Recycle wine bottles

Wine bottles are a major source of domestic glass trash, why don’t we recycle them?

First, some municipalities do recycle glass, and some wine bottles are made with recycled glass. E.&J. Gallo—the world’s largest family-owned wine operation—has operated a glass recycling program since 1958. Gallo Glass is the largest consumer of recycled glass in California, purchasing more than 30 percent of all the glass recycled in the state. More than 50 percent of Gallo wine bottles are made with recycled glass.

The recycling process involves grinding glass into “cullet”, which is then sold to glass manufacturers. Manufacturers prefer to use recycled glass because it takes less energy to melt and generates far fewer emissions. So what’s the problem?

There are several. Wine bottles often are dyed green or brown, even blue and other colors, and must be sorted either by the consumer—which can be problematic—or the recycling facility, which adds expense.

Additionally, glass is heavy, making it cost-prohibitive to transport to distant recycling facilities. For large communities, with plenty of glass and located near a glass recycling plant, recycling make sense. For smaller communities away from recycling plants, the economics just don’t work.

In an ideal world, all your empty wine bottles would come back to you later as a new wine bottle. I hate to break the glass truth to you. We don’t live in an ideal world.

Tasting notes:

• Edna Valley Vineyard Central Coast Chardonnay 2015: Delicious easy drinker that should pleasure many palates; Gallo product. $12-14 Link to my review

• Herdade do Esporão Trincadeira T 2015: Great value and seriously enjoyable wine for the serious wine drinker. $12-16 Link to my review

• Niro Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2015: Affordable example of one of Italy’s great wine varietals made by one of the giants in Abruzzi region of east-central Italy. $14-16 Link to my review

• Domaines Paul Mas Château Paul Mas Belluguette Blanc 2016: Delicious white blend with softness and flavors that will appeal across wide range of wine lovers. $15-20 Link to my review

• MacMurray Estate Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2014: Silky and delicious with impressive complexity; Gallo product. $23-28 Link to my review

• Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014: Enormous value, holds its own with Napa cabs twice-plus the price; Gallo product. $28-38 Link to my review

• J Vineyards & Winery Cuvée 20 Brut NV: Exceptionally smooth and delicious pour by a winery noted for its sparklings; Gallo product. $38 Link to my review

Last round: Wine improves with age. The older I get, the more I like it.