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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Thinking outside the bottle

The single-serve wine pouch

In the last few years people have come up with various unique wine containers. Will any of these ever put a dent in the ol' cork-in-a-bottle "wine delivery system?"

There are box wines, of course. More recently, packaging like the Tetra Pak has been introduced as a  more earth-friendly alternative. These are cheaper to produce and ship plus can be used anywhere glass is forbidden (like on a beach or at a sporting event).

The latest is from Spotwine. These are a bit different as they are single serving sizes and come in an 8-pack. You know, a juice pack for adults. Just throw a bunch in an ice bucket and you're ready for guests. Of course, the first question will be, "Is the wine in them any good?" Will premium wine producers use this sort of packaging? The perception has always been if the wine isn't in a corked glass bottle it can't be good.

Image from spotwineusa.com
Packaging like this is for casual events so I expect to see a lot more Pinot Gris in these than I do Napa Cabernet.

Other folks are already on the market with other single-serve wines, like Stack Wines or Zipz, that put wine in a plastic wine glass. Not so earth-friendly and plastic can influence the nose and flavors of what's inside.

A few craft brewers are using 12 oz cans as an alternative to glass. Maybe a few premium wineries will look at something besides glass, too.