The wine industry has failed with the half-bottle.
Most wine stores and restaurants stock few, if any, half-bottles of wine. Most wineries do not produce half-bottles of their wine. I bet many of my readers have not purchased a half-bottle of wine within the last six months. I don't think I have bought a half-bottle of wine in the last year. I don't understand the reasons for this failure of wine stores, restaurant and wineries as it would seem logical that half-bottles should be far more popular.
Japanese Sake is often available in half-bottles, usually 300-350ml, and a number of stores even carry more half-bottles than they do full sized ones. Sake producers seem to understand the advantages of half-bottles and thus capitalize on that opportunity. Spirits have long been available in smaller bottles, even as small as the nip bottles which usually contain a little less than 2 ounces. All of these small bottles of spirits are very popular, and once again, spirit producers perceive the advantages of small-sized bottles and have capitalized on it. So why has the wine industry failed in this regard?
There are plenty of individuals who purchase a 750ml bottle of wine, though they will be the only one drinking it. They might only want a glass or two with dinner, and that bottle is too big for them so they have to decide how best to preserve their wine. It will probably only last a few days so they will need to drink the rest of it soon enough. Such people would probably prefer to buy a half-bottle and not worry about wine preservation. Half-bottles would also be a less expensive way for a person to try a wine rather than buying a full 750ml bottle.
The size of the bottle affects the aging of the wine but as most wine is consumed within 48 hours of purchase, that won't come into play most of the time. Consumers are primed for half-bottles with Sake and spirits, so why aren't wineries trying to fill that desire? It seems a failed opportunity which a clever winery could use to major advantage. Restaurants, which serve wine by the glass, worry about wine preservation yet those problems would be much less if they carried more half-bottles. So why aren't they doing so?
Wine industry, wake up and start thinking small.