In search of a good bottle
June 28th, 2007 | Uncategorized
You may find this difficult to believe but we have an ongoing struggle to buy the exact bottle that we really want for our wines, there always seems to be a problem….
Obviously the first consideration that we make is what is best for our wine – we opt for a dark colour to give the wine some protection against ultraviolet light, which over time will cause damage. We have been asked on occasions if we can produce our wine in a clear (white) bottle, but there are a couple of good reasons why we don’t. Firstly, there is the light problem mentioned above, then there is the aesthetic appearance – Albariño can either look bland and anaemic, or in some vintages, because of it’s golden hue, a little maderised and ‘over the hill’. And then finally, clear glass is simply more expensive as it is very difficult to make out of re-cycled glass (most re-cycled glass is coloured because of impurities).
The second criteria when chosing a bottle is that of appearance – it is of paramount importance to have a good presentation befitting the quality of your product. Today there is an overwhelming selection of shapes and colours to chose from, but for numerous reasons we have opted to follow the classic route, chosing a ‘prestige’ Bordeaux shape. In Rias Baixas the bottle traditionally used was the old Rhine shape, but unfortunately this was not always the most practical for storing in a wine cooling cabinet. Some people also consider this to be a little old fashioned.
So, having selected the shape, we then have to select the shade that we want. Our preference would be a very dark green (4th from the left in the photo above). However, actually obtaining a quality bottle of this colour in our part of Spain has proven to be a real nightmare.
We have surfed the catalogues of Spanish, Portuguese and even French producers, but finding the right quality at a reasonable price has proved to be almost impossible. In Portugal we did actually locate a supplier who produced what appeared to be the perfect bottle, so naturally we rushed to place our order. On first sight they looked perfect, but then we tried to bottle with them….. I should tell you at this point that in bottle production temperature is a critical factor, and if they are not cooled correctly, or to quickly, then this makes the glass very brittle, no matter what the weight of the bottle. And yes, you’ve guessed it…. a great looking bottle, but one which had a tendency to explode on our bottling line. (Broken glass on your bottling line is one of your biggest nightmares for obvious reasons).
So, I apologise unreservedly to all our customers who live with the subtle changes in the colour of our bottle as we search (so far in vain) for the perfect supplier. If anyone reading this blog can recommend a good bottle producer – preferably in Spain – then we would be delighted to hear from you.