[insert keg joke]
Recently, overheard on the internet, on a wine board known for its knowledgeable and well connected wine geeks, there was a discussion on the price (some might argue overcharge, but my knowledge of restaurants is not deep enough to truly comment) of a single glass of wine in restaurant. No matter the outcome of this discussion, it seemed to me that, if nothing else, the system of opening a single bottle to pour glasses is as broken as this run-on sentence.
So i found it interesting that at the same time this discussion was going on, several articles came to my attention that would seem to be going in the direction of fixing the problem of small glass bottles with corks.
The first was brought to my attention by Wolfgang Weber over at
Spume who mentioned the wines of Natural Process Alliance from Kevin Kelley. These wines are made with mininum impact in mind. All natural, organic grapes, wild yeasts, and a distribution network that is within 100 miles of the winery. In addition, the NPA bottles are exclusively reusable metal canisters that are picked up and reused by the winery itself. This means that broken bottles, corked wine, and glass chips are all eliminated along with the attendant waste that comes with bottles. It’s an interesting concept, and hopefully more wineries that make ready to drink now wines will embrace a similiar mindset. The wines are (according to the NPA’s websiet) available at NOPA and Terroir in San Francisco, BARDESSONO in Napa Valley, Rosso in Santa Rosa, and HBG in Healdsburg. More info
The second article, from Eric Asimov at the NY Times, is about the trend of restaurants abandoning bottles in favor of kegs of wine for their glass service. While this might strike some people as crass or appealing to economics over tradition, but traditionally this is close to how most everyday wine was drank (well not a keg exactly, but some manner of large container). The appeal of this is obvious in that it reduces the cost (and right now this couldn’t be more important to the wine industry), impact, and problems with tainted bottles associated with wine.
It will be a long time (hopefully sooner rather than never) until we start seeing kegs in restaurants nationwide, or reusable wine bottles sold to consumers
but both of these efforts seem to be moving in the right direction, towards wine that is more accessible to the genral public due to price and less waste.