Beaujolais Nouveau producers attack plastic tactic

Japan's wine importers have defended their use of plastic bottles for this year's Beaujolais Nouveau after the head of the French wine-makers association criticized the move.

Daniel Bulliat, head of the Beaujolais-Beaujolais Village association, told a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday that selling the wine in plastic bottles runs counter to the growers' traditions and image.

This year's wines went on sale across Japan on Thursday, but Bulliat said his association would be drawing up new rules that would explicitly forbid any plastic bottles from carrying the prestigious Beaujolais name from next year.

But importers say their state-of-the-art plastic bottles are just as good as glass ones - plus they help increase sales by making the product cheaper because each bottle is lighter and therefore less expensive to transport from France.

"This is the first year that we have used these plastic bottles, but we chose to do so only after we came to understand that these are very high-quality containers," Kiyoshi Yokoyama, general manager of the corporate communications department of Mercian Corp., told Relaxnews.

"They have been tested and are very good quality, they protect the wine from light and oxygen contamination and generally keep it in a good condition," he said. "These are not just any old plastic bottles."

Mercian has imported 60,000 cases of Beaujolais Nouveau this year and had initially expected to sell around 5,000 cases of the wine in plastic bottles, but demand has been strong and more than 7,800 cases of 750-ml plastic bottles have been sold, Yokoyama said.

Bulliat said that storing Beaujolais Nouveau in plastic bottles over a long period of time damages the quality of the wine and that his association would have acted to stop sales in Japan had it been aware of the importers' plans.

In total, around 4.8 million bottles of the wine have been imported this year, down an estimated 30 percent from last year's figures. Companies blame the decline on the global economic slowdown and the end of the "boom" that the wine enjoyed in the early years of the decade.

"In 2003, more than one million cases were sold in Japan but that was because of the boom that year," said Yokoyama. "Consumers purchased Beaujolais Nouveau in that year because of the media coverage. We believe that the current level of sales is stable and we hope that people who buy this wine will also try some other imported wines."

JR

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - York

    £18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - Y...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us