Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Boxed wines are for green wine lovers

Forget Franzia's 5 liter Merlot, boxed wine is now an integral part of the new green cuisine. Typically, boxed wine containers are recyclable and take less energy to produce, transport and recycle. Moreover, an increasing number of boxed wine brands use premium fruit sourced from sustainable vineyards.

The thedailygreen.com has a review of 8 green boxed wines:

French Rabbit sources its wines from sustainably farmed vineyards in the Languedoc Roussillon. The packaging reduces waste by 90% compared to glass bottles, and reduces emissions and greenhouse gases during shipping. Furthermore, French Rabbit plants trees. According to the company's website, at least 35,000 trees have been planted through their partnership with American Forests.

From the Tank specializes in natural wines from the Southern Rhone Valley. They use less pesticides, only wild yeasts, no enzymes, no filtering, & minimal sulfites. The wine is packaged in a three liter bag-in-box. The red is 40% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Carignan, the white is 100% Grenache Blanc.

Boho Vineyards makes wine from California's Central Coast. The wine is boxed in 95% recycled materials, which are printed with 100% soy-based inks. The package's carbon footprint is 55% smaller than the four 750ml bottles it replaces.

Three Thieves is a pioneer in the smaller, more portable boxed wines. In addition to their one-liter Bandit boxes, they now have 500ml boxes. They are making different varietal wines from California, including a Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Herding Cats is part of Better Wines, Better World, which promotes Bag in Box (BIB) packaging for wine. According to the website, since 99% of wines sold in the US are made for immediate consumption, packaging these wines in BIB containers would save 1.5 million tons of CO2 per year. Herding Cats produces different blends from South Africa including a Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz, Merlot/Pinotage, and Chardonnay/Viognier.

Yellow + blue make green. Yellow+Blue Organic Wines produces wines from certified organic grapes. The packaging is a Tetra Pak carton made from 75% responsibly managed forest trees. They offer a Malbec and a Torrontes from Argentina and a Rosé blend of Monastrell and Syrah from Spain.

Black Box Wines launched the first premium boxed wine on the market in 2002. Today, Black Box makes wines from different wine regions of the world, including a Cabernet Sauvignon from California, a Riesling from Washington State, a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, and a Pinot Grigio from Italy.

Don't be a square, think outside the box! Four produces a wine packaged in a tube made in recyclable materials. It has a 50% reduced carbon footprint compared to traditional wine packaging and its label is printed utilizing wind power. Four has a 3 Liter Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from sustainable vineyards in the Paso Robles, Monterey and Lodi appellations.

So far, I have only tasted the Bandit Pinot Grigio. The wine was fresh, aromatic, and actually very pleasant. But would you dare bringing a boxed wine to a dinner party?

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