Container Make the Wine?
People have been drinking wine and wine
merchants have tried to market wine to the consuming public in various containers for that
same amount of time.
Over thousands of years wine has come in
animal skins, earthen jars, glass bottles, wooden barrels, etc, etc.
The trick, of course, is to find a
container that maintains the quality of the wine over time, is easily transported,
relatively hassle free, and reasonably priced.
In recent history, the glass wine bottle
sealed with a cork was the standard way wine was purchased and consumed. Glass bottles, originally hand blown, came in many
different sizes, shapes, and colors. Eventually,
most wine bottles were standardized in size and shape.
Today, wines sold in bottles are almost
exclusively Claret or Burgundy style bottles.
The Claret style bottle has a short neck
and more abrupt shoulder where the neck of the bottle and the base of the bottle meet. The Burgundy bottle is more sensual, curving inward
as it gets closer to the neck of the bottle with no abrupt shoulder.
German style wines often come in bottles
that are tall and slender versions of Burgundy style bottles. Sometimes wines come in bottles that are more
rounded, like the wicker covered wine bottles from Italy and the fat round bottles form Portugal
At one time, I suppose, one could
generally tell from the shape of the bottle the region or style of wine one was about to
consume. Today, no matter where the wine is
produced in the world, the color or shape of the bottle does not in any way necessarily
connote a particular region, grape, style of wine, country of origin, or quality.
If a producer is trying to market
a Pinot Noir, its probably in a Burgundy shaped bottle. If a producer is selling a Cabernet Sauvignon,
its probably in Bordeaux shaped bottle. But
Ive seen Cabernet Syrah blends from Australia in both Claret and Burgundy
The point that is important to remember
is shape, size, or even what the container is made of is not important necessarily to the
quality of the wine inside!
I have had wine that came in a
traditional glass bottle with a cork that was undrinkable!
I have also had wine with a screw top that was pricey and too die for!
So, if a cork isnt important and a
glass bottle isnt important what about wine in boxes?
I am glad you asked that.
The short answer is: There is
nothing wrong with wine that comes in a box or Tetra Pak and there are many real
Its cheaper than glass. Both for
the producer and the consumer.
- It is biodegradable, (at least the Tetra Paks are.)
- Its about 40% lighter than glass for the same size container.
- And, what I consider the most important advantage::
Once opened, the wine in the box or
Tetra Pak lasts up to five weeks before going bad!!!
that doesnt blow your socks off, youre hopeless or dead!
whats the catch?
In Australia, New Zealand, Latin America,
and European wineries are putting wine into boxes and Tetra Paks and there is wide
It s not the container the wine is in, its the quality of the wine in the
So what about the U.S.?
Its a chicken or the egg dilemma.
Americans think of boxed wine
as cheap and inferior. Producers are reluctant
to put higher quality wines in non traditional containers for fear of customer rejection. And customers are reluctant to pay a higher price
for a boxed wine, even if its better than comparable priced wine in
Its that simple!
There are some wines coming on the
market, like Black Box and Bota Box with a 3 liter bag inside the box containers, that are
There are a couple of companies like
French Rabbit and Yellow and Blue brand that are in the 1 liter Tetra Paks.
If you try them, let me know what you
think. Be sure to squeeze out the air in the Tetra Paks before closing up a
partially finished container.
The bag in the box containers collapses
as you drain the wine, so you don't have to worry about them.
I personally prefer the Tetra Pak because
it's only a 1 liter container.
Let me know what you think?