Waitrose is set to become the first UK supermarket to trial selling wine bottles without plastic or foil sleevels that are typically found around the neck.
Initially, four bottles will be sold without neck sleeves and by the end of the year, this will be removed from the entire range.
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Waitrose MW and beer, wine and spirit sourcing manager, Barry Dick said that these sleeves were first introduced to prevent pests from getting into the wine corks, “causing the wine to leak, or taste musty.”
“Nowadays few people have wine cellars and those who do tend to keep them in much better conditions. This has meant that the sleeves have remained for purely aesthetic reasons and are no longer needed to protect wine.”
He added that the quality of corks has “dramatically improved.”
The bottles used in the trial will be corked with a new FSC cork, which Dick said has been “extensively tried and tested for its ability to resist being contaminated with TCA, which makes corks smell and taste mouldy and ruins wine.”
“The bottles look quite different as the neck appears naked, so it will be interesting to see how our customers react to us removing these familiar sleeves.”