Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

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Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Jenise » Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:16 pm

I just had the one-two experience of recorking the 2/3 of a bottle left from last night and separately, putting a 500 ml bottle of Duval champagne away. Other than some Huets, I believe this is the only 500 ml bottle I have.

It got me to thinking that 500 ml is a great size for two persons--when we don't finish a whole bottle, we don't leave half, we leave about a third. So a 500 would be just right for those occasions when we don't want a whole bottle but would also prefer not to leave any. I rarely buy 375's which seem more like a single serving.

Would more of you also buy 500's if that size were available?
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:50 pm

Tough question, Jenise. I'll answer a highly qualified yes: IF the industry did not charge a premium for the smaller format, then I might be more tempted to buy more higher-end wine. F'rinstance, if I could get a good Cote-Rotie from a good maker, I'd be more likely to spend $50 for a 500 than $75 for a 750. But I fear the "shrinking candy bar" effect and suspect that the 500 would end up commanding maybe $60 or $65. In that case, I'd just as soon go for the whole bottle rather than fear running short.

Mary and I normally do about as you said ... enjoy wine with dinner and maybe sip a little after if it's good, but leave about one-third of the bottle. But when the wine is good enough to pass the Thunderbird Test, then we'd probably have felt deprived when we hit the bottom of the bottle before we reached the end of our appetites.

On the whole, especially since the vast proportion of our drinking is $30 and under anyway, I think I'd just as soon buy a full bottle even if some of it gets poured out at the end of the evening. The saving at that level just wouldn't be enough for me to get worked up over.
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Bob Henrick » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:06 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Tough question, Jenise. I'll answer a highly qualified yes: IF the industry did not charge a premium for the smaller format, then I might be more tempted to buy more higher-end wine.


I am not so sure I would buy 500ml bottles at all, but I am mostly going on the fact that I have almost quit buying many sherries. I love the La Gitana, and it is now only sold (AFAIK) in the 500ml format. At least in my market it is. I haven't yet noticed any price reduction either. SO IMO the industry does charge a premium for the smaller format. Or it could be that our three tiered system is just taking a bigger cut all along the way. More $$ less wine, or so it seems.
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Isaac » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:13 pm

Hmm, maybe I drink too much!

My wife and I almost always finish a 750 at dinner. I can't see that we'd have any use for a 500. Probably, we'd then drink two 500s, and that really would be too much.
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Roy Hersh » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:24 pm

Jenise,

Interesting topic. I wrote an entire article on it for Robin's WLP.

So, do you EVER plan to come down to Seattle area? :D
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Tough question

Postby Bill Spencer » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:28 pm

Jenise wrote:Would more of you also buy 500's if that size were available?


%^)

My inclination is no ... like Robin and Bob, I believe the per ml cost would be more for a 500 ml bottle than a 750 ml bottle ... but let's say the per ml cost would be the same ...

My inclination is maybe (yeah - I know - THAT really helps) ... some nights Kathleen and I don't consume a whole bottle and what Kathleen may be planning for dinner the next evening may not match the leftover wine ... by the time more than 24 hours have passed since opening the bottle, it seems to start to "go off" if you know what I mean ... so there's an outside chance the leftover wine may end up being used for cooking as opposed to drinking - THAT'S expensive these days ... but for those nights that you either DO consume a whole bottle or want to continue sipping after dinner is over and you've retired to your easy chair to read or watch a little tele, a 500 ml bottle wouldn't "do the trick" so to speak ...

Like I said, "tough question" ... and not a really easy answer ...

Clink !

%^)
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Re: Tough question

Postby Bob Henrick » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:39 pm

Bill Spencer wrote:
Jenise wrote:Would more of you also buy 500's if that size were available?


%^)

My inclination is no ... like Robin and Bob, I believe the per ml cost would be more for a 500 ml bottle than a 750 ml bottle ... but let's say the per ml cost would be the same ...

My inclination is maybe (yeah - I know - THAT really helps) ... some nights Kathleen and I don't consume a whole bottle and what Kathleen may be planning for dinner the next evening may not match the leftover wine ... by the time more than 24 hours have passed since opening the bottle, it seems to start to "go off" if you know what I mean ... so there's an outside chance the leftover wine may end up being used for cooking as opposed to drinking - THAT'S expensive these days ... but for those nights that you either DO consume a whole bottle or want to continue sipping after dinner is over and you've retired to your easy chair to read or watch a little tele, a 500 ml bottle wouldn't "do the trick" so to speak ...

Like I said, "tough question" ... and not a really easy answer ...

Clink !

%^)


Bill, for a long long time I have been advocating that we freeze left over wine when we are pretty sure we won't get back to them in a short time. Stick a cork or a vacu vin rubber stopper in it, and chuck it in the freezer. Open it up to 6 months later and close youre eyes when you sip. It will be almost exactly like it was when you put the cork back in.
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Paul B. » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:41 pm

Without a doubt, yes. I'd even say yes to more 375s, but a 500 ml size would be perfect for me over two days.

A standard 750 ml bottle takes me about 3 days to finish on my own, and with my love of new experiences, a wine can wear thin by the third day. All that mind-numbing sameness, you know ...
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Charles Weiss » Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:41 pm

I think it's a very useful size, especially for weeknight dinners. And if there's a couple of guests or even 1, then I'd rather drink a 500 of 2 different wines.
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Cynthia Wenslow » Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:31 pm

I'm really not sure.... maybe. When I am drinking wine by myself (most weeknights) it might be a good idea. When having dinner with one or two others of The Usual Suspects, we definitely finish a 750. (At least one!)

I also recycle "leftover" wine into cooking wine after about day 2.
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Sam Platt » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:47 pm

We usually drink a bottle of wine over a few days. Part of the enjoyment for me is seeing how the wine changes over time. You could certianly make the case that it would make sense to bottle sparklers in the 500 ml format since they don't keep, but as for other varieties I can't say that I would be incline to purchase them in smaller bottles.
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Bill Hooper » Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:30 am

I love the 500ml. They seem to be much more prevalent in Europe, but I've had a few over here -most notably Livon Picolit and Domaine de Cabasse Seguret Rose. When in France, I like the pichet bistro option, and the 500ml is a perfect substitute. I think the idea has special merit in restaurants as well. 500ml is the perfect size for a quick dinner or lunch for two, and you don't have to worry about driving home afterwards.

Prost!
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Peter May » Fri Mar 31, 2006 7:59 am

50cl is just right for one person, and for two at lunch.

I found them common in Switzerland and most welcome at lunchtime after a morning walking in the mountains.
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby OW Holmes » Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:54 am

I probably would.
Last summer, while bumping around NOTL, we came across a small, new winery. Frogpond. We stopped only to take a picture of the sign for our grand-daughter, who loves frogs, but went inside for a taste. All his wines were in 500 ml bottles. I wanted to buy several, just because of the handy size, but unfortunately neither of us liked the wines. The owner said that he had been advised by someone to distinguish his wines in some manner. Too bad he didn't attempt to distinguish them based on quality. [/img]
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Paul B. » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:02 pm

OW, what wines did they have on offer? Were they thin-tasting vinifera reds by any chance? ;)
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby OW Holmes » Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:34 pm

I have a vague recollection that one of them might have been a Cab - Merlot blend, but I could well be confusing it with another stop. And I think a white, too, but don't remember which one. I think they only had a couple of wines.
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Frog Pond

Postby joshua albert » Thu Apr 06, 2006 7:55 pm

Paul B. wrote:OW, what wines did they have on offer? Were they thin-tasting vinifera reds by any chance? ;)


Paul,

When I visited, they were offering a Cab-Merlot blend, and a Riesling. I bought one of each.

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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Covert » Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:18 pm

Hi Jenise,

Thought I would respond to your 500 ml question to try out this new forum.

I would think the cost to manufacture a 500 ml bottle of wine would approximate that of a 750 ml. So, why not just keep opening 750 ml bottles? If there is some left, you can always cook with it. Life is complicated enough without adding to the complexity, unless there is a really good reason to do it.

On another topic, I will wait to get a feel of this forum format. You know that I didn't like the other one at all, feeling that it ruined the free-flowing artistic flavor of the earlier forum. Too techy. I never felt like posting anything on it, which of course was a boon to some members. I've undoubtedly got some pent up essays. :)



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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Paul B. » Sat Apr 08, 2006 1:35 pm

Covert wrote:You know that I didn't like the other one at all, feeling that it ruined the free-flowing artistic flavor of the earlier forum. Too techy. I never felt like posting anything on it, which of course was a boon to some members. I've undoubtedly got some pent up essays. :)


Well I for one, Covert, will be most eager to read those essays. Even when I don't agree with something you write, it still makes me think ... and that's the great thing about communities like this: original thought can flow and form interesting discussions, diversions and tangents.

And I think you put it well regarding the original forum - there certainly was free-flow of expression and originality there. The Netscape forum is overloaded visually - it kind of kills off the spirit. But this forum is much more amenable to the sort of ruminations that both of us like to produce from time to time.
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Re: Should more wine be bottled in 500 ml bottles?

Postby Robin Garr » Sat Apr 08, 2006 2:22 pm

Paul B. wrote:this forum is much more amenable to the sort of ruminations that both of us like to produce from time to time.


With the caveat that, since we've elected to keep all wine-related conversations in a single forum without the multiple "folders" we use on Netscape, I'm hoping for a lot of self-policing in terms of taking non-wine discussions (including ruminations on wines that never existed or that we've never tasted) to The Basement, so as to keep The Wine Forum clear for serious wine talk.
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