There’s nothing like popping open a bottle of wine, right? Well, believe it or not, you can experience the same pleasure without the pop. In fact, you can forgo the entire bottle nowadays. Innovative packaging allows you to enjoy wine in a more eco-friendly way. Several options, from boxes to cans, are lighter (and cheaper!) to ship than glass bottles, which translates into a lower carbon footprint and a lower price point. So, it won’t just be the wine that leaves you feeling good about yourself.
- Bag-in-box: Ah, the old bag-in-box. A favorite at family reunions and sophomoric house parties, they are burdened with a bad reputation. But that doesn’t mean that bags in boxes can’t contain lovely wine. Take From the Tank, for example. This nondescript brown box comes in “Red” and “White”: respectively, a light-bodied and fruit-forward natural wine with notes of cherry, violet, and mineral; and a crisp, easy-drinking wine filled with essences of citrus and peach.
- TetraPak: These liter-boxes look as unassuming as juice containers in your fridge. But companies like Yellow + Blue (equals green, get it?) are filling theirs with fresh, exciting organic wines, like Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, Malbec from Argentina, and rosé from Spain. The wines go for anywhere from $15-$20 in a 750ml bottle, but their producers have agreed to let Yellow + Blue package them under its own label for about $12 a box. Do the math and smile.
- Keg: You may have started to notice new taps on the bar at your favorite watering hole. These don’t dispense beer, alas, but instead pour something even more refreshing: wine from a keg. The Gotham Project is a pioneer in the market, offering German Riesling, Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and Pedro Ximenez, and old-vine Zinfandel from California on tap.
- AstraPouch: Think of it as a bag-in-box without the box. These handy 1.5-liter pouches have been adopted by the Finger Lakes’ Glenora Wine Cellars, which came out with its Trestle Creek Riesling pouch last year. The plastic pouch equipped with a one-way spigot keeps the zingy Riesling fresh and protected from the effects of oxygen. Lightweight and compact, it’s ideal for stuffing into a beach bag or backpack for a picnic on the go.
- Can: You can now get great craft beer in a can. So, why not nice wine, too? ELKAN Chilean wines are available in 250-375ml servings, in completely recyclable aluminum cans. Not only do you get to avoid having to sniff out whether or not the wine is corked — and, make no mistake, up to 10% of wine bottles are — but you also no longer have to worry about leftover wine going off. Because, if you can’t finish a can this size, you probably have no business drinkin’.