Sunday, November 05, 2006

Judge Not Wine by its Container

In the Danville, IL, Commercial-News, August 31, 2006, Julia Megan Sullivan writes about the latest wine packaging trends in Judge Not Wine by its Container.

Let’s look at the evolution of wine containment systems.

First we had goat bladders. They were fashionable in their day, but constantly leaking on the original Ug boots.

Then came barrels; not as easy to transport, but no animals were harmed. They were also good for hiding secret passages (see any classic Scooby Doo episode for a demonstration).

Next came the bottle. Stuffed with a cork, this made the wine mobile again. However, only the true professional was able to open them without “seasoning” the wine with “cork sprinkles.”

From there, some genius decided a screw-top was better, but was forced to sacrifice the stay-fresh-ability of the vino.

Which brings us to modern day, where we have reached wine containment nirvana: the box.

Box wine has gotten a bad reputation, but in recent years, there has been a grass-roots movement to overcome that negative perception. No more shall you feel the urge to throw your coat over the contents of your cart to cover your cardboard-encased beverage when spotted by a co-worker! No more! Judge not the wine by its container.

Box wine is now (I’m not making this up) referred to as “cask wines” by those with distinguished tastes who yearn to dispense their beverages with a tap instead of a corkscrew.

In case you don’t know, box wine consists of a sort of “bladder” encased in an easily-stackable cardboard box with a handle grip on the top for portability, making it the genetic superior of all of its predecessors.

After tearing along the perforation, you expose a tiny cooler-like tap. And instead of that “orange drink” that was forced down the throat of every kid who ever played soccer, it dispenses wine!

Granted, the wine is usually of an extremely low alcohol percent (less than 10), but it usually is very low in price. Locally, you can get 5 liters of Franzia for about $8.99. Head to Their intro text says it all:

“Black Box Wines makes America’s highest quality boxed wine. …You can now enjoy excellent tasting wine in a 3-liter box for about half the price you would pay for a bottled wine of the same quality. As an additional bonus, our bag-in-box package protects your wine, keeping it fresh for at least 4 weeks after opening.”

Ready to serve a box or two at your holiday party, but still doubtful that your box wine will be able to impress your hoity-toity friends? Wish that there was some way to dress up the box even more?

How about a wine box cover? It’s available from Signals, a catalog that offers everything from inspirational bracelets to replicas of the leg lamp from “A Christmas Story.”

For the low, low price of only $39.95 you can enjoy their “stylish stainless steel holder … designed to cover boxed wine, but still allow access to the carrying handle.” As if that wasn’t enough, there’s an etching on the side that reads “Good Wine, Good Friends, Good Times.” Brilliant.

Can’t wait to buy it? Take the shortcut at

So what is next for wine containment? Well, I got a preview at a local grocery store. There on the shelf was a box of wine. But this was no 5-liter wine system. It was closer to 20 ounces.

Undoubtedly inspired by astronauts, this personal box was all-too-reminiscent of a Capri-Sun pouch. The only kicker? You have to buy the straw separately.

The Commercial-News, Danville, IL - Judge not wine by its container

More about that wine box holder later.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

:o) Glad to see you found my column! All hail the vino from the box-o!