Ready for Wine in Plastic Bottles?

Ready for Wine in Plastic Bottles?

Food & Drink

Ready for Wine in Plastic Bottles?

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By Cari Martens

Wine has been enjoyed for centuries, and for most of that time, it’s been packaged in glass bottles and capped off with a cork.

Then came wine sold in boxes. Then rubber corks started to replace the corks made of…cork—and more recently, screw caps have begun to replace corks altogether.

Winemaker Peter Yealands. (Photo: Jim Tannock)

Now, it seems the glass bottle may be on the way out. Get ready for wine in plastic bottles.

At least that’s the way New Zealand winemaker Peter Yealands sees it. His latest sauvignon blanc has just arrived, bottled in lighter weight plastic. It’s the future, he says.

Speaking with Anna Wallis of the Marlborough Express, Yealands cites the example of Coca-Cola going from glass to plastic a few years back. It didn’t hurt Coke’s sales, he notes. He thinks ‘younger generations will get into it.’

Yealands admits he isn’t the first to put wine in plastic bottles. Wolf Blass in Australia has gone to it, and British supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury are selling wine in plastic bottles. He also opines that plastic is not suitable for red wines. ‘It only works with a crisp, fresh sauvignon,’ he says.

The change to plastic is part of the winery’s environmental efforts. Plastic requires 19 percent less energy to manufacture. The initial run of 5000 bottles will be sold in Yealands Estate’s Full Circle brand.

So is plastic the way of the future for wines? Who knows? I do know it makes me think of that famous line from ‘The Graduate,’ when the man tells Benjamin he has just one word for him…just one word: ‘plastics.’ That guy knew what he was talking about.

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