New Age wines: B-I-Bs and screw caps

A blind taste test of bag-in-box versus bottled wines yielded a surprising result, one of several notable observations in a recent newspaper article by a savvy CA-based reporter and wine connoisseur.

Launched in 2003, Black Box Wines is claimed as the first premium wine in the United States sold in bag-in-box packaging.
Launched in 2003, Black Box Wines is claimed as the first premium wine in the United States sold in bag-in-box packaging.

The article "Makers of premium wine are thinking inside the box" by Laurie Daniel, from the San Jose Mercury News, offers some food for thought about bag-in-box and wine packaging. Here are some of the article’s key points of interest:

In a blind taste test, a bag-in-box wine scored better than some bottled wines costing five times as much.

Black Box Wines Chardonnay (see picture), a bag-in-box wine, created a stir when it won a silver medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition in 2003.

Half the wine sold in Australia is bag-in-box.

As wine is dispensed from B-I-Bs, the bag collapses, preventing oxygen from reaching the wine, retarding wine degradation.

A senior market consultant for a wine advisory firm observes, "The biggest hurdle [to B-I-B packaging] is simply consumer perception." It’s the same hurdle that screw caps are facing.

A number of California wineries are using screw caps. One, Napa’s PlumpJack Winery, bottled half of its $100-plus 1997 Reserve Cabernet with screw caps, which was seen as a publicity stunt. (It worked.)

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