Take a look at the bottle below. Looks normal enough, though the observant may recognize it’s about a half inch taller than your average wine bottle.
But pick up this bottle of Fog Mountain Merlot (crafted by the folks at Boisset Family Estates) and you’ll realize something surprising: It’s made out of PET type plastic, not glass. A special “oxygen barrier” keeps the air out and the wine fresh.
Why do such a thing? Clearly Fog Mountain isn’t aiming for the high end, but it does have noble goals. The bottle can’t shatter, so it’s great for outdoor environments or the feeble-fingered. The company also claims the bottles have a 60% smaller carbon footprint than glass, and are 100% recyclable. And then there’s one killer addition: Because of the thinner plastic and slight height advantage, Fog Mountain can pack more inside than a standard bottle: A full liter instead of 750ml. That’s two extra glasses of wine in no extra space. Magic!
Fog Mountain’s 2006 Merlot, sourced from all over California, isn’t great, but it’s not bad. Jammy and jelly-like, there’s a cloying sweetness on the palate, and a fair bit of smoke on the nose, too. Kind of an off finish, with vegetal characteristics. Drinkable, but more appropriate for a summer BBQ than a dinner by candlelight.
C+ / $12 (one liter) / boissettfamilyestates.com
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- Tasting Report: Wines of Howell Mountain 2013