Boxed Wine. An Idea Whose Time Has Come
on 04/08/11 at 3:18 pmWine
It’s taken a long time, but discerning American wine drinkers are slowly getting used to the idea of drinking wine from a box. No doubt, that is partly because the quality of boxed wines is improving, as the wine panel found.
Another reason is the rising popularity of kegged wines, which more and more restaurants are using to serve wines by the glass. Their acceptance, I think, has caused Americans to reconsider their reflexive distaste for alternative wine packaging.
The bag-in-a-box technology is uniquely suited to preserve wine once a package is opened. How does it work? A plastic bag, as big as five liters, is filled with wine. The bag is then placed within a cardboard box, which serves as a sort of exoskeleton protecting the bag. A plastic tap allows access to the wine within, through a hole in the box. As wine is poured through the tap, the process acts as a vacuum, sucking air out of the bag, which shrinks to encase the remaining wine. With no headroom for air to fill, the wine is well protected. Once opened, the wine lasts for weeks, rather than for a few days in a bottle.