The reason: the growing popularity of single-serving pods. These pods allow people to brew a single cup rather than an entire pot.
In my house, that means embracing the Keurig machine, which I happen to consider the most significant invention since the wheel. I love my Keurig machine almost as much as I love my daughter and grandkids.
Then again, considering the grandkids are now 13 and 11, there are some days when they take third and fourth place behind my Keurig machine and my daughter… uh, I mean behind my daughter and my Keurig machine.
(Geez, I hope my fiancée doesn’t read this blog. Love sure is complicated…)
But back to single-serving beverage options: After thinking about it, I recalled that wine is way ahead of coffee in this regard. Consider those tiny bottles that are served in coach class on airplanes. They’ve been around forever.
Unfortunately, they haven’t always been of the highest quality. Interestingly, though, that’s not always the winemaker’s fault.
When it comes to wine bottles, the larger the bottle, the longer the wine inside is able to age; the smaller the bottle, the shorter the aging period. Oxygen is the enemy of wine — it’s what prompts a wine to age — and a larger bottle contains less oxygen relative to the volume of the wine.
Fiddlehead Cellars, which has a tasting room in the Lompoc “Wine Ghetto,” opened up a large-format bottle of Pinot Noir during a recent open house, and had to decant it for serving because it was still “tightly wound” and evolving slowly. My guess is that wine, in that large-format bottle (the equivalent of four 750-milliliter bottles), won’t reach its prime until around 2025. Open a bottle before then, and it’ll need to be decanted.
On the other hand, open one of those 187.5-milliliter bottles, and the wine inside likely is as good as it’s ever going to get. Which means I’ll be consuming them exclusively in airplanes.
For those times when we’re drinking alone and not on an airplane, perhaps the folks at Keurig could come up with single-serving wine pods — just add water and grapes, and the machine would take care of the rest. Now that would be cool!