This was revealed in an online panel yesterday (Tuesday 15 November). The European Federation of Glass Packing Managers head of marketing and communications Michael Delle Selve, wine columnist Jamie Good and Casella Family Brands (Europe) managing director Simon Lawson put their heads together to discuss the question, ‘will wine and glass continue to stand the test of time?’
Good, the author of the book Wine Science, said glass was highly associated with wine, and its performance was hard to emulate.
Wine has a very low PH which makes it highly acidic, usually contains sulphites and is susceptible to oxidation.
Glass, therefore, is ideally suited as a container. It doesn’t react to the substance in any way, nor does it absorb any of the flavours like some other materials.
What you see is what you get
“Packaging affects perception,” said Good. “Packaging is part of the product”.
This was also the case in pubs and restaurants. The process of the waiter bringing over the wine, uncorking it then pouring it into the glass was all part of the ‘wine drinking’ experience. This has an impact on flavour, which is “strongly marked to the drinking occasion and packaging,” according to Good.
In many European countries, wine has a cultural history of being shared around a table with food. In this way, wine is viewed as an “object” that is part of drinking culture.
If the packaging of wine is changed, there’s a risk of stripping away its value or profitability. “It’s an everyday pleasure,” added Good, “but it’s a speciality. It’s wine”.
“There’s a real magic we absolutely need to protect”, said Lawson, talking about wine.
According to Lawson, 93% of on-trade sales were made in glass, proving customers favoured it.
He also believed consumers expected more from wine than from other beverages, adding, “you have a can of coke but a bottle of wine.”