We may have just welcomed in a New Year but some things haven’t changed, so, for this Bristol Wine Blog, I’m returning to an old grievance of mine.
Some time ago, a friend mentioned that she’d noticed a number of wines in really heavy bottles and asked me whether I thought that was any guide to quality. Intrigued by the suggestion, I carried out some (not particularly scientific) research. The result? It was clear that some more expensive wines did come in a heavier bottle (although cost doesn’t always reflect quality nor whether the wine is to your personal taste, of course). But it wasn’t a reliable guide; although most very cheap wines use lighter bottles, which, no doubt, cost less to produce, I also found some high end producers doing the same in a laudable effort to be environmentally aware.
Sine then, apart from muttering about the waste of the earth’s resources when I found a particularly heavy bottle, I thought little more about the subject until I picked a wine out of our rack recently and almost dropped it due to the weight. Now, I expect sparkling wines to be in heavy bottles – they need to be made from thicker glass to contain the pressure of the bubbles – but this was a still wine and it had no such excuse. Once empty (one of the benefits of this sort of experiment!), I checked and found the bottle weighed in at a massive 971 grams – that’s just over 2lbs 2oz.
Although I wouldn’t normally do so, this time, I feel I must ‘name and shame’.
The wine was Avancia’s Godello from Galicia in north-west Spain; very enjoyable but I won’t be buying it again until they rethink their policy and ditch their ridiculous and wasteful bottle.
Incidentally, does anyone know where I can get some of those ‘heavy, take care’ warning stickers that you sometimes see on cases in airports? I think I ought to use one to alert the people who collect our bottles for recycling!