Needless to say, the glass wine bottle reigns supreme. There has, however, been an increase in the types of containers storing wine in recent years. And it keeps on evolving.
For a long time, boxed wine has been looked down upon. But the quality of the wine has recently risen. Eric Asimov of the NYT explains the reasons in his piece, ”Reconsidering Boxed Wine.” Greater acceptance of the boxed wine notion is also good news if you’re counting carbon footprints–according to the Journal of Wine Research, shipping boxed wine produces half as many gas emissions as transporting heavier glass bottles.
Along with boxes, came the can. In a recent article on nytimes.com, “Cans of Wine Join the Boxed Set,” Bonnie Tsui provides great information on some of the newer, and finer, wines–drinkable not from a Bordeaux or Burgundy-shaped bottle, but rather from a specially-lined aluminum can.
Wine in a can isn’t entirely new, Tsui points out, and was “first sold by Barokes Wines, an Australian winemaker that invented a patented process called Vinsafe, which lines the aluminum to prevent any reaction that would impart flavors to the wine or degrade the container. The techniques are similar to what some craft brewers have been using, but wine’s high acidity and alcohol levels require a thicker lining.”
I wasn’t surprised to learn that Francis Ford Coppola was the first American winemaker to sell wine in a can–small, pink ones housing Sofia Blanc de Blancs, named for his daughter.
I was surprised, however, when I ate recently at the latest of chef Tom Colicchio’s New York restaurants, Colicchio & Sons. The bar had an extensive selection of craft beers, as well as five “eco-friendly” wines…on tap. That’s right. On tap.
I’ve since learned that there are several advantages for serving wine on tap:
-Better for the environment. While bottles are recycled, wine served on tap is stored in environmentally friendly, air tight mini tanks that are reused.
-Cost-effective. Producers aren’t adding on the cost of the bottle, the cork, the carton and the transportation it comes in, so the restaurant owner pays less and so does the consumer.
-Freshness. Wine left over in a bottle used to pour wines by the glass is often discarded as it doesn’t last for more than a couple of days at most. Wine served on tap always tastes fresh, lasting for up to 60 days.
So I guess that’s what’s next…