National glass shortage could impact alcohol consumption in the DMV

Your favorite adult beverage may be the latest item to be impacted by COVID-19 as a national shortage could affect how alcohol manufacturers properly store and ship their products.

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The U.S. is facing a glass bottle shortage and many retailers are having to be creative when it comes to their products as the holidays quickly approach.

Doug Fabbioli has spent nearly two decades in Loudoun County as a winemaker, but a lack of bottles nationwide could put his supply at risk.

"My next bottling is in December," he tells FOX 5. "I’ve got a commitment that it will be good but I’m concerned about my next one in February and whether we’ll be able to get the glass." 

His bottle supplier says she's had challenges filling orders and economists say it's much of the same as the shortage is linked to backups in the supply chain.

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"The glass bottle shortage the latest iteration to the supply chain issue across the globe," says Senior Retail Reporter for Insider Aine Cain. "It’s a critical piece but it shows you that even if the product is plentiful, even if they have plenty of wine to go around, something like the glass bottle could really just cause a big disaster for everyone."

Fabbioli says because he runs a smaller winery, they do have the ability to pivot more and make changes.

"We may look at in other ways to put a bottle and put wine to the customer whether it be on tap or pouches that we use but the tradition of a bottle is something people really enjoy and we want to make sure they continue to have that product," he says.

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But as we approach the holidays, one question is top of mind: will we see the panic buying that the pandemic is known to bring on?

"I don’t think there will be a wine shortage," Fabbioli says. "The big thing is that the customers may be affected as I can't bottle that wine and can't offer it if it's not, that bottle’s not available."

"We could be looking at some pretty disappointed wine lovers going into the holidays when they are meeting with their families and they want to bring in a special bottle of something to whatever party they are going to," says Cain.


This shortage could eventually leave some wines aging in barrels too long, which could affect the taste of the wine at potentially ruin the product.

Fabbioli says as of right now, he doesn't see that affecting his supply. He says come December and February when he plans to bottle more barrels, that could be a different story.