Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
According to the data research agency’s recent UK Packaging Report, wine consumers may still prefer traditional 75cl glass bottles but are also open to buying wine in bag-in-box, Tetra Pak and plastic (PET) bottles.
The report suggests that more than half of consumers occasionally buy bag-in-box, 20% of buyers choose PET regularly and 13% of those polled have opted for Tetra Pak “at some point”.
Though three-quarters of those involved in the research said they buy wine regularly in glass bottles.
Wine Intelligence said consumers based decisions on a wide range of factors - including value for money, portability and environmental credentials - but the occasion and product image remain the most important factors.
Wine Intelligence’s associate director of publishing, Graham Holter, said: “The wine industry would have us believe that alternative packaging options have no detrimental effect on the wine they contain – indeed, they may even do a better job, in some circumstances, than glass.
“Producers can quote any amount of scientific or organoleptic data to back up their arguments. But this is not a debate that will be played out in any laboratory. It’s one that’s happening around the UK, in the grocery aisles and across dining tables."
"The UK bottle culture is not going to be smashed overnight, but a two-way dialogue between producer and end user could yet lead to a small, but significant shift in the way wine is packaged.”
The UK Packaging Report is available from the Wine Intelligence Reports Shop, priced at £500, €640, AUD 800, $800 or 1 Report Credit.