Why Aluminum Bottles May Be The Answer To Long-Lasting Wine

Getting wine just right is, statistically speaking, a gajillion-dollar industry. From training fancy sommeliers to shelling out casual boxed wine, from the it's-only-Champagne-if-it's-from-the-Champagne-region-of-France mentality to "throw some ice cubes in that Chardonnay, who cares?" idea, there is a massive spectrum of ways to think about, talk about, and enjoy vino. Oenophiles and noobs alike can get caught up in a discussion about the best way to chill wine (an ice bucket, according to Bon Appétit), or the proper way to drink it (at cellar-temperature, suggests the same article), or even the thermodynamics of storing a bottle of wine horizontally versus vertically. For what is essentially grape juice, one can really get into the weeds on wine by walking into a conversation unprepared.

Lately, discussion around wine seems to be not so much what's on the inside, but what's on the outside that counts. With the growing popularity of hard seltzers, ready-made cocktails by the can, and other ways to imbibe more readily, conversations for drinks overall have turned to the container of a drink itself: Sure, water from a box might be better for the environment, but doesn't it taste weird? Can a pre-made gin and tonic in a can really be as good as the one you pour yourself? And are people really thinking about drinking wine that comes in (clutches pearls) an aluminum bottle? According to Food & Wine, that's exactly what they're thinking.

Is one small step for bottles a leap too giant for wine-drinkers?

Food & Wine reported last month that CCL Container (a company that makes — what else — containers) announced the addition of a Burgundy-shaped bottle to their product line just for wine, a "first of its kind" shape offering a full 76 cm diameter and 750 ml capacity like regular bottles. As Food & Wine points out, canned wine is definitely already a thing, and one that the general drinking public has accepted. And so, if you follow the logic, all those baby cans of wine probably have a big metal mama somewhere that has a purpose too, right?

Right, says CCL Container. According to the company, aluminum containers make sense for wine: The material cools easily and quickly, and retains its chill longer than glass, plastic, and Matthew McConaughey at a meditation retreat. Plus, as CCL humble-brags on its website, the lack of plastic threading on the groove of the wine cap means that "the entire container, made from virgin aluminum, is 100% recyclable." Win-win for wine and the environment. 

Food & Wine did point out, however, that while CCL has announced the new Burgundy-shaped bottle — and offers other wine-specific 750 ml metal bottles in its portfolio, too — it has yet to partner with any wineries. Which brings us to the next element of any innovative product: There needs to be a brave soul to be the first to try it. And while the wine world is full of bold notes and spicy tones, the centuries-old tradition isn't exactly famous for trying new things.