Say Hello to Boxes, Cans, and Tetrapaks!
When you first think of wine, the traditional bottle with a cork is sure to jump to mind… Probably not wine in a can! But as alternative formats for wine become more popular, the wine world is changing… and rapidly. While glass bottles are still the dominant preference for regular wine drinkers, other formats for wine are becoming more available, and more acceptable. The quality of wine in these alternative formats is also improving, with good-quality juice available in boxes, tetra packs, and even in a can. Younger consumers, and other drinkers who are less attached to wine traditions, are most likely to open their arms for these new wine trends.
Option 1: Cans
Wine in a can is relatively new to the market, but these little gems have grown in popularity within the last few years. Rosé and summer whites are the most popular in cans, however; red wine in a can is also readily available. Shatter-proof cans are quickly chilled, and easy to transport. Plus, at a size of 250- 500 Milliliters, they’re so dang cute! Single-serving wine in a can makes it easy for wine to compete with beer in venues that wouldn’t traditionally feature wine. Stadiums and concert halls, picnics and beach bonfires, are no longer limited by glass.
Option 2: Tetrapaks
Tetra Pak cartons look similar to the boxes of chicken broth you’d find at a grocery store. Smaller than your average box of wine, they usually come in 500 Milliliter and 1 Liter varieties. They typically dispense with a screw top. The tetrapaks are entirely recyclable, and made of a coated cardboard, making them shatterproof, lightweight, and easy to travel with.
Option 3: Boxed wine
Many, who years ago would have shied away from boxed wine, have had a change of heart. Boxed wine is no longer limited to the sweet white zinfandel from yesteryear. Bigger than a tetra pak, boxes of wine typically come in sizes between 3- 6 liters, (the equivalent of 4-8 bottles.) The cardboard boxes are recyclable, reducing waste, and they are super easy to pour, with a small spout. Boxes of wine tend to be lower priced, when compared with their bottled counterparts. The longevity of wine in boxes exceed above all other formats. Since the bag doesn’t allow the wine to interact with any oxygen, the wine lasts longer than any other format.
Even traditional glass bottles are making a jump for the future- higher end wines often feature screw tops, or glass corks; something almost unheard of for wine just a decade ago. If you’re planning on aging a wine for an extended period of time, glass and traditional cork is surely the way to go. But for wine that will be consumed young- and quickly, the number of different sizes, and formats of modern wine really open up your options.
Glass bottles are heavy and more expensive to ship, while cans, tetra packs and boxes, all weigh significantly less than their glass counterparts. The weight from shipping, as well as the ease of producing cans and cardboard versus glass, allows these new formats of wine to have a lower carbon footprint than glass bottles. That savings gets passed onto the customer. Appealing to the wallet, and moral standpoint of many wine drinkers. And a lighter format of wine is not just better for the wallet, it’s more convenient for transporting wine to and from your destination. For example, 4 bottles of wine could weigh up to 14 lbs, where as its equivalent in a box comes to only 7 lbs.
So sip outside the bottle, dive into different wine formats, and pick for yourself which is the best for you! For more informational posts on wine, check out our blog. You can comment any questions here (on our blog,) on Facebook or in the store. We are excited to hear from you! We also deliver locally, to East Hampton, Wainscott, Southampton, Watermill, Amagansett, Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor, and Montauk.
–Pauline Fink, Staff Writer