Gone are the days when grabbing a box of wine meant slinking out of the grocery store with your face hidden below a hat, hoping you wouldn’t be noticed. And getting box wine from a wine store? Unheard of. You’d be laughed out of the place. However, with innovations in green technology, decadent wines can now be found in boxed varieties and the packaging might be just as good as the elixir found within.
The Europeans lead the way
When we’re talking about wine, it’s no surprise that a trend–even one involving boxed wine–began across the pond before Americans caught on. While technically, according to the N.Y. Times, the trend began in Australia, the wine-loving French picked up the banner and ran with it. Boxed wine in France accounted for approximately 18% of the market in 2008, and growth has remained steady ever since.
Drink wine, save the planet
Perhaps a main reason for the kickoff of wine in boxes, or at least for its meteoric rise in popularity, is it creates greener packaging. When Almaden Vineyards announced its switch to a bag-in-box packaging in 2008, parent company CEO David Kent said that the BIB packaging creates less than half the carbon footprint of bottled wine in terms of energy needed for glass production and transportation.
American brands enter the market
The first major California winery to venture into the cardboard territory was Black Box. With an award-winning line of wines– including Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Pinot Grigio–that retail for less than $30, the company continues to outsell its competitors. Other wines such as several from Almaden Vineyards are only available in boxes. What’s more, these wines actually taste good. French Rabbit uses newer recyclable Tetra-Prisma packaging and the winery estimates that as a result they use 90% less packaging than traditional packaging. A similar technology, Tetra Pak is also the packaging of choice for Yellow+Blue wines, an organic vineyard which launched in 2007. Both of these cartons resemble juice boxes more than the traditional big boxes of wine.
Accessories make the (boxed) wine
Nothing solidifies a trend’s permanence than when companies start creating accessories for it. Using a stand, you can now display your boxed wine while refilling your glass with ease. If your interior design scheme skews towards the modern and sleek, a bag-in-box wine dispenser from Danish designer Patrik Svanberg might be the perfect finishing touch. Those with simpler tastes can class up their box of wine with a minimalist wooden design. What’s more, the stand is foldable so you can take it with you. With either of these accessories, you can raise your coveted box of wine, just like its reputation has been raised in the wine world.