Box wine has come a long way since it was originally introduced in 2002. We're now far from the mass produced blends devoid of vintage or character making it into BIB (bag in box). This is because the demand is there...many of us have gotten past the elegant bottle image and into the box. Availability of these 3 Liter quantities have been growing by more than 20% annually. Here are 2 big reasons why:
Box Wine is Better for the Environment
BIB (Bag In Box) packaging requires less than half the carbon footprint of glass bottles. 40% of wine stored in a traditional bottle is glass weight...which goes into production and container transport rather than in your mouth. With 85% less packaging waste than glass bottles, BIB packages release 79% fewer Greenhouse Gas emissions. Wineries are thrilled because they can spend more money on the wine.
Box Wine Preserves Flavor Longer
Cork taint and oxidation is eliminated. Wines stay fresh for up to 6 weeks after opening since the bag is vacuum-sealed and collapses on itself as the wine is dispensed. The 3 Liter size also doesn't hurt for parties and hospitality environments where many more than 4 fresh tasting glasses need to be poured out over weeks not 1 afternoon.
Only the following 2 downsides remain for box wines. The Boxxle wine dispenser has solved 1 while working on the other as its patent is pending:
Hassle to Serve
No more dragging your box to the edge of a counter top or table to fill your glass and ultimately removing the bag from the box to squeeze out the last couple of glasses. Inside Boxxle, the bag is automatically compressed as it empties and the spigot is above your glass, all in an aesthetically pleasing counter top dispenser rather than a cardboard box.
Can't Control Temperature
Along with oxygen, temperature is a wine's biggest enemy. No sooner do you open a bottle than you have to protect and preserve it....unless you're drinking it up quickly in one serving. The current Boxxle is not temperature controlled, but the sides are insulated and will keep chilled wine cold longer than if just in the box.
Boxxle is currently developing a chilled model with temperature control even better suited for whites and those who like their reds cooler than room temp.. In the meantime, keep an ice pack below the bag in the Boxxle.
Photo courtesy of Steve Mirsky and Chilled Magazine