Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Govino, Outdoor Wino, and BPA

We just re-ordered the Govino acrylic wine glasses after selling several four packs last week just before Memorial Day.  Last year this product was quite popular and I suspect it will be again this summer.  From their website,, I learned that this product, which looks like crystal, was originally intended for the trade especially for outdoor events but more and more wine events seemed appropriate for acrylic stemless wineware and the product became popular.  The rest is history, as they say.  A Govino Champagne flute has now been released.  It looks like the wine glass but, of course, narrower and taller.

Govino, like the Outdoor Wino reusable plastic wine bottles from Naked Winery of Oregon, is labelled "BPA-free".  BPA is bisphenol-A, created in 1891 Russia and initially used in the 1930's as an artificial estrogen in cattle, poultry, and briefly, in women!  BPA in plastics exerts weak but detectable hormone-like properties that have caused retailers and governments to restrict its usage in recent years.  While there are no labelling requirements for BPA in America, recycling codes with numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, or 6 inside the three arrow triangle on the bottom of containers indicate that they are BPA-free.

Specifically, what are the health threats?  A 2010 FDA report implies a developmental danger for fetuses, infants, and small children.  BPA used to be in baby bottles and food and drink can liners.  It is thought that BPA can affect the prostate, breasts, testes, and mammary glands.  A connection to the obesity epidemic is also possible.

Back to Govino for a minute.  Govino claims its product is as good or better than some glass stemware.  I will confirm that it is definitely better than Riedel when it comes to breakability.  Govino must be handwashed and any scorekeeping at my sink proves overwhelmingly one-sided.

This Friday we will be tasting three reds and three whites and most if not all will be from Wente of Livermore, California.  Please join us here from 5 to 7pm on Friday. 

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