By John ~ January 29th, 2010.
For years we’ve had wine marketing folks trying to dream up the best way to package and present wine: eye-catching labels, heavy bottles, then light bottles in an effort to be more “green,” and different shaped bottles to catch your attention. However, in all of the above, the basic package was still a glass wine bottle. Today, alternative wine packaging is everywhere.
Here are some of the most common wine packaging alternatives on the market today:
- Boxed wine. Boxed wine is actually a bag-in-a-box, a plastic bladder housed by a cardboard box. The most popular boxed wine is Franzia.
- Plastic bottle. Wolf Blass and others are experimenting with plastic (polyethylene terephthalate or PET) bottles in an attempt to lower its carbon footprint.
- Aluminum bottle. Think Wines, Volute, and Boisset are among the producers using aluminum bottles. Boisset’s bottle even features a dot on the label that changes color when the wine is chilled to the proper temperature.
- Aluminum can. Wine in a soda can ought to be a big hit, as long as a straw comes with it, and it does in the case of Francis Ford Coppola’s Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs.
- TetraPak. Boisset is again a leader in alternative packaging, this time with a TetraPak carton, commonly used for juice boxes.
- Mini-barrel. We first saw this at the Wine Bloggers Conference last fall. It looks like boxed wine gone upscale. It’s actually wine in a bag inside an oak mini-barrel that collapses as the wine is consumed. Some claim that the wine will remain fresh for a month or two.
With these new packaging choices, the biggest question is whether any of them will ever catch on with the mainstream wine lover. In my opinion, some of these new packages actually make some environmental and economical sense, but I wonder if producers will really put decent wine in them. And even if they do put decent wine in them, will the average wine consumer buy them or not?
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you had wine in any of these alternative packages? If so, what did you think of the package itself and of the wine inside? What other alternative wine packaging have you seen?
(Photo from Francis Ford Coppola Winery)
Filed under: General Wine Information