More On Lighter Wine BottlesLighter bottles -- it's becoming my mantra. I made the decision to stop bottling in extra-heavy glass a year ago. Others have been picking up on the topic, and now it seems the request for lighter products is being addressed by the glass manufacturers. This morning I saw this article from the May issue of Wines & Vines: "How Light Can You Get?" by Suzane Gannon.
The article highlights how some of the major wine bottle producers (Saint Gobain, Saverglass, Demptos and Owens-Illinois) have recently released lower-weight, lower-cost products into the US market. Owens has been the low-weight leader, for the last nine years producing a 750mL bottle weighing just 298 grams (not sold in the US) -- Saint Gobain has matched this with their newly-released "Revolution" bottle. Compare this to the 850 gram "prestige" bottle I have switched away from, or the ones I have switched to, that weigh 485 and 535 grams.
Putting these weights in perspective, moving from the prestige glass has meant that I'm shipping cases that weigh 37 lb. each instead of a whopping 50 lb. A switch to the lightest available glass would save nearly another 5 lb. per case. This also brings up the reality of wine shipping: there is only so low one can go. Wine is mostly water and it isn't particularly light, at about 20 lb. per case. It is significant though that we have moved from the packaging weighing more than the product, to it being less than half of the shipping weight.
I have to see some of these ultra-light bottles in the flesh (as it were) before I consider using any of them -- they may be too butt-ugly for me to want to present my carefully hand-crafted babies in them. But it is exciting that manufacturers are moving in this direction.