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Marketing,Wine

Is bigger better… or… Does the weight of a bottle have anything to do with the quality of the wine?

How do you feel about the weight of wine bottles these days?

I know of one wine writer who, when the bottles began to take on the “Big Boy” effect, had serious issues right away. It’s only been within the last 10 years that wine bottles have put on the extra pounds…

As part of the fattening of America, they’ve been super-sized.

Are you impressed?

Do you pick up a wine bottle from a shelf, and make a decision based on the complete packaging, including that the wine bottle, combined with the wine within it, now weighs five pounds?

When I first started working at Belvedere Winery, a case of wine was 36 pounds. (Each bottle filled with wine weighed three pounds, times 12 bottles in the case.) When we shipped the wine, we automatically put the weight down as 36 pounds. Some marketing department must have decided that it wanted its brand to take on a new and improved persona, I’m thinking. I would begin with the wine (hopefully), and end with the bottle… Now, a case of wine can weigh up to 50 pounds. That means that each bottle became 1.16666666666666 times heavier.

But I’m still back to what’s in the bottle, not the bottle itself, having the quality that I’d like to enjoy. I’d rather have the extra dollars it takes to make quality of the wine be the real consideration. Does it take a “complete package” to sell you, though, on the quality of the wine within?

How do you feel about this issue? I’d really like to hear your pros and cons.

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6 Responses to “Is bigger better… or… Does the weight of a bottle have anything to do with the quality of the wine?”

  1. Andy Perdue says:

    We joke all the time about the weight of bottles: “Ooh, this is a good wine because the bottle is heavy.”

    The thing is, I’ve witness this actually having an effect on consumers. Perhaps like the Hummer vs. the Prius. Size matters?

    The weight of bottles and depth of punts have gotten a bit ridiculous. I often laugh when Oregon wineries tout their green-ness and salmon-safeness, yet use these ridiculously heavy bottles.

    Then I cry as I try to lift the case boxes they’re in.

  2. Jill Weber says:

    The shape of the bottle matters to me, but the growing size and weight is getting silly; half the bottles no longer fit in standard racks!

  3. Ron Saikowski says:

    When I pick up a bottle that is heavier than the rest, I know that the winery is not eco-friendly, thinks we are dumb to fall for such a ploy, and usually retreat to another wine that is GREEN, does not insult my inteligence, and is a known quality wine.

    We should as an industry standardize bottles as to dimensions and shapes so we can recycle those bottles for use over and over and over. I know the bottle recycling facility in California uses laser technology for the 250+ different bottle types. When will our industry get its act together?

  4. Chris Miller says:

    Ron… There are too many people making too much money in the wine industry that is so fractured, it will take much long for the industry to get it’s act together.

    Heavy bottles suck, but they dupe the general wine consumer right now.

  5. Glugger says:

    There are no pros at all to heavy bottles, just cons. They are heavier to carry, they use up more resources to make and to transport. Put value in juice, not glass!! The name of the producer on the label should be enough to sell it.

  6. Jo Diaz says:

    I agree with all of you… Heavier bottles are a waste of natural resources. Consumers shouldn’t be duped, but many are…

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