Waitrose & Partners Unpacked
The Wine Show has joined the wine industry’s fight to reduce carbon emissions by launching a new wine specially sourced for the ‘Unpacked Market’.
In a bid to reduce the environmental impact of heavy, energy-intensive glass packaging, The Wine Show, TV’s most popular drinks programme, has introduced a wine of its own. And it comes with minimal packaging and a reduced carbon footprint.
The wine, a Portuguese Lisboan Reserva will be available ahead of Christmas in four Waitrose stores, from specially constructed wine refill stations. So, this festive season, wine lovers can do their bit for the environment and reduce, reuse and refill at Waitrose in Botley Road, Oxford, the Abingdon and Wallingford stores, in Oxfordshire, and the Cheltenham store in Gloucestershire.
For £7.99 customers can purchase an attractive swing-top carafe-style bottle filled with wine which, once drunk, can be refilled again and again and again, with refills costing just £6.99. The wine is a blend of chardonnay and indigenous grapes from the Lisbon region which get a dose of mild oak aging. It has been provided especially for the trial by renowned wine pioneer Luis Vieira, using grapes from his vineyard Quinta do Gradil, an historic estate set in the foothills of the Serra de Montejunto. Were this wine to be bought in a traditional bottle it would retail at £12.00, so not only is this wine better for the environment, its great for wine lovers’ wallets.
Wine Show presenter Joe Fattorini said, “We were set the challenge to find something delicious, versatile and kind to the planet. When we started, we didn’t imagine we’d find the answer in one of the world’s most traditional wine regions. And in a format that re-thinks 17th century ways of wine shopping. But wine has a way of connecting you to history. Even the style of wine. It’s a versatile, fruity, ripe white to welcome you home, match your supper and enjoy while you have your feet up afterwards.”
Participation in Waitrose Unpacked project is a collaboration between The Wine Show and When in Rome, who specialise in premium alternative format wines and are the sole supplier to the project.
Refilling wine bottles is nothing new. As far back as 1663, the politician and diarist Samuel Pepys recorded visiting a tavern to admire “my New bottles, made with my Crest upon them, filled with wine.”
Back then, glass was difficult to make and expensive to come by. So, re-using bottles was quite normal and indeed a status symbol. So much so, that when Cornish nobleman James Tillie died, he decreed his body be posed upright in his mausoleum at a lavish dinner table, his personalised wine bottles in pride of place.
And, across Europe buying wine this way is a normal part of life. In Italy, France or Spain taking your own carafe to a winery or ‘bottega’ and filling it straight from the barrel is just a normal way to buy wine.
Melanie Jappy, Executive Producer of The Wine Show said, “It’s part of the cultural memory of so many European countries to use your own bottle. I’d love to see people in the UK embrace this project not only because it’s good for the environment but because they’re getting a great wine at a terrific price. It’s time we made alternative formats like box wine and refillables something to be proud of not something to hide away. If we are to succeed, the product has to be great, and this wine really is. I’m incredibly proud of it.”
Anne Jones, Waitrose Partner and Category Manager, Drinks, said, “We’ve been delighted with the success of Unpacked, and how well customers are taking to refillable bottles. This is a great extension to the range for customers and it’s fantastic to see The Wine Show’s involvement with When In Rome, bringing this delicious new wine to the proposition. We’re excited to see how this concept will develop in the coming months!”