Boxed Wine: Tacky or Eco-Trendy?

Ginny Figlar Colón by Ginny Figlar Colón | February 12th, 2010 | No Comments
topic: Green Living


I am no wine snob. Most of the time, I pick the bottle that has the best label and isn’t shipped from another continent (to reduce carbon miles).

Still, I was a little surprised when I went to a small dinner party a couple of weeks ago and watched my host fill my glass of red wine from a box.

After having a flashback moment to my Boone’s Farm-drinking days, I spent the rest of the night enjoying my boxed beverage and admiring her choice.

A bold red, in more ways than one

She may not have realized it, but she sent a clear eco-message. At least to me. I could only imagine that the 3-liter bag-in-box packaging would be way more efficient to transport than four heavy glass bottles.

Back at home, Google research backed up my assumption: boxed wine has less than half the carbon footprint of bottled. Smurfit Kappa, maker of bag-in-box packaging, claims that “one full truck load of 3-liter empty bags equals six full truck loads of 75cl bottles.” And once filled, there’s more wine on every truck – 40% more, the French company says.

Wine blogger and author Tyler Colman has crunched the numbers even further, stating in a New York Times op-ed piece that switching to wine in a box would “reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about two million tons, or the equivalent of retiring 400,000 cars.”

Bye bye, bottle!

So this week I switched to the box, picking up a nice cabernet-syrah from J.P. Chenet. No stylie label. But the wine was less expensive on a per-bottle basis; there were no bottles clanging around during my walk home; and there were no sore shoulders. Plus it will stay good for weeks since no oxygen can get to the wine.

Yup, I can easily see myself becoming a boxed wine snob.

What about you? Have you given boxed wine a try? Here are a few that Oprah recommends.

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