Saturday, November 1, 2008

4th and 20: PUNT?

No, I'm not talking about Football; I'm actually talking about WINE (yum!) (though CONGRATS to the Sprayberry Yellowjackets as they pulled off a sub-regional championship Friday night; seeking the 1st regional championship in 26 years).

What is a punt? Pick up a nice bottle of wine and you will most likely find an indentation on the bottom of the bottle (a nice place to stick your thumb to show off a cool new way to pour!). What does it do? It's mainly there to allow sediment to fall and collect on the bottom. Many wine companies are choosing to eliminate the punt to make their bottle LIGHTER. What does that do? A lighter bottle means a lighter case; lighter cases = cheaper/economical shipping! Way to go green! To give you an example, the bottles in use at Fetzer vineyards (yep, big white zin producer) are on average 14% lighter, weighing in at 15.3 ounces when empty. With 23 million bottles shipped per year, that is about 2,200 TONS of glass saved. So less glass, less gas, more vino for you and me!

I've talked about Beaujolais Nouveau before (which is released annually the 3rd Thursday in November) but this year you may find different packaging; PET bottles! No, that's not something for Spike and Lillie (our dogs)--PET stands a type of plastic. Why BeauJo in plastic? It's actually a perfect use for the wine as the wine should be consumed 'immediately' (ideally before January--again avoid dusty bottles found after the new year). If the wine is expected to age, the vineyards will most likely continue to use punts, but in the case of young/fresh wines, expect to see flat bottomed bottles! We'll chat about BeauJo in a few weeks, stay tuned! We'll see how consumers adapt to plastic wine bottles--even though it's not truly green, I am 'old school' I guess--Cokes still taste better in the 8 ounce bottle to me ; ) Cheers!