Heavy bottles

Your impression of wine involves many things, some valid, some irrational.

Price is important. Peel off a Benjamin and there is no way you are going to sip, decide stuff is sheep-butt-scented swill, and pour remainder down the drain so as not to further offend nose and palate.

You are going to find something to like about that $100 bottle of wine.

Screw cap vs. cork debate turns in part on perception that screw caps are what bums twist off under highway bridges and corks are what erudite oenophiles pull at sophisticated soirees.

Boxed wine? Please.

Massively heavy glass bottles are part of packaging psychology, even though bottle weight has nothing to do with quality. And heavy bottles have real downside: they add to cost when we buy and when we throw away.

When such bottles come from machismo makers in Spain, Italy, and Argentina you figure manhood insecurities. Pity is more appropriate than scorn.

But several Oregon pinot noir makers also weigh in with massive bottles, which puts cognitive dissonance in play. Oregon wineries love to boast of biodynamic, salmon-safe, pesticide-free, environmental purity. After all that green effort, they fill super-heavy, deeply punted bottles that weigh twice as much as needed and will defy decomposition until our sun supernovas. Huh?

Consider costs of bottle bulk: excessive raw material, extra fuel needed to transport to wine store and then to landfill or recycling center after you herniated yourself pouring from it.

Spend money on wine, not big chunks of glass.

Recommendations (all sensible bottles):

  • Perrin & Fils Côtes du Rhône Villages 2009. Delicious, smooth syrah-grenache value winner. Plum, black cherry, violets; silky finish. $14
  • Villa San-Juliette Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. Delicious, intense, dark, smooth; blackerry, cherry, chocolate; velvet tannin; excellent value; winery owners are producers of “American Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” and “America’s Got Talent.” $18
  • Kaisergarten Beerenauslese Neusiedlersee Seewinkler Impressionen 2002. Medium sweet; honey galore; subtle, delicious. Austria. 375 mL $24