TreeHugger has been appalled by PET bottled minis before, sold to yobs at soccer games so that they can't bean the players with heavier bottles. One would think that someone like Francis Ford Coppola, with the brains to make classics like Apocalypse Now, who in his spare time makes decent wine, would think about the environmental implications of putting it in disposable cups. Each made with fossil fuels, each needs collection and transport, and each ends up either landfilled or recycled at significant cost in energy.
Portfolio says "A mere decade ago, most 187s, as minis are sometimes called, were ho-hum wines served on airlines. " TreeHugger thinks any reputable winemaker should return to that era- this is just making garbage.
Francis Ford Coppola Presents also created mini sparklers, with straws, that can go where many bottles can't. A slightly sweet blend of pinot blanc, sauvignon blanc, and muscat canelli, Sofia (named for Coppola's daughter) is reminiscent of Italy?s light and fruity prosecco. Coppola launched Sofia minis in South Beach and New York City during Fashion Week in 2004.
Wine in cans? In juice cartons with attached straws? Sold in foil-sealed glasses at a ball game?
Such practical packaging might sound like a gimmick to help sell inexpensive, unexceptional wine. But more and more respected winemakers, including Moët & Chandon and Francis Ford Coppola, have been breaking from tradition and putting their products in unconventional containers. The logic is simple: More options will attract more consumers.
By downsizing—offering wine in smaller portions that can be easily served at events or popped open without having to worry that the rest of the bottle will go to waste—winemakers are reaching a new segment of the market. According to consumer-research firm AC Nielsen, sales of single-serving minis—187 milliliters, or 6.3 ounces, a little larger than small juice cans—have been increasing faster than those for the overall wine market, up 10.3 percent for the year ending May 5, compared with 6.2 percent for all table wines. Although minis today make up less than 2 percent of wine sales, growth is expected to continue to exceed that of the general wine market.
Behind the success of mini-bottles: "The big bubble of young consumers is coming to wine in great quantities," says Eileen Fredrikson, partner at Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates, a wine-industry consulting firm in Woodside, California.