Alcohol consumption

National drink shortage could impact alcohol consumption in the DMV

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

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The United States is facing a shortage of glass bottles, and many retailers are having to get creative with their products as the holidays approach.

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

“My next bottling is in December,” he told FOX 5. “I’m committed to it being good, but I’m concerned about my next bottling in February and if we can get glass.”

Her bottle supplier says she has had difficulty filling orders and economists say it is much the same as the shortage is linked to backups in the supply chain.

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“The shortage of glass bottles is the latest iteration of the supply chain problem across the world,” says Aine Cain, senior retail reporter for Insider. “It’s an essential, but it shows you that even if the product is plentiful, even if they have a lot of wine to go, something like the glass bottle could really cause a big disaster for everyone.”

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

“We can look at other ways of putting a bottle and putting wine to the customer, whether it’s on tap or in sachets that we use, but the tradition of a bottle is something that people really appreciate and we want to make sure they continue to have it produced,” he says.

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But as the holidays approach, one question is paramount: will we see the panic buying that the pandemic is known to cause?

“I don’t think there will be a shortage of wine,” says Fabbioli. “The big problem is that customers can be affected because I can’t bottle this wine and I can’t offer it if it’s not, this bottle is not available.”

“We could see some pretty disappointed wine lovers stepping into the holidays when they meet their families and want to bring a special bottle of something to whatever party they’re going to,” Cain says.


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

Fabbioli says that at present he does not see this affecting his supply. He says in December and February, when he plans to bottle more barrels, that might be a different story.