Looking for sustainable options? Why not try Bag-In-Box?

Previously associated with cheap or poor-quality wine, bag-in-box wine is currently undergoing a revolution as more drinkers search for the most sustainable ways to enjoy their wine.

Here at Wanderlust Wine, we know there are plenty of great reasons to enjoy your wine in Bag-In-Box. Not only do they have up to ten times lower carbon footprint than traditional glass bottles, but there is also a plethora of practical and financial benefits of having a wine on tap that’s easily transportable, storable and can last up to six weeks once opened.

In this article we’re going to look at some of the most asked questions surrounding Bag-In-Box (BiB) wine, and why we’re proud to offer some of our fabulous wines in this format.

BIB

Packaging is one of the biggest contributors to wine’s carbon footprint and one of the key issues for the industry to tackle for a more sustainable future.

Despite the majority of wine still being sold in the traditional glass bottle, alternative formats are becoming increasingly popular for wine drinkers. Not only are they the more eco-friendly option, but they also offer a high level of convenience being lighter, more easily disposable, and more readily recycled than glass bottles.

As for quality, we have sourced crispy, mineral Loire wines, delicate Gruner Veltliners, and rich and robust Riojas – all worthy wines for the dinner table or to make the perfect party boxes for you and your friends to enjoy together. The lightweight, easily transportable design means they are also equally at home on the picnic blanket, whether down at the local park or the beach.

The production of Bag-in-Box packaging also uses around 80% less water than the equivalent glass bottles, protecting an increasingly valuable natural resource.

Why are they the most readily recycled option?

The different parts of the Bag-in-Box packaging can be readily recycled, reused or returned, reducing waste. The outer cardboard box is, of course, easily recyclable. Although the plastic inner bag or bladder, necessary to maintain the wine’s freshness, is not recyclable, most producers of Bag-in-Box wine have return schemes where you can send back the plastic inners to be reused or repurposed.

Many will argue that glass bottles are recyclable, which indeed they are. It is not, however, the most readily recycled packaging, with a much smaller percentage of glass that you put in your recycle bin actually ending up being recycled.

A sustainable option that is also cheaper

As well as being at the forefront of the wine trade’s fight against climate change, BiB wines have the added, highly attractive benefit of offering a cheaper option than standard glass bottles. Not only are the cardboard and plastic lighter than glass, but the boxes themselves come in a variety of usually larger formats, saving money on packaging and transportation. This means BiB wines can be up to 30% cheaper than the equivalent wine in traditional glass bottles.

Most boxed wines now come in handy 2.25L sizes, which is the equivalent of 3 standard bottles of wine. Given that the packaging for boxed wine is a lot cheaper to produce than single-use glass bottles AND the packaging works for three bottles worth of wine at a time, that value can be passed back to the customer. 

What are the best wines to have in Bag-in-Box?

One of the reasons that Bag-in-Box is an increasingly viable packaging method for wine lovers, is that recent developments in technology mean the wines are staying fresher and for longer. Indeed, the average BiB wine will stay fresh and vibrant for up to 6 weeks once opened. The inner bladder in which the wine is stored is designed to minimise oxidation, which in turn maintains the vibrant fruity notes of the wine. This means that fresh, fruity wines, designed for early consumption are perfect for Bag-in-Box. This includes the likes of crisp, fresh whites like Muscadet or New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, Provençal rosés, or even cru-level Beaujolais such as Fleurie or Brouilly.

Bag-in-Box, however, is not an option for wines that are intended for ageing. Glass bottles, of course, remain the only viable option for the maturing of fine wines intended for lengthy spells in your cellar. However given that most wine is produced and sold for immediate consumption, Bag-in-Box is a highly viable option for the majority of wines. Add that to its lower carbon footprint, this really is one of the most sustainable ways to buy and consume wine for early drinking.

When should you drink Bag-in-box wine?

Put simply, Bag-in-Box wine can be consumed on pretty much any occasion that calls for wine! The clever pouring mechanism reduces the air that can reach the wine, meaning it stays fresher for longer. This makes Bag-in-Box wine a perfect affordable and sustainable option for those who like to have a glass at the end of a long day but don’t want to commit to a whole bottle.

For those of you hosting friends for dinner and drinks, the easy pour and ergonomic shape make Bag-in-Box extremely convenient. It is also the ideal format to take on that weekend trip away, festivals or even weddings, with everyone able to pour themselves without mess or waste.

Jaja Bag-in-box wine

Bag-in-Box is also a fabulous option for restaurants, bars or cafés for their house pour. Not only does it mean you can offer wines in carafes, but it also reduces wine wastage as the wine in the boxes is kept fresh for much longer than traditional bottles, whose remnants would otherwise need discarding after one or two days after opening.

The increasing popularity of Bag-in-Box wines has seen more and more producers trusting the packaging to their premium wines, and with increasingly cool and interesting label designs. There really is a Bag-in-Box wine for everyone.

This Blog post is written by Mike Turner
Freelance wine writer, presenter and judge

Mike is a regular contributor for The Buyer magazine and is a certified educator and ambassador for Bordeaux, Rioja, Ribera Del Duero, Barolo and Barbaresco, running trade and consumer events across the UK from his base in the East Midlands.

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