Monday, September 23, 2013

Bottle and Cork Wine Events

For the past year and a half we've been attending bottle and cork wine events at La Nebbia Winery in Half Moon Bay. It's a great event to stock up on good wine for a great deal. 

How it works: 
Each year during harvest time wineries predict how many barrels of wine they will produce. There's almost always surplus which is then sold to other wineries at a lower cost. Those wineries in turn can sell it directly to the public by bottling it themselves or allowing costumers to bring in their own bottles to refill with wine. The one catch is the wineries cannot disclose the vintner of the wine but they may share the vintage, varietal and appellation. 

{La Nebbia Winery, inside the barrel room}

Everyone benefits from this, its a win win win! The original winery gets to make an additional profit on the surplus, the 3rd party winery draws costumers and makes a profit with just one day of bottling and staffing for the event and the costumer benefits from the high quality wine at a low price plus if they're concerned about their environmental impact they get to benefit from reusing perfectly good bottles again and again.

Before our first wine event we collected pop-top 750 ml bottles which came from a combination of sparkling french lemonade and organic vodka. When we were done drinking the lemonade and vodka, I rinsed out the bottles with hot water and used a bottle brush for the inside then filled up the shallow basin of the sink with hot water and a touch of castile soap to let the bottles soak and soften the adhesive on the labels. It usually the just slid off after about a 20 minute soak and these labels are recyclable. Then rinsed the inside of the bottles once again with hot water a bit of soap and scrubbed the outside of the bottles clean. After rinsing put bottle upside down to dry completely so mold doesn't form. In some cases if I felt it was necessary I ran the bottles through the dishwasher which cleans the outsides beautifully but the insides not as well. I got wine bottle cleaning tip for the La Nebbia winery website section about the bottle and cork event. We transport our bottles using reusable wine bags that hold six bottles each that you can find these at most grocery stores. Once we had about 30 (or 2 1/2 cases worth) we were ready to refill them with wine. 

{Our pop-top bottles being filled with 2011 Amador County Sangiovese}

These bottle and cork events happen about eight times a year mostly in the fall, winter and spring with one in the summer. Three times a year they offer white wine and the rest are red. A lot of the costs put on to the customer is bottling and transportation both area eliminated with this sustainable style of buying wine. We keep coming back to these events for a few reasons. 
1) We already have collected all the bottles we need so might as well reuse them. 
2) They offer good quality wine at a great price. 
3) It dramatically cuts down on our recycling. 
4) We always have on hand a nice inexpensive bottle of wine to bring as a gift or contribution to a dinner party plus it gives us an opportunity to share about our lifestyle when we do so. 
5) We enjoy having a supply of wine for drinking and cooking plus if a natural disaster occurs we have what we need to survive (I'm joking…kinda). 

At these events if you bring in traditional wine bottles they will label and cork them for you but we always opt out of both. I've also seen people bring in their own custom labels which would be absolutely perfect for a wedding, party or custom Christmas gifts! At just $5 a bottle you can't go wrong, 30 bottles of red wine will last us about 3 months, longer if we cut back on entertaining :). 

1 comment:

  1. Attending bottle and cork wine events is really beneficial, especially if you are a collector of bottles or into wine business. You will able to learn from other's experiences or expertise, and share your own knowledge as well on the cleaning process up to the refilling part of bottling. It’s a good thing you already have the filling machine. It’s a must in every winery business for faster production.

    Ora Wilcox @