Fill ‘er Up!

Interesting that in Amador County, there seems to be a trend developing…or two trends that intersect.

The first trend is for bottling wines in jugs. The jugs range in size from what looks like 3/4 of a litre at Dobra Zemlja, all the way up to a gallon at Sera Fina.  Amador Cellars and Deaver have jugs that are somewhere in between 3/4 of a liter and a gallon.  Most of the wineries are bottling good wines in the jugs. I’m not quite sure of the reasoning behind this somewhat retro trend.

I remember when jug wines were much more common on market shelves, and they weren’t great wines. So the mental association for me is not a positive one. But having tasted all the wines that I’ve seen in jugs recently, that association is not holding up. These wines are good!  And I’ve bought a few.

The second trend is that some wineries are offering to refill a jug or container that you purchase there. At Andis, you can buy a liter of wine on tap (there is only one wine on tap at any given time) for $22. The litre bottle is etched with the winery’s “A” logo and comes with an old fashioned stopper. When you return with the empty liter container, they’ll refill it for $18 with whatever wine is on tap at the time. Dobra Zemlja offers their NV Milan Ruz blend in a small jug for $16. You can bring the jug back for a refill for only $14.

This refillable container trend is something I can get behind. If you go up there as often as we do, it doesn’t take long to stop in at a winery and ask ‘em to “fill ‘er up”. And while you’re there you can sample what’s new!

About dslocicero

David is an author and architect living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He writes about wine, food and travel. His first book is Pour Me Another: An Opinionated Guide to Gold Country Wines, now one of the highest rated books about California Wines.