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A Crushing Blow - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
A Crushing Blow
I just got back from Trader Joe's, where my beloved Gerolsteiner Sprudel remains out of stock. Seeing Darren, one of my favorite people who work there, I decided to inquire when it would be back in stock. Soon another employee came out of the back to inform me that the product is presently out of stock because the company is switching to plastic bottles. That's bad news from an environmental standpoint, since glass is greatly preferable. But, while I recognize this fact, my thoughts keep drifting in a more selfish direction.

First of all, carbonated beverages always taste better in glass than they do in plastic. They lose their crispness in the latter. The first ice-cold Schlug, right after you open the bottle, suffers a particularly depressing fate in a plastic bottle, for the water inside it invariably lacks tastes warmer and flatter. More than that, though, there's the feel of the glass Gerolsteiner bottle itself. To paraphrase Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady, "I've grown accustomed to its shape." The ritual of twisting the cap off, taking a drink, then twisting it back on has become as much a sine qua non of my teaching as the way I use the whiteboard. When it became my turn to pay today, the checker asked me the standard, "How are you doing today?" My reply, in my best imitation of Peter Finch: "I'm mad as hell!"

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16 comments or Leave a comment
cpratt From: cpratt Date: September 13th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's bad news from an environmental standpoint, since glass is greatly preferable.

If you were really concerned about damage done to the environment, you wouldn't be importing your drinking water from another continent, would you?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 13th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I suppose not, Chris. But I like it better. And if I'm going to be drinking it, I'd at least like it to not be in plastics. I guess the same goes for wine, right?
cpratt From: cpratt Date: September 13th, 2007 08:58 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Of course, Charlie! The only point I'm lamely trying to make is that worrying about the environmental difference between plastic and glass is overshadowed by the environmental damage done by shipping it over here from Germany in the first place.

Me, I had to give up on my Gerolsteiner and move to Perrier (I haven't seen Gerolsteiner in ages here, but Costco sells huge packs of Perrier for fifteen bucks or so.) And I'll still be drinking $5 Spanish sparkling wine instead of $12 Californian sparkling wine, environment be damned...
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 13th, 2007 09:34 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Well, yes. But if they're shipping it, I'm going to drink it. Unless, that is, it comes in plastic bottles. Shit, I was still in mourning for the Calistoga plastic bottles, not to mention Mendocino's pepper berry! If those California waters were available in glass, I'd drink them. I liked Gerolsteiner a little better than Calistoga when they were both in glass -- I'd had the former while living in Germany -- but the difference wasn't great. Perrier hasn't tasted that great to me since high school.
lunarcamel From: lunarcamel Date: September 13th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I am in mourning because the TJ's near here doesn't carry the kind of Mediterranean hummus to which I've become addicted. There are two other TJ's in town (both faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar) from my house, but I pray one of them will oblige me.

Also, the TJ's I frequent doesn't sell beer or wine. Goddamn east coast weird liquor laws.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 13th, 2007 09:30 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
There are two different distribution sites for TJ's. One is in Massachusetts. My parents in Maryland get their stuff from it. I fear that the hummus is one of the products they only carry in the West.
jstgerma From: jstgerma Date: September 14th, 2007 01:18 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's it! I'm revoking my application!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 14th, 2007 01:23 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
But there are hot babes there. Perhaps even Irish ones!
grandissimus From: grandissimus Date: September 14th, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
In those days of wine and roses when I had easy access to TJ's I sampled the many brands of Mineralwasser they carried, and my favorite was Blú (sp?), hands down. Gerolsteiner had a certain Teutonic heaviness to it, a peculiarly grim effervescence with a finish akin to licking a stone; while Blú, I found, savored lightly, had a certain noncommittal vivaciousness to it much like the Mediterranean folks who bottle it.

Of course, the saying goes, de gustibus non est disputandum; but these are my thoughts, for what they're worth.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 15th, 2007 02:30 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Licking stones is what I like doing best! It worked for Demosthenes.

Seriously, you're right that Blú is mellower, despite its dreadful name, as is San Pellegrino. But I crave that first blast of cold down my gullet, the one that feels almost like a shot of vodka. And Gerolsteiner in a glass bottle is the best for that in my book. It's more carbonated, too. Naturally.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 16th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
My girlfriend and I went to TJ's last week to buy another two cases of our favorite mineral water, Georlsteiner. To our shock after getting home, we too discovered the switch over to plastic bottles. At first I thought I bought some other drink with a Gerolsteiner brand name. But, after pulling out a bottle I exclaimed with astonishment, "They're plastic now!!." "Noooo", I thought in my head. "It's way better in a glass bottle. It tastes better in glass", I continued to think. "We don't want the bisphenol A from plastic", my girlfriend thought.

We immediatly called TJ's and verified that the Gerolsteiner folks, did indeed switch to plastic. We went back to the store and got our money back. The next few days we traveld around Los Angeles and swiped up the last seven cases, with glass bottles, we could find at various Whole Foods stores. Taking their last bit of stock.

I guess you could say we're a little obsessive, but it's nice to know that for a good while we'll be able to continue to enjoy our Gerolsteiner in a nice, wonderful, glass bottle.

cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 16th, 2007 05:54 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I just bought nineteen at Wild Oats. All I found, though.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 16th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Wait a sec. 19 Cases or bottles? Maybe your even more obsessives than us. :)

cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 16th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Just bottles. That's all they had.

From: (Anonymous) Date: September 23rd, 2007 12:24 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Gerolsteiner Mineral Water in plastid

My brother and I have been faithful Gerolsteiner drinkers for some time and we just ran into the same problem at Trader Joe's. It is now only to be available in plastic. After contacting Gerolsteiner directly it ends up that a variety of waters are available. If you will notice the old cases of water in glass that we were so happy with said sprudel on the case and the new plastic bottle cases do not. Sprudel is the true naturally occuring carbonated water that is brought up from deeper in the ground and can only be bottled in glass. The new plastic bottles now available come from a different level and are not as heavily carbonated as you can tell after opening just one. We also noticed that Trader Joe's also raised the price per bottle on the new plastic bottles.
I believe that someone has been taken in by a distributor or others, and have once again brought mediocre products to the U.S. in place of the premium products. I would urge all who feel strongly about this to contact Trader Joe's home office and Gerolsteiner in Germany ( you can contact them via email in english on their site) and protest this action. We also made a statement by returning the seven cases we purchased that were in plastic.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 23rd, 2007 01:24 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Gerolsteiner Mineral Water in plastid

Thanks so much for this helpful input! I'm going to write them ASAP.

Sprudel it must be!
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