Have a picnic with these wines


I think bag-in-box will have a good future.  Wine has been around for centuries and packaged in many ways before finally being served.  Bag-in-box was invented by Australians and mostly is found in restaurant kitchens.  The palatability of the wine is not a huge issue when cooking and inexpensive white and red are packaged in bag-in-box for restaurant use.  What is the big advantage besides the low cost?  Bag-in-box is the only wine packaging I know that keeps the wine fresh as before the opening for a long time.  That is how it comes handy in the restaurant kitchen.  The 3 liter bag-in-box sits somewhere and wine is drawn whenever needed leaving the remainder free of contact with oxygen.  Wine in bulk is used in many other occasions.  The following article is a good creative way to make a keg out of bag-in-box but a more likely place for bag-in-box is in the bar.  The restaurant bar usually a few reds and whites sold at relatively low prices and accepted as house wine.  These wines usually sell in high quantities and guests accept them as what they are:  Basic, one-dimensional, but okay wines.  These wines are qualify the most for being replaced by bag-in-box.  The quality improves because each glass is poured fresh and the cost is lower which can be passed on the guest.  The wine producers can also bypass the many costs of packaging medium quality wines before actual service.  In short, bag-in-box may need a good functional setup in bars and a strong marketing program to become established but offers great quality and value to generate repeat business.  Whatever flaws it may have can be improved on.  


Lynne Char Bennett

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summertime is picnic time. Boxes and other alternative packages allow wines to be easily transported and served outdoors.

Because it has minimal exposure to light and air, bag-in-a-box wine also lasts longer. Some producers claim up to 45 days even without refrigeration – one reason the wine comes in a budget-friendly 3-liter box, equivalent to four, 750 ml conventional glass bottles.

Other packaging options besides glass include the Tetra Pak. The newest bottle alternative is the lightweight polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle that is BPA-free. All three are recyclable. They also weigh less than an equivalent volume of wine in glass bottles, so require less energy to transport.

Like glass bottles, both Tetra Paks and the PET bottle expose wine to air after being opened, so 500 ml to 1 liter sizes are the norm.

Boxed Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon still command the most shelf space, but others varietals like Riesling and Picpoul de Pinet can be found. The overall quality has improved, though you should still enjoy it in its youth.

There still is a certain defiant cachet when serving wine from something other than a glass bottle. You can enjoy it straight from the box, but if you decide to serve it from a carafe, your guests will be none the wiser.

Tips for bringing along boxed wines

Here are a few suggestions for your summer box wine adventures

— Tetra Paks are not as sturdy as a PET bottle or bag-in-a-box, but can be chilled directly in ice.

— Because it has four times the volume of a 750 ml. bottle, a well-chilled box of wine will remain cold for a relatively longer time.

— Boxed red wine will taste better if slightly chilled, especially if it will be served during summer's heat.

— Tuck the spout back in the box before transporting an already-opened box wine.



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