Does a heavy bottle equal quality?

Bottle weight and wine quality: is there a relationship?

Yes, because wineries reserve the heaviest glass for their best wines, for two reasons. 1) there’s a belief that heavy bottles enhance the appearance of the package, making an expensive wine seem more like value for money, and 2) heavy bottles cost more, and the extra cost is more easily justified on high-priced wines.

But there need not be any connection at all. Yarra Yering (tastings) is a prime example. Not only are the labels hand-drawn (by the founder, the late Dr Bailey Carrodus) and unchanging year to year, the bottles are likewise cheaply produced. All the wines, whether pinot noir, merlot, chardonnay or the Dry Red Wine blends numbered 1, 2 and 3, come in the same basic, Australian-made, light-weight, shallow-punted bottle. Finished with regular cork and a tin capsule, they’re very retro.

The 2012 vintage reds are smashingly good, and priced from $85-$95, so Yarra Yering is a glaring exception to the rule that weight equates to quality.

The 2012 Two Hands (tastings) single-vineyard Barossa and McLaren Vale shirazes ($100 each) are very good, too, in a totally different style – opulent, high-alcohol, full-throttle – but the packaging reveals a different approach.

Just look at these numbers are ask yourself which case you’d prefer to lug out to the car, and which adds more carbon to the atmosphere.

Yarra Yering: full bottle weight 1.1kg. Dozen case weight 13.2 kg.

Two Hands: full bottle weight 1.9kg. Dozen weight 22.8kg.

The Two Hands wines probably don’t come in dozen boxes, which would be prudent from the OH&S viewpoint. 

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