Oversized bottles - article by Jon Bonné on SFGate

Another nice piece from Jon Bonné on the SFGate website, this one on the much-discussed issue of big/heavy bottles:
When bottles weigh too much

Thanks for this Ken. This was good and he didn’t even touch on one of the biggest issues for the wine geek, storage.

Chris, Jon is a guy. Used to write for MSNBC.

And used to be a rather popular rock star, using his surname ‘Jovi’

No discussion about storage leaves me a bit offput as that is as important, it not moreso, than environmental issues. I have plenty of friends who have dropped off Turley, Seasmoke, et al because they cannot store the bottles.

Gee, it’s only been 10 yrs since this bottle thing emerged. Wouldn’t you think that racking mfgs would get with the program an increase the spacing? Oh, I guess all they had to do was wait it out. [big_boss.gif]

Been buying and storing champagne for years. Take a look at many of those bottles. Seems the storage issue has been around before many of you threaders were born.

The storage manufacturers do things the cheap and easy way, what’s convienent for them. Champagen and many Burgs haven’t fit American made racks for years. The problem is not the winemakers guys. The wine storage people are saying "We can make more money with this size bottle, so we’ll ignore the rest of the market.

My answer was to ignore those wine rack makers when ding my cellar. I don’t have problem. DAH! [gheyfight.gif]

I custom racked one of my cellars for 1999 Turley bottles. The biggest bottles I had seen at the time that I collected consistently. Then in 2001 they increased their bottle diameter by 0.25".

Bottles change year to year, my racks are not as flexible for year to year fluctuations. I don’t think anyone reracks their entire cellar as a new bottle comes out.

So it is the bottles. I CAN plan on specific bottle shapes, but they keep moving the line.

Sears was having a sale on tool boxes this past week. Had some pretty good deals. They advertised these 5 drawer units for a couple hundred dollars. Got there and the drawers were so narrow, height wise, that a hammer would not fit in the drawer. You could only get things like wrenches and screwdrivers, laying flat, in a drawer.

Now according to you guys, it’s the hammer manufacturers fault for making hammers the size they do. Even though the standard hammer size has been the same for years.

I passed on the tool box, the same as I pass on wine rack systems that don’t have the capability to facilitate various sizes of wine bottles that have been around for years. I think about things like that before buying.

Different strokes for different folks.

Hasn’t this topic been exhausted already? [suicide.gif]

WineBerserkers NEVER get exhausted! [berserker.gif]

jeff’s statement isn’t the same as your analogy. What if you bought that drawer because it could fit hammers. Then one particular hammer broke that you love, you decided to go buy a new one but for no reason at all the manufacturers of that hammer decided to make their new tools larger than your drawer?

You don’t need a huge bottle to make a statement. Glass clarity can be just as important and there are some fun shapes out there to make the packaging interesting. I’m not sure how I feel about it but there are certainly upsides to both arguments.


I agree that Turley and a few other producers have pushed the limit on going ever larger on bottles. They however are a very, very small minority. The new units won’t hold even the traditional oversized bottles!

I am currently looking at redoing the kitchen. Part of that is going to be a new small wine fridge in the kitchen. My bitch is that all the current top brands have gone to the standard small drawer sizes. Much like my Sears story. If you want to store a champagne, Burg, Oregon Pinot, etc. bottle, they give you a small little basket area in the bottom of the unit. Even the larger units have gone this away. My point is this is not a producer issue it is a wine cabinette maker issue. It doesn’t matter if it’s Viking, GE, etc, they are all designing their units for the smaller regular bottles and saying FU to the people that may want to have a bubbly, et.al. in the unit. They want to calim a 48 unit model. They get there by making the drawers so small the standard size barely fits. [shrug.gif]

IMO people are wanting to throw rocks at the wine makers. It’s the Sears of the storage unit that should be getting the abuse.

Anyone have problem storing Merus bottles?

That’s my feeling as well. When I bought my Vinotemp, all I was interested in was an inexpensive price-per-bottle storage unit - whatever would get me more bang for my buck. I was mostly into Cabs and Bdx, so slot size never occurred to me. Well, after loading a few longer-than-normal bottles (i.e. Karl Lawrence) end-to-end, and after more than a few tight fits in the Vinoscraper, I decided that I’d shot myself in the foot by not getting some wider spacing in the racking.

To me the analogy here is that these cellar makers are like desktop computers mfgs using the same components, year after year after year. They need to get with the program.

AMEN!!! [highfive.gif]