Box wine part III
Birthday season party planning recently had friends and I trying to decide whether we could get away with serving boxed wines instead of bottled at a joint party.
Since we’re all in favor of keeping our eco-footprint as small as possible, we had a big debate about whether boxed wines really are more environmentally friendly. You can recycle the cardboard box, but not the plastic bag inside; whereas you can recycle the whole wine bottle. But from everything i’ve read, despite that plastic bag that ends up in a landfill, it’s the transportation costs that really make the difference. Glass is just heavier and the bottles take up more space, and since most wine travels thousands of miles to reach its consumer, the embedded environmental costs in a bottle more than offset the non-recyclable plastic. Not to mention less waste because of the month-long shelf life after opening. Of course, neither are perfect; full recycling and cheap transportation costs are what we’d like to see soon.
In any case, we decided that guest probably wouldn’t be offended by boxes, and they’d certainly keep our costs down. We tried Yellow and Blue organic torrentes (in a Tetra Pak), Hardy’s reisling, and Black Box sauvignon blanc for whites. For reds, it was J. P. Chenet cabernet syrah, Bota Box old vine zin and Bota Box shiraz.
The torrentes was nice but the 1-liter packagine, which doesn’t have the anti-oxidation feature the other 3-liter packages do, didn’t thrill us, and neither did the price, which was about $10 for a liter, or one and a half standard bottles. That just doesn’t compare to $20 for the equivalent of four standard bottles, plus less fiddling around with lots of separate packages (we’re expecting to need the equivalent of about a case of standard bottles each of red and white).
We split over the other two whites. For my taste, the sauvignon blanc was a bit thin, but it did have a nice acidity that would pair well with food. The reisling is just easy drinking, period, with a nice fruity fullness up front but a dry finish.
The reds saw another split; I instantly liked the big fruity smoothness of the old vine zin, but our more knowledgable friend preferred the French cab/syrah.
We’ll probably get a couple of boxes each of the four winners and call it a party. Cheers!