The Rolling Stones famously informed us that we might not always get what we want, but we just might get what we need.
In the state of Washington, some wine drinkers are getting what they want, but if new legislation passes, it may not be what they need.
What they’re current getting is wine in refillable containers known as growlers. The consumer takes the growler to its winery of origin for refills.
Nothing wrong with that, as the winery maintains total control of its product.
The new proposal, however, would allow consumers to refill growlers at grocery stores and other designated wine retailers.
Some winery owners, interested mainly in selling wine, support the bill, which you can read more about at The Spokesman Review. Others, however, are concerned about oxygen mixing with the wine during the transfer process. Oxygen exposure hastens a wine’s aging and can impact quality.
Some winery owners simply aren’t willing to surrender quality control during the “bottling” process — and the good news about the proposed legislation is that they would not be forced to. All wineries could continue to sell wine in bottles, with no requirement to use growlers.
I’m not complexly anti-growler. I think if you live near a winery and are hosting a party at which all the wine in the growler would be consumed, the growler could be a fun conversation starter. But for anyone planning to consume wine one meal at a time, the bottle continues to be the best bet.
Rather than growlers, you’d be much better off stocking up on quality wine with a Vinesse wine sampler. Not only are you guaranteed fresh and perfectly protected wine, but in most cases, you get three different tasting panel-approved wines to compare, contrast and enjoy.
Growlers have their place when a winery is handling the refills. But I’m not convinced that a grocery store is a good place for a growler refill.