Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bottle Shock...!

Are you ready for the next evolution in wine bottles? Way back when....... wine was bottled in leather or pottery. Although" bottled " would not have been the term of the day.I could handle pottery, but leather? Come to think of it, I drank a few bottles at college football games out of my Spanish leather Bota bag. But of course the modern version has a plastic lining. It must have been a stunning advancement to serve wine from the first glass bottles. That would have been an easy sell when they were introduced around 1600 AD.

Now we are into the next generation of bottling wine. Plastic that is. The problem with PET( polyethylene terephthalate) as with all plastic, is to keep oxygen out of the bottle. And we all know what O2 does to your wine. Constar, a US company, has developed a product that can be added to PET to effectively bind oxygen and thus solving that problem. Light in weight and virtually indestructible, plastic bottles do have some advantages. I was just getting used to screwcaps but my wine in plastic? Wolf Blass with their yellow label, pictured here, apparently has no problem. But hold on, if weight reduction to lower shipping costs and save energy is the issue then how about this approach? Lightweight bottles, weighing in at 300g instead of the 500g for a standard wine bottle is now used in Britain. "Constellation Brands will assess the feasibility of bottling more wine in the UK using lightweight bottles" Wouldn't you know it? Assess the feasibilty? Constellation is the number one producer and marketer of wine in the world and cutting costs is part of their succes. So you wonder if the environmental issue is just a good way to increase profits. Just how much of this cost saving will be passed on to us, the consumer? I'll just keep pulling corks out of one of my cellared, bottled in real glass, wine for now.

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