Monday, May 22, 2006

Getting High On Low Gas Prices

This was downtown Walla Walla in the late 40's. Gas was around .25 cents a gallon. Now gas prices in the valley are over $3.00 a gallon!

In the mean time, I will stick to my old adage - - instead of bitching, do something. So, instead of me griping about the price of gas, I think I have found a solution.

Australia wine grower, Angelo Puglisi has found a solution to the world's gas problems. Puglisi says that leaded or unleaded petrol could be laced with ethanol produced from excess Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. Puglisi, winemaker at Ballandean Estate in Queensland, says, a worldwide glut of wine is forcing prices down and Australian grape growers need alternative markets. Growers could follow the lead of French and Italian winemakers who have found markets for substandard wines in the fuel industry.

In France, the worldwide wine glut forced winemakers to make 100 million litres of wine into ethanol last year for selling to oil refineries to mix into fuel. Mr Puglisi says he would be willing for a distillery to be built on part of his land at Ballandean. He claims a distillery could be productive all year, processing wine into ethanol for use in brandy, muscat, ports and sherries as well as for production of ethanol for fuel. While ethanol is easy to make and relatively cheap, it gets expensive because of the excise duty when it is used for a spirit.

So, my solution to high gas prices? California keeps making that awful "White Zin" in a box and their reason for making "White Zinfandel" in the first place was because of a glut of Zinfandel in California. Let's turn all of the White Zinfandel into fuel! That goes for any wine that Fred Franzia is making (Two Buck Chuck). No longer will we be served White Zin in a box at bunco and bridge games or we can refuse to drink it by explaining that we are doing our part for America by sending it to wine/oil refineries. Chardonnay in your Chevrolet?

Fill 'er up with Cabernet, please (my wine glass, not the gas tank).