Reusable Wine Bottles: An Idea whose Time has Come

barrelHere’s an excerpt from a very interesting article by Sean Sullivan, printed recently in the Washington Wine Report. “The Great Recession has left many in the wine business looking for new ways to provide high quality wine at more affordable prices. One approach, which I wrote about recently, is keg wine.” (I also wrote an article about keg wine article for “Another, which has recently started in Seattle, is the use of refillable wine bottles.”

“Paul Beveridge of Seattle’s Wilridge Winery started offering reusable bottles several months ago. Beveridge says that the inspiration was both to be as green as possible and to provide high quality wine at “recession buster” pricing.”

“The reusable bottles reduce environmental impact by eliminating cork (the bottles have reusable stoppers), capsules, paper labels, and the waste associated with recycling glass. “It takes five percent of the energy to clean and refill a bottle as it does to recycle a bottle,” Beveridge explains. Additionally, unlike boxed wine, it comes in a package consumers are already familiar with and that is fully reusable.

I’d say this is an idea whose time has come, if only it hadn’t been around for eons already. We may not have seen it in the U.S of A., but in Europe, reusable bottles have been a way of life as long as they’ve been making wine (and that’s a long time).

I know this because I’ve listened to countless friends tell me stories about their fabulous trips to Old World countries such as Italy. One of their favorite things is always the daily trip to the local wine merchant, usually housed in some centuries-old stone building and manned by a crusty but charming old gentleman. They bring in their jug or crock and refill it with local wine from a spigot attached to a crusty old barrel. The wine is always dirt cheap and tastes like heaven in a glass. Of course, it helps that it’s served with a fabulous but rustic dinner prepared by a venerable matron who looks like Sophia Loren and cooks like Lydia Bastianich…

Do I sound catty?  Or perhaps peevish? I’m just really jealous that I haven’t been able (so far) to enjoy one of these fabulous trips, too.

But all that aside, I think refillable wine bottles are a great idea. Three cheers to Paul Beveridge and Wilridge Winery, and let’s hope other savvy vintners follow their lead.


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