Wine. Food. Reviews. Recipes. Lap it up.

Friday, August 03, 2007

More changes in store for wine packaging

As wine aficionados still struggle to come to terms with screwcap closures comes news that further changes to the old familiar wine bottle may be in store.

The Treasury Department is considering a new rule that would require alcohol content, serving sizes and nutritional information to be included on all alcoholic drink packaging. Don't expect to see any immediate changes — the department will gather comments on the proposed rule through Oct. 29, and if it decides that label changes are in order it would make the information labels mandatory three years after a final rule is published. (It will be interested to see how many servings a 750 ml bottle contains — six restaurant pours, five therapeutic five-ounce portions or, as the Roman Legionnaires intended, just one.)

In Great Britain, the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain is experimenting with selling wine in plastic bottles. The chain is offering a private-labeled Australian Rosé and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in a plastic package, which looks exactly the same as a glass bottle but is 12.5 percent lighter. The trial is one of the company's projects to be more energy efficient (and something for which soccer teams playing in England will be grateful, no doubt).

The wine is shipped in bulk and bottled in Britain. Sainsbury's says this means nearly twice the amount of wine can be transported per container, which reduces the environmental impact of transportation and, by extension, carbon emissions.
Reducing the weight of all glass wine bottles sold in Great Britain to the lightest available could reduce carbon emissions by around 90,000 tons annually, Sainsbury's says.
M. Zane Grey, 8:13 AM