30 Second Wine Advisor: Chateau Plastique? 30 Second Wine Advisor: Chateau Plastique?

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Pour Confidently With The California Wine Club!
The California Wine Club guarantees every wine featured because it does what other wine clubs do not.
The California Wine Club

Chateau Plastique?

Recently I wrote about the likelihood of growing market share for wine-in-the-box, as producers inspired by a desire to go "green" (and to save on shipping costs) begin putting better quality wine, if not ageworthy stuff, into the "bag in box" format that allows wine to be dispensed, one glass at a time, from an airtight bag that collapses within a cardboard box as it is consumed.

Last autumn, the subject du jour was wine in Tetra Pak, the flexible, soft-sided plastic-lined cardboard box that has long been used for fruit juice.

Now, reports The Los Angeles Times in today's editions, here comes the 1-liter plastic wine bottle, a packaging format similar to the familiar big bottles used for Coke and other soft drinks.

"Plastic bottles reshaping the wine trade: A growing number of restaurants and retailers are carrying the containers, which could lead to lower prices," read the headline on The Times' story by Jerry Hirsch, which lead with the provocative question, "How about a bottle of the '02 Chateau Plastique?"

Like the other alternative-packaging formats mentioned, industry experts quoted agreed that plastic bottles won't work well for fine wines intended for long-term cellaring. Those fearing that great Burgundy or high-end California Cabernet may start turning up in Coke-bottle format can probably rest easy.

But more than 95 percent of all the wine sold in the world is meant to be drunk up young and fresh. With a growing focus on environmental concerns and rising fuel costs, any reasonable alternative that can get wine to the customer with a smaller carbon footprint is likely to gain traction.

According to The Times' article, the plastic bottles are made with an additional plastic layer designed to keep oxygen from permeating the container and damaging the wine. But - not unlike the Coke bottles - it can't guarantee the airtight quality of glass. So the bottles, at least for now, will be printed with a "use by" date.

Think it couldn't happen? Bear in mind that it's been barely a decade since the idea of putting a metal screw cap on fine wine was such a wacky idea that it inspired "gee whiz" news reports ... like this one.

Want to read the full L.A. Times story? Click this link.


Wine Focus for August: Grill, smoke, BBQ and wine

The title says it all: This month in our WineLovers Discussion Groups, we're focusing on wines to go with food from the barbie, the smoker, the Weber, the grill. Feel free to discuss various American barbecue styles and sauces and their relative merits with wine as opposed to cold beer in longneck bottles or icy sweet tea.

I hope you'll join us in Wine Focus this month, posting online your tasting reports, comments and questions about your favorite beverages for grillin' and chillin'. You'll find Wine Focus in our WineLovers Discussion Groups at this link:
http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/village/viewforum.php?f=18
The discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system, using your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D".

Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly, you'll be able to participate in all our online wine, food and travel forums.


Today's Sponsor

California Wine Club

Pour Confidently With The California Wine Club!

The California Wine Club guarantees every wine featured because it does what other wine clubs do not:

* Guarantees that every wine comes from a smaller, real-working winery.
* Visits each winery, gets to know the family and shares their stories with you.
* Tastes thousands of wines before choosing the best.
* Promises that every wine you receive is one you will pour with confidence.

Experience The California Wine Club for yourself! Each month includes two bottles of award-winning wine and detailed 12-page publication, Uncorked. Just $34.95 per month and you may choose to receive wines monthly, every other month or quarterly. Visit www.cawineclub.com to become a member now, or call 1-800-777-4443.

The California Wine Club takes the guesswork out of picking wine and delivers the best wine, every time! Makes a fun and unique gift too!


Talk About Wine Online

If you have questions, comments or ideas to share about today's article or wine in general, you're always welcome to drop by our online WineLovers Discussion Group, the Internet's first and still the most civil online community. To find our forums, click:
http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/village

Discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system, using your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D". Anonymous, cryptic or first-name-only registrations are discarded without notice.

Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly, you'll be able to participate in all our online wine, food and travel forums.

To contact me by E-mail, write wine@wineloverspage.com. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.


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