limited.

This fact was reinforced the other day when I went to Sainsbury’s to buy a bottle of organic white wine. The only bottle they had, out of their dozens of choices, was a Pinot Grigio bottled under their own label, SO Organic. Now, I have long been a wine snob about store branded wines, but I figured I would give this one a shot. Perhaps special attention was paid in the sourcing and production of this one since it was their only selection of organic white wine in the store (at least on this day).

The description on the bottle was very promising and sounded perfect for my tastes. “This is a crisp and refreshing dry wine, full of ripe peach flavour and subtle almond notes.” The text went on to explain that the wine was produced by the Nardi family, third-generation winemakers that had been creating organic wines since 1981.

The trouble began right from the start. The wine had almost no nose (or smell) whatsoever. Desperate snuffling, almost to the point of snorting the liquid, drew out only a smell of alcohol, yeast, ferment, and sour coriander. The color was a bit odd as well, very light, almost green. It could romantically be described as pale green straw. It seemed to be a fairly full-bodied wine, strange for a Pinot Grigio and very different from the “crisp” description, with well developed legs and a thick coating on the glass.

Then I went for the first sip and…cough cough cough cough.

It was pretty horrible. My first impression was that it was watered down sherry of some sort, a very cheap sherry, perhaps a Spanish Manzanilla that went terribly wrong. I gave it another shot. This sip had some lemon notes and a bit of watery green or unripe peach flavors. The acidic, alcoholic onslaught was followed by a metallic aftertaste that lingered in my mouth.

I poured the rest of the glass on the salmon I was marinating for dinner and decided that the rest of the bottle would just have to be expensive cooking wine.