When two international wine companies come together to commit to sustainability in the wine industry, I’m right there to cheers a glass of Hardy’s Wines to their efforts, because these wines fit my pocket, and our planet!
Towards the end of last year I received a suspiciously flat, rectangular box. I didn’t remember ordering a formal dress shirt or any piece of clothing that will arrive in this type of flatpack box. I also didn’t recognise the label, which read “Hardy’s”, and my only clue to what waited inside.
Endlessly fascinated and intrigued, I couldn’t wait to get back inside to open it up. And what do you know? Two bottles of wine – in flat, plastic bottles! My first thought was, “genius!” and my second thought as, “I wonder how long it will take to chill.”
So, whilst my Hardy’s Sauvignon Blanc chilled in the fridge, I sat down with the Shiraz to have a closer look at these fitted bottles.
Last December, Accolade Wines, the UK’s number one wine company and parent of Kumala and Flagstone Wines, introduced a flat 750ml wine bottle, made of 100% recycled and recyclable PET plastic, to South Africa.
In an exclusive partnership with Checkers South Africa, Accolade Wines is selling Hardy’s Nottage Hill Sauvignon Blanc and Hardy’s Nottage Hill Shiraz as the first brand in the collaboration.
These products will pioneer Garçon Wines‘ eco-friendly, flat wine bottles for the South African market with our local products following in the near future. Accolade Wines will also offer Hardy’s Nottage Hill products to their end consumers through online and direct sales (press release).
So why is flat so fantastic?
Being made from 100% recycled and recyclable PET plastic, these bottles are first of all, literally, a lighter alternative to the traditional glass bottle. It’s also a lot more energy-efficient across their entire life cycle, including production, movement and recycling, which in turn, reduces carbon emissions and logistics costs from the wine supply chain.
Did you know that recycled plastic requires 75% less production energy compared to glass or new plastic? Furthermore, the bottles are BPA-free and can hold your favourite wine safely for more than a year, without compromising taste or quality.
When we look at the flat shape, it’s simply genius. You can fit 10 flat wine bottles into the same box that would usually hold four glass bottles, making use of all that “air space” between the curves of traditional glass bottles. Not only does that mean you can transport more bottles per shipment, it also means there is no chance of breakage during transit.
Garçon’s flat wine bottles are a staggering 87% lighter than traditional glass bottles and take up 40% less space compared to round glass bottles. It’s at this point that the penny dropped. If you read all these numbers and stats at a quick glans, you start to realise the full extent of the positive environmental impact of these new, oddly shaped plastic wine bottles.
And how does these flat bottles impact our daily life, you may ask? Well first of all, they pack incredibly easily for traveling, without having to wrap wine bottles in dish towels, hoping they won’t break. They are event and festival friendly, and means no more broken glass on our beaches, hiking trails or favourite picnic spots.
Plus, the wine is just seriously good!
Wine and the wrap trend
Always one to try out food trends, albeit a bit late, I came up with the best pairing for these two wines – the viral tortilla wrap hack!
Centred around folding a tortilla onto your favourite ingredients for an all-in-one flavour experience, it seemed an obvious choice for my wines. Both are easy to pack and transport for picnics, hikes, outings and beach days, and both are filled with flavour!
I first fried my tortilla into an omelette, so that the inside of my wrap was coated in eggy goodness. In my four quadrants, I lined up fresh tomato, crispy bacon, spinach from the garden and white cheddar. I folded it flat into a neat triangle parcel, and dry-fried it in the pan to get the outside toasty and the cheese melty.
This pairing omitted serious picnic vibes, and The Tall Hedonist and I decided to have a lovely lunch on the patio. I was pleasantly surprised by both wines – the Sauvignon Blanc vibrant with a lively acidity and citrus notes, followed through with tropical pineapple and a bit of green apple. Clean and crisp, just how I prefer my white.
The Shiraz was gorgeously drinkable and I was again surprised at how full-bodied it was. I guess sometimes I get stuck in the old-school idea that a full-bodied wine comes in a dark glass bottle with a cork and a wax seal. Not this one, it seems! Once poured, the Shiraz displayed beautifully balanced tannins and a gorgeous juiciness with a black and red berry nose.
As I made my acquaintance with these two boundary bending bottles, I had one burning question and one question only. Why? Why would I buy and / or recommend a South-Australian wine, bottled in the UK, and now sold at Checkers, if we have so many world-class vineyards right on our doorstep?
As I turned the flat plastic bottles in my hands, it was clear as day. The answer lies not in the wine, but in the packaging. If we can get our wine consumers to buy into this shape-shifting and planet-friendly packaging, it would a huge leap in the right direction, paving the road forward for our own award-winning wines to join this eco-revolution. We’re all looking for a way to play our part in preserving our beautiful earth, and this is a small, kind contribution to the cause.
Thank you Hardy’s, Accolade Wines, Garçon Wines and Checkers, for partnering up and taking this important stand, and for your continued commitment to sustainability in the wine industry. Cheers!
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated / credited, are also my own.
The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.