Fog Mountain Makes First California Wine Sold in PET Bottles

Friends Toasting Wine Glasses at Picnic Photo

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And you thought drinking wine out of a box was a social faux pas. Now you can buy wine in cardboard boxes, glass bottles, glass jugs, aluminum cans and shocker of all shockers Fog Mountain lets you buy wine in 1-Liter PET Plastic Bottles. When you think wine, you probably see images of that smooth, glass bottle, the perfect pop of the cork leaving the rim, the punt at the bottom so you can pour it properly. So, does it take away from the wine experience now that wine makers are increasingly going to screw-top lids and now even PET bottles?

Fog Mountain Bottle PET Boisset Family Estates Photo
Fog Mountain wine comes in a merlot and is described as having hints of raspberry jam and "dark cherry, dusty chocolate, and blackberry flavors finish soft with ripe plum notes." I sampled their merlot recently and first off, it was really strange to pick up the "wine bottle" and have it squeeze in like a 2-liter coke bottle instead of the strong smooth sides of a glass bottle. As for flavor, while it has "loose legs" and a light color, it has a really sharp, bitey flavor. Probably best for someone who is interested in a drier, more acidic tasting wine. As someone who enjoys lighter, fruitier wine, this was not my favorite. For those who enjoy it, the 1-liter bottle gives you two more glasses of wine than the typical 750-ml bottle.

Fog Mountain is owned by Boisset Family Estates and is located in California and has several locations in France. They sell both organic and biodynamic wines and are interested in making the production of the wine, as well as the grapes themselves as sustainable as possible. Like many wineries, they have installed solar panels at the winery and have worked to reduce water consumption. In addition, this is not the first "alternative" packaging that Boisset has used on its wines. Their repertoire also includes TetraPaks for their French Rabbit wines, a 750ml PET bottle for their Yellow Jersey and Louis Bernard's Bonus Passus, and Mommesin in 750ml aluminum cans.

But did we gain anything? If moving away from corks (which can be recycled) to screw-tops which cannot, and moving from glass to plastic (both of which can be recycled, but glass can be recycled indefinitely) did we really gain anything? While yes the PET can be recycled into clothing, park benches, toothbrushes and other materials, what is the end of life for these items? Are we really gaining by making more tshirts or would it be better to use glass and turn those glass bottles into more glass bottles? The PET bottles are shatterproof and lighterweight, which is better for shipping and transport, but is that enough savings to outweigh the fact that many bottles never get recycled and that we're putting more plastic into the environment with these? According to Boisset, the PET bottles have a 50% smaller carbon footprint than a traditional bottle throughout its lifecycle from transport to use to recycling.

Marriott already plan to add it to their menu this June when the wine hits the market. You can also find them online at Boisset Family Estates.

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