Boxed Wine: Coming to a Table Near You
Boxed wine. It sounds like the punch line to a dinner party joke. But serve one of these boxed wines, along with an out-of-the-box conversation about what makes them green, and the jokes will subside. Once the ugly stepchild of sophisticated vino, these wines have come into their own -- and not just for their convenience and quirkiness; they taste great, and they're eco-friendly. You can transport more boxed wine with less fuel because cardboard boxes are lighter than glass bottles, and because you can stack more square boxes with less wasted space in the same truck. Boxed wine packaging amounts to just 4% of its total weight, compared to 70% for traditional bottles. That all adds up to a smaller carbon footprint. The boxes are often recyclable, and many of these wines keep fresh longer than traditional bottled wine -- meaning less great wine down the drain. Many take their greenness a few steps further by using recycled packaging, organic grapes and more. Take a look ...
French Rabbit has partnered with American Forests and for every 4 ePods (that's the lightweight tetra pak packaging the wine comes in) sold in the U.S., a tree is planted in a French Rabbit grove. French Rabbit wines run about $10 for a one-liter pack; they also carry a few of their wines in 250ml four-packs (juice boxes for adults!) for the same price. Try their traditional Chardonnay with a Barramundi and Lemon Butter recipe.
From the Tank
Three liters for about $35. That's four traditional wine bottles for less than $9 a bottle and its served by legendary restaurateur Daniel Boulud. (It's on the menu at New York City's DBGB Kitchen and Bar, his latest venture). We at TDG are not recommending that you finish the whole tank in one sitting, so the good news is the wine stays fresh in the refrigerator for three weeks after opening. The company that produces this wine, Jenny & François, specializes in natural wines that use less pesticides then the average vineyard. Try their Red Wine, a Cote Du Rhone, at DBGB or at home with Tuscan Style Steak.
Boho wine is boxed in 95% recycled materials, which are printed with 100% soy-based inks. Not sold yet? A three-liter box will only set you back $24. Try a glass of their full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with a slice of pizza -- try our Bistro Pizza -- for the ultimate recession dinner. If you don't finish the box it will be fine in your fridge for six weeks.
Three Thieves, the company behind Bandit wine, was a pioneer in the smaller, more portable boxed wines. In addition to their well-known one-liter boxes, which cost around $9, they now have smaller 500-milliliter boxes for about $4.50 -- add a straw and you have yourself a personal party. Try the pinot grigio with a pesto salad, hot or chilled.
The wine's name is enough to make you laugh out loud, but in all seriousness the company has made a crisp, refreshing and simple Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay blend that is perfect for sipping outdoors and pairing with seafood. Try it with Seared Scallops with Saffron Couscous. Herding Cats is part of the Better Wines, Better World, an organization that works with retailers and wineries to help them become more sustainable. It retails for about $15 for a three-liter box -- that's less then $4 a bottle.
Yellow and Blue
When we were young, we learned that the colors yellow and blue make green. The same holds true now that we are all grown up. Yellow and Blue make a great green wine. Green because it's made from organic grapes and packaged in a Tetra Pak carton (made from 75% responsibly managed forest trees). The only green it doesn't require a lot of is yours -- each box (1 liter) is around $12. Take a cue from the high-end restaurants that serve Yellow and Blue, such as Hearth in New York City, and proudly set this wine at your table. Try Yellow and Blue Torrontes with Spicy Tofu and Asparagus Stir‑Fry.
When Black Box launched its fist wine in 2002, it was the first premium boxed wine on the market, and the first to date its vintages. Continuing the pioneering trend, they are currently spreading the boxed wine love to the unsuspecting masses via their "You Got Boxed Contest." Videotape your friends unknowingly drinking boxed wine -- and loving it, and you could earn $10,000. Try Black Box's Napa Valley Reserve Chardonnay, which retails for about $30 for three liters, with one of our wild salmon or wild salmon alternative recipes.
Four wine thought outside the box, and outside the bottle for that matter, when they created their wine tube. This tube has a 50% reduced carbon footprint, when compared to traditional wine packaging, and its label is printed utilizing wind power. What's inside is just as important; their wine is a richly flavored, structured, Cabernet Sauvignon. The tube holds three liters of wine and costs about $40. Try Four's Cabernet Sauvignon with Beef Brisket with Fresh and Dried Mushrooms.