Move Over Box Wine, Here's Something Even Trashier

Kim Conte

wine bottlesPackaging wine in plastic bottles is not a new concept: In fact, plastic bottles are sometimes preferred over glass because they're cheaper, lighter, and better for the environment. And, allegedly, plastic doesn't affect the taste of the wine.

What is new, however, is just how many wine producers are making the switch from glass to plastic: It's been reported that wine producers in New Zealand, the United States, and even France (France?!?) are using plastic bottles already or are preparing to do so in the near future.

In the frantic rush to switch from glass to plastic, no one is acknowledging the giant elephant in the wine cellar: Won't dinking wine from plastic totally ruin the experience?

Think about it: A plastic bottle just doesn't have the same weight as a traditional glass bottle. There's something really classy and ceremonial about popping out a cork from a glass bottle that's totally lost if you're simply twisting off a top or pouring from a plastic bottle. I'm as excited about plastic wine bottles as I am about helping myself to a glass from the spigot of a box of wine or drinking straight out of a paper bag. I just don't think I can get into it.

On the other hand, there are some things about plastic wine bottles that are tempting, namely, they're unbreakable and easier to transport if, say, you're backpacking or going on a picnic. And, you can't beat the green advantages: The bottles are 100 percent recyclable, as well as take less energy to produce and ship. Who I am to complain about being trashy if I'm needlessly contributing to it by being wasteful?

Now that I'm thinking about it, I suppose I could drink wine from a plastic bottle if there were certain criteria in place. For example, the wine couldn't be too expensive, and I would make an effort to drink it sooner rather than later (I'm still a little distrustful of this claim that plastic doesn't affect the taste of the wine). When it comes right down to it, I would make a sacrifice in class if it meant I were helping the environment just a little bit.

Does it make a difference to you if your wine comes from plastic or glass?


Image via Masatoshi/Flickr

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