Why it’s time to delve into small bottles

I’ve been struck by something recently when walking around my local grocery store. The small bottle of wine is becoming more and more prevalent, no longer is it relegated to the low rung wines andlittle-penguin-mini-bottles.png airplane bars. Why is the small bottle important? Because it could represent a drastic but important change in the wine industry and with it a whole new group of buyers, not to mention increased sales figures for wineries.

The current traditional 750ml bottle size presents several related problems; mainly because it is a lot of wine for less than 3 people to consume. As a result it becomes relatively expensive for two people or less to drink. This is increased by the fact that you’re paying for wine you may not end up drinking if you don’t finish the bottle quickly enough after opening (depending on your stance on how long wine truly keeps). Switching to a smaller bottle would allow for more purchases by single people and it would bring the price point of good wine down to a more approachable level, bringing me to my next point…

As new people come to wine they don’t necessarily have the knowledge to always make the correct decision when it comes to a wine purchase. It becomes an unfortunate circumstance when someone spends a lot of money on a wine that is a wrong choice for their personal taste preferences (see www.tastevine.com). The small bottle allows for experimentation. Case in point, what is one of the most popular choices at a wine bar? The wine flights because people don’t trust their knowledge of wine to put all their money in one basket and people like variety. Its much more interesting to purchase a flight and experiment than it is to pick one bottle and drink it all night.

As an extension of that, the real advantage in wine sales with young people in America may come from the all-american six-pack model. Why aren’t wines being sold in small bottle flight-packs? You’d be dealing in a medium that young people know, keeping the price points low, and allowing new wine drinkers to experiment while mitigating the risk (and price) of picking a bad bottle. Sure there’d be increased costs of production but it is my belief that the resulting increase in sales would more than make up for it, not to mention the goodwill and brand loyalty you’d gain with young people. It may not be possible for the smallest of boutique wineries but for the mid-level to major level producers it seems like benefits of attempting it will far outweigh the costs. Have you seen an increase in small bottle prevalence where you live?

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