Showing posts with label #WinePackaging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #WinePackaging. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Boxed Wines: When It's Hip to Be Square.

"Coravin Model Two Wine Preservation Opener."
© 2017 JGuzman.

In a recent article published by The New York Times, Eric Asimov discusses the growing popularity and quality of boxed wines, primarily driven by environmental concerns. While boxed wines have faced resistance in the past due to perceptions of lower quality, this is changing as more producers and merchants choose bag-in-box packaging for wines not intended for cellaring. This shift is driven by the fact that wine bottles are a significant environmental problem, contributing to the wine industry's carbon footprint, and a low percentage of glass is recycled in the United States. Bag-in-box packaging offers several advantages, including preserving the wine's freshness for longer periods and reducing waste, making it a suitable option for wines not meant for aging.

Asimov, however, briefly mentions an important factor that contributes to the stigma around boxed wine: its unsuitability for wines intended to age more than a year. More expensive wines often require cellaring to reach their full potential, which necessitates the use of glass bottles -- meaning the highest quality wines will be linked with glass. This is a significant obstacle to boxed wine's acceptance, even if a marketing team on par with Apple were to make the "unboxing" experience more attractive. The perception (and indeed fact) of wine in a glass bottle as a higher-end product may thus hinder the progress of environmentally friendly alternatives.

Moreover, it's important to recognize two separate innovations in this space: the use of cardboard as a container and the vacuum-sealed bag that extends the wine's shelf life after opening. The latter, in the context of higher-end wines, is typically where Coravin technology is utilized. A vacuum-sealed bag is a far better solution than needles through corks and argon containers. A system that could combine the best of the two, allowing decanting into a vacuum-sealed enclosure that provides some of the time extension advantages, would avoid the unwieldy elements of Coravin. A competitor that streamlines the process while maintaining a high-quality image may be better poised to meet the needs of consumers, if not specifically addressing the carbon footprint and environmental impact of the industry.