wine research part 2

While looking online for reasonably priced empty wine bottles, I stumbled upon a 375ml size, the shape of which I fell in love with. However, my limited experience with this size is that you don't really find it in much more than ice wines or maybe champagnes. It is called a "demi" size (meaning "half" in french).

Much to my luck, though, if I do decide to design my bottle in this size, I found an article at www.gourmetgrrl.com that will help me back up my decision:

Less is More: Half-Bottles. Half-bottles of wine (375 ml) seem to be making a comeback, so before you think your date is just being cheap, read on.

In the States most of the half-bottle production goes right to restaurants although you can usually find a selection in a good wine shop. Bubbly is quite often bottled in half-bottles, called a split, as are dessert wines. You won’t find many French table wines in half-bottles; they produce very few due to retailer resistance. Pricing is where things aren't so even: production costs are higher for half-bottles so the prices tend to be a little more than half the price of the full, 750ml bottle.

And half-bottles aren’t just for the lesser wines; a half-bottle of Opus One anyone? Clos du Bois, J. Lohr, Qupe, Bonny Doon, and Niebaum-Coppola are a few California producers getting into the game, as are the Australians. (The Swanson Merlot and the Etude Pinot Noir are two little bottles we cherish.)

When should you go for the half?
*If you’re having a delicate fish soup and your friend is having a steak, you can each order your own bottle.
*If the by the glass selections just don’t cut it – tastewise or budgetwise.
*If it’s a schoolnight you can still drink up (and drink well) and not feel guilty.
*If one of you is abstaining. (Half-bottles contain 2 to 2 1/2 glasses of wine, depending on the pour.)

In California check out a good wine shop if you're shopping for half-bottles or try Cost Plus World Market; they stock a good variety. In New York City head straight for the half-bottle section at Astor Wines & Spirits and Union Square Wines.

The wine geek tip of the week: use half- bottles to preserve leftover wine. Just pour the wine into the 375ml bottle and cork it immediately and it will keep for up to a week. (A winemaker friend swears it's the best way to keep wine fresh.)

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