Fifteen Eighty Four

Academic perspectives from Cambridge University Press


Delicious, hand-crafted, wine from a box

[Update: take our poll below!]

How to reduce your carbon footprint?

This time, the answer is drink your wine from a box!

‘ITALY’S Agriculture Ministry announced this month that some wines that receive the government’s quality assurance label may now be sold in boxes. That’s right, Italian wine is going green, and for some connoisseurs, the sky might as well be falling.

‘But the sky isn’t falling. Wine in a box makes sense environmentally and economically. Indeed, vintners in the United States would be wise to embrace the trend that is slowly gaining acceptance worldwide.’

Fair enough. How many of us age wine for any amount of time? Just do it for the non-cellaring wine. Packing more wine into a truck, and using a lighter packaging, according to the calculations of this Op-Ed columnist, means the equivalent of 400,000 fewer cars on the road.

So why not do it?

[poll id=”2″]

It’s already happening.

‘In the past few years, the boxed wine sold in America has shown some signs of improvement. There’s been wine in a stylish cardboard tube made by a top winemaker in Burgundy. There’s a good, old-vine grenache from the Pyrenees sold in a box. A succulent unoaked malbec from organically grown grapes in Argentina is now available in the United States thanks to the 1-liter TetraPak, which is also being used by three renegade Californians who have a line of wines that are sold in 250-milliliter packages — about the size of juice boxes, but without straws. And then, of course, there’s the news from Italy.’

I bet that the wine crowd will react in a bizarre knee-jerk manner to this one; something about the romance of this and that, or the presentation… blah blah. Bamforth’s argument plays off exactly this mentality. Wine has an image to uphold, whereas, for example, micro breweries are making excellent beer in cans; maybe wine could take notice.

Let’s hope that the wine world is above the snootiness associated with the good looks and demeanor associated with their product. It is, after all, about the taste. Let’s also hope that boxed wine will actually be more efficient; after all, there’s a plastic bladder inside, a tap, and a paper box that comes from trees. I read a while back that they want to do permanent boxes with re-usable taps. That would help even more.

Thanks to Laura for the heads-up.

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