People rib me all the time about my support for boxed wine. Last year, I hosted a “blind” boxed-wine-only tasting at my house for a group of drinkers, varying from novice to expert. Only they didn’t know the wines came from a box — they were decanted and cached in their glass vessels. While I admit most of the wines tasted wretched, a few were passable and one was fantastic. You should have seen the looks on faces when I revealed the wines were siphoned from a plastic bladder in a cardboard box. And then they rejoiced. Hardy’s 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon stole their heart. (You should read about it here)
It was devilishly fun.
And more wineries now embrace the box. It’s greener — weighs less than 70 percent less than three glass bottles and it keeps the wine fresh for six to nine weeks. What’s not to like except possibly the amount of space it takes in the fridge or on the counter?
So Constellation Europe — the euro-arm of the largest wine company in the world — announced a new packaging design called “FreshCase”. The cask’s footprint is only as large as a normal bottle of wine but holds three. They’ll start with a wine from Hardy’s but didn’t say whether the innovation would arrive on American shores. Maybe it could convince some doubters? I hope.