If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure you might be ready to jump out of your seat. On Saturday (8/8/09) I came across and article in the LA Times Business section, “Plastic bottles aim to remold wine industry”. This article has brought up recent memories for the cork versus screw top debate. Now, no one who knows me would consider me a wine “snob” but I do have my opinions on the subject… Plastic wine bottles are a short term solution!
Reading about these plastic wine bottles, I don't think wine collectors and wine cellar owners are going to budge from the traditional glass bottle. Plastic wine bottles will come with a “use by” date. The serious wine enthusiast and wineries that produce wine that is designed to be aged will have no use for plastic. Can you imagine a Vintage Port that could easily age 25 to 30 years in a plastic bottle?
So you really see this trend as a true change is the wine industry? No, I don’t. I see this as a way to get mass consumed product to the mass consumer. The plastic wine bottles are lighter making shipping costs less; they hold more, allowing for a few more glasses on a per bottle basis. This is a trend that can affect wines that are designed to drink right off the shelf. I just don’t see this as a major change in the industry.
High end wine stores, where the wine collector shops, probably will not carry wine in a plastic bottle. I’m positive you won’t find a Premier Cru available in a plastic bottle unless it’s done by Chateau de Plastique.
This article may surprise you and it may not. If you still have plans to build a beautiful wine cellar, don’t stop. Good wine in a bottle is still meant to keep at a constant 55-57 degree temperature with a relative humidity around 60%. Some traditions will never go away. Maybe another time we will discuss the screw top!