Wine gross sales and consumption have increased significantly in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, and whereas many of the wines flying off the cabinets are nonetheless packaged in the usual 750-milliliter format, alternate options are on the rise. When you consider it, it makes good sense. Say you wish to devour just one glass of wine and you reside alone, or don’t share the wine preferences of others in your family. It may possibly really feel like a waste to open a whole bottle, and what are you alleged to do with the remaining 4 glasses? For those who don’t have a preservation machine, the wine might spoil, rendering it undrinkable. (It’s particularly laborious for glowing wines to retain their freshness and vitality over a couple of days, even with one of the best stoppers.) And what when you prefer to strive a number of wines in the course of the week, relatively than ingesting the identical one each evening?
Shoppers have been more and more involved with well being and alcohol consumption throughout latest years (see: Dry January), and it’s one of many many causes laborious seltzer, with its decrease ABV and single-serve packaging, has throttled the wine trade. Small-format bottles — whether or not you name them splits, half-bottles, demis, or piccolos — provide an incredible different, as a result of you may benefit from the wine moderately with out sacrificing high quality or placing your self ready of getting to finally drink or eliminate a whole full-size bottle. As Silicon Valley Financial institution’s 2020 Wine Report states, “[T]he 375-milliliter format has so much going for it with youthful shoppers who’re consuming much less alcohol.”
Small-format bottles additionally provide alternatives for studying and exploration, as a result of they price lower than their 750-milliliter counterparts. (Simply needless to say in contrast to larger-format bottles, they don’t seem to be meant to be aged.)
So, why aren’t extra wineries producing half-bottles? “Small-format bottles go out and in of [fashion],” says Marcus Marquez, common supervisor and co-creator of Brasswood Estate vineyard within the Napa Valley. “It’s a tough promote available in the market.” Throughout the previous yr, nevertheless, Brasswood has turned to small bottles for digital tastings. “Folks want smaller parts in a tasting, relatively than opening up 4 [standard-size] bottles at time,” Marquez explains. “We noticed a rise in digital tastings as soon as we began providing half-bottles. As a result of reputation of the half-bottle tastings, we determined to bottle extra choices in 2021.”
Sure, canned wine is on the rise, however the format isn’t superb for each class. Within the occasion of glowing wines, shoppers typically affiliate the “pop” of a cork being eliminated with high quality and standing — and you’ll’t get that from a pop high. Champagne gross sales are presently down as a result of Covid 19, however might an embrace of small-format bottles be a attainable answer?
Blaine Ashley, founding father of New York Champagne Week & The FIZZ is Female, is a large proponent of small bottles. “Vive la small codecs! Since doing 43 digital Zoom tasting occasions for New York Champagne Week and The FIZZ is Feminine since April 2020, 375-milliliter bottles have been a super possibility for sustaining well being and steadiness whereas nonetheless delighting in a wide selection of glowing wines,” she says. “Within the trade, opening a full bottle on any given day is a no brainer, however most individuals don’t wish to open up a full bottle or three on a mean Tuesday. Thus, smaller codecs present an ideal different. One other plus is that [half-bottles] are extra price range pleasant, permitting you to take pleasure in reasonably priced luxuries a la Zoom wine tastings whereas preserving extra pennies in your pocket.”
And, after all, the identical applies to nonetheless wines.
Seven small-format bottles to strive:
It is a scrumptious and chic Champagne, good as a part of a meal. It has aromas of rose petal and citrus akin to orange zest, with flavors of ripe raspberry and pomegranate. Worth: $35
Right here’s a small format from a high producer — nice by itself in order for you a crisp Champagne. The wine has aromas of faint citrus, white flowers, and brioche dough, with flavors of peach and freshly toasted bread. Worth: $20
This wine offers simply sufficient salinity so as to add a kick to seafood dishes. Worth: $23
Packaged in a 187-milliliter dimension that’s good for a single glass, right here’s a frizzante rosé with lemon and citrus notes, and touches of strawberry. Worth: $6
Black cherry and baking spices give this wine an fragrant nostril that enhances a silky palate. Worth: $15
A sublime and wealthy Pinot Noir, bursting with flavors and aromas of blackberry, blueberry, and cooked bing cherries. Worth: $40
The Hugel Gewürz reveals just a little spice, accented with lushness and balanced fruit. This late-harvest wine is nice with dessert or spicy dishes like ramen. Worth: $45