Are Wine Snobs Right About Plastic?

As more and more wineries go green, they are increasingly turning to plastic (PET) to bottle their wine. Boisset, the second-largest producer of Beaujolais Nouveau is a recent convert. But many premium winemakers refuse to jump on the Carbon Neutrality bandwagon even though they are often the worst offenders when it comes to using big, heavy glass bottles that require lots of energy to make and transport.

Premium winemakers argue that plastic is inappropriate for their product because it is seen as cheap, not to mention that it can’t be used for long-term wine storage. A recent study supports their argument. A study commissioned by Australian plastic wine-bottle maker, Portavin revealed the green alternative to glass was only good for wines that are drunk within a maximum of 12 months after bottling, with some wines starting to oxidize as early as 8 months.

“Simply put air travels through plastic but not through glass,” according to Portavin’s Managing Director Ian Matthews. “PET is fine for wine you plan to use under 12 months, but not for wines that are designed to improve in the bottle. It’s highly unlikey plastic will ever take over from glass because the PET format doesn’t suit every style of wine.”

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