Flat Wine Bottles Are Environmentally Smart, Look Slick As Hell

My name is Kate, and I have a strange fascination with beverage packaging. ("Hi, Kate.") I get irrationally geeked about innovations like the self-chilling can, and spend plenty of time thinking about beer's optimal vessel. But I'm not the only one who thinks this innovative flat wine bottle is the cat's meow. The bottle, created by packaging designers Garçon Wines, was recently named Recycled Plastic Product Of The Year by the Plastic Industry Awards—analogous to the Oscars, I'm sure.

Why is the flat wine bottle so cool? Let me count the ways.

  • It's made completely of post-consumer recycled PET plastic, which is rare in the beverage industry. Garçon Wines' CEO and cofounder Santiago Navarro tells me it's one of only a few such products on the market.
  • They fit in a mailbox. Garçon developed this package's dimensions in part to make them fit in letterboxes in the U.K., which begs the question: How long until I can get flat wine delivered to my home here in the States? Navarro tells me the bottles will debut stateside in 2019.
  • They save shipping costs. The flat bottles take up only 40 percent the space of an equivalent round bottle, saving carbon emissions and money associated with shipping wine. "Considering global wine consumption equates to around 33 billion bottles annually... our bottles would save the equivalent of more than 11 billion bottles of space," Navarro says.
  • They look so cool! I have a mental image of myself arranging these bottles like books on a shelf, with a pleasing ombré spectrum of burgundy to rosé to white. Look, I told you at the outset I was a nerd about this stuff.
  • Garçon has big ambitions for the flat bottle: "We're hoping to become for drinks packaging what Tetra Pak is for dairy."

    I'm having a hard time coming up with arguments against this design, frankly. I can hear some of you wine geeks out there, though, wailing "What about the punts?" (Punts are the indentation on the bottom of some wine bottles.) Punts' relation to wine quality is debatable; even Wine Spectator notes that "you can't make a judgment about a bottle of wine based on the depth of its punt." Is there some disadvantage to the flat bottle that I'm overlooking? Fellow beverage-packaging dorks, get at me in the comments.