Meet the paper wine bottle coming to Scotland…

Peter Ranscombe ponders a cardboard wine bottle that’s been launched today – and revisits the wine inside.

I ALWAYS feel more than a wee bit guilty on recycling day.

As the blue box is lugged off the pavement and its contents heaved into the back of the bin lorry, I pause and think about the environmental impact of those glass wine bottles.

From the massive amount of power that’s needed to turn sand into glass – and whether that’s been generated from renewable sources – through to the harmful carbon dioxide emissions involved in getting the bottle from the factory to the winery and then overseas to the retailer, it’s all a bit mind-boggling.

That’s why an email that popped into my inbox last night caught me eye.

Packaging maker Frugalpac has today unveiled a wine bottle created using recycled paper.

Some 94% of its “Frugal Bottle” is made from recycled paperboard, with the remaining 6% consisting of a liner inside to hold the liquid.

It’s made at the company’s factory in Ipswich and is five times lighter than a standard glass wine bottle, tipping the scales at just 83 grams.

Following my recent moans about heavy bottles from Vina Ventisquero and Cantina Tollo, its environmental credentials really piqued my interest.

The manufacturer said that an independent life-cycle analysis by Intertek – the testing company that lists former Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson among its non-executive directors – concluded that the paper bottle’s carbon footprint is 84% lower than that of a glass bottle and one-third less than a bottle made entirely from recycled plastic.

But will anyone want to buy a wine that’s inside a paper bottle?

That will depend on the quality of the liquid – so it’s good news that Frugalpac has come out all guns blazing and chosen Italian producer Cantina Goccia as its launch partner.

Cantina Goccia’s 3Q – a blend of sangiovese, merlot and cabernet sauvignon from Umbria that was served at 2018’s dinner with Michelle Obama in Edinburgh – was one of my favourites from its range when I reviewed the wines.

Woodwinters, the Scottish wine merchant that will be stocking the paper bottles, tells me that they’re on their way and should hit the shelves around the end of next month.

Watch this space – it’ll be interesting to sample the wine in both its glass and paper bottle incarnations to see if there’s any detectable difference.

In the meantime, hats off to Frugalpac, Cantina Goccia and Woodwinters for drawing a line in the sand – this could be the start of something big.

For more reviews of wines, beers and spirits, visit Peter Ranscombe’s drinks blog, The Grape & The Grain.