Glass, Tetra, screwtop and Plastic Wine Bottles whats the Dif?

We can all see that wine is changing.
Screwtops, plastic bottles & Tetra Packs

In the past it was just peachy that wine bottles were made of glass and it was closed with cork. However, the recent boom of North America wine consumtion has affected the future of wine production.

This increase in wine drinkers has changed the entire world wide wine industry. Ultimately it has changed the way the wine bottle is produced, sold and ultimately disposed of.

Wine, the way we know, it has always been glass and cork. However, there are few new discoveries. Cork is being replaced by screwtops and glass bottles by other materials. We are finding alternatives that are better for wine, better for the planet and overall less expensive.

Cork VS Screw top

Half the reason humidity is so important in wine storage is so the cork doesn't mold, or become immersed in flexible temperatures. Alternatively, we have designed the screwtop seal. It doesn't really decompose when temperatures fluctuate, and in fact it keeps your wine closed air tight like when you buy an airtight sealer (not the pump kind of sealer that takes the air out). Rather it stops more air from getting inside the bottle. Screw tops first started on cheaper bottles of wines, because that is exactly what it symbolized, however, more and more mid priced wines, that are really great are moving to screw top seals.

Is it convenient? Yes, it sure is.
Is it as romantic? No, it really isn't.

Glass VS alternative packaging

Tetra packs
In 2005, the LCBO challenged winegrowers to create alternative packaging, thecompany lead the way by introducing French Rabbit in a Tetra Pak container (See here).

When it comes to glass we have seen in the past few months some alternative forms of packaging. For instance we have seen tetra packs (juice boxes for those us here who are really new to alternative packaging). According to the LCBO tetra packs have 90% let packaging over glass bottled wine, therefore allowing for more efficient transportation, and a lower price point for the consumer - you! With French Rabbit and other tetra packs on the market, only 4% of what you're bringing home is packaging. however, when you buy a glass wine bottle about 40% is packaging.

side note - 50¢ from the sale of each French Rabbit Tetra Pak container will go to the LCBO's Natural Heritage Fund, which will be used to create habitat for wildlife throughout Ontario!

Plastic Bottles

We have also just recently (May 2007) seen the introduction of plastic bottles to the market. Yellow Jersey, a French based wine as branded itself as a grab and go product.

The Globe and Mail called it..

"...the most radical wine-packaging initiative since amphorae supplanted goat bladders around 1500 BC." (for the article click here)

I tried the Chardonnay last week and it was really good and great value. It is in a plastic bottle and has a screwtop. Therefore you can recycle the plastic bottle, it isn't as heavy as glass and was super convenient to open without searching for a corkscrew. Would I recommend them? Yes, I would. Firstly, it is a great wine. Secondly, it makes for great conversation. Also, you can take it back to the beer store like a regular glass bottle for a refund, and 12 plastic bottles weigh a whole lot less than 12 glass bottles (trust me, I know from experience!)

Mr. Jean-Charles Boisset, President of BoissetVins & Spiritueux (Producer of Yellow Jersey) said in a recent press release...

"This philosophy of innovation applies to everything we do, from winemaking to packaging. With Yellow Jersey, we have one goal: to offerwines of unsurpassed quality, in a convenient environmentally friendlypackage, that consumer will truly enjoy."
How do you feel about alterative wine packaging?
Are you a fan or not a fan?
Do you like that wine is becoming more "green" in nature?

Stay tuned for next month for a continued look at alternative packaging as I intend to explore it more in depth and have some more info for you!