Winebits 637: Plastic wine bottles, Coronavirus wine humor, Utah liquor laws

plastic wine bottles

Yes, plastic wine bottles exist.

This week’s wine news: Is the plastic PET bottle the future of wine? Plus, Coronavirus wine humor and Utah may let residents bring wine into the state legally

Is plastic the future? One analyst, noting that most wine produced today is made in bulk and to drink immediately, says recycled PET is “a realistic alternative” to glass bottles. Emilie Steckenborn, writing for the Beverage Daily website, says the plastic bottles are much better than the traditional glass bottle – lighter, more cost effective to ship and store, and infinitely more environmentally friendly. In this, the piece is surprisingly frank about the inefficiencies of the traditional bottle, and she sounds more like a certain curmudgeon than a member of the Winestream Media.

Coronavirus wine? Let me apologize for this item first, but I couldn’t resist: A Dallas wine shop says it has “Coronavirus vaccine sold here: bubbly, white, red available.” As the article notes, it’s a refreshing change from the toilet paper hording stories that are dominating the news and even – dare we say – a reason to smile? Also, please note the difference between this and the hucksters and scam artists flooding the market with fake cures and testing kits.

Finally, Utah? Regular visitors here know the WC enjoys poking fun at Utah, whose liquor laws are some of the most restrictive – and silliest – in the country. Well, there may be one less reason to poke fun: the state is about to let the state’s residents join wine clubs and bring wine in from another state without committing a crime. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the bill just needs the governor’s signature. Fortunately, the new law is very Utah – no home delivery for wine club members, who would have to pick the wine up at a liquor store and pay the state’s 88 percent markup in addition to the cost of the wine.

6 thoughts on “Winebits 637: Plastic wine bottles, Coronavirus wine humor, Utah liquor laws

  • By Mike Dunne - Reply

    I have a hunch that wine enthusiasts would warm much faster to a lighter, reusable glass bottle than they would to recyclable plastic.

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      That’s the theoretical objection to PET, that consumers have no use for it. But so little have been tried, no one quite knows for sure.

  • By MrDoug - Reply

    Thought the issue with PTE bottles is the amount of O2 leakage they allow. I guess if you put an expiration date like you do on canned goods on them it could work. It may have an advantage of lowering costs as well (shipping, packaging, transportation etc.) so MORE cheep wine!

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      The post does discuss the oxygen problem but that’s not a big deal if you’re not cellaring the wine.And since almost all wine isn’t cellared, PET should work.

  • By Michael Scott - Reply

    Agreed! Wine is made (by and large) to be consumed, not archived.

    Not being an “officianado”, I don’t have the stats on what gallonage is drunk vs cellared, but I would imagine the percentage that goes into long-term (i.e. more than a year) storage is, at most, in the 1-5% range.


    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      The usual number is 90 percent of the wine made in the world is consumed within a week of purchase. So, no, there is very, very little cellaring that goes on.

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