Wine on the Go!
The history of wine is deeply intertwined with human civilization. Translation: as long as humans have been around, they’ve enjoyed inebriation. Wine’s effects were once considered a religious experience to many, and it wasn’t long before wine was sought after all over the world. This led people to think of efficient ways to package and transport wine for trading. With time, the idea of portable wine would give us the standard glass bottle, the new can, and the box we know and love.
According to VinePair, Portable wine began around 1200 BC with the Phoenicians. They would store wine in jugs, and then trade with surrounding peoples. The Greeks discovered wine this way. Soon, wine became a symbol of health and religion for the Greeks. So it’s no surprise the Greeks took wine with them everywhere as they began colonizing the Mediterranean area. Enter Rome. We all know how hedonistic the Romans were when it came to their wine. I mean they had a God dedicated to it! As the Roman Empire adopted Christianity, the business of wine BOOMED. Europe was now lush with wine — pun intended. Wanting to share their religion and drink of choice, wine was carried with missionaries as they traveled the world. This introduced wine to the Americas. Eventually, wine began to be cultivated here.
This brings us to the history of wine packaging. Wine packaging is usually found in the form of a glass bottle. According to WallaFaces, the dark colored wine bottle was created by glassblowers around the 17th century. However, the size was not standardized until 1979. The U.S. standardized the bottle size at 750 ml, and other countries quickly followed suit. Wine packaging doesn’t stop there. Wine is also currently available in cans as well as our beloved boxes.
Canned wine has been around since the 90’s, but hasn’t made much of an impression on the United States until fairly recently. Like boxed wine, wine in cans is more environmentally friendly than bottled wine, and is easier to transport. Canned wine is also available in single servings, making it perfect for those who want to enjoy just one or two glasses of wine without opening an entire bottle. Canned wines are currently available through wineries as well as grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.
We’ve already discussed the logic behind boxed wine in a previous blog post. If you haven’t read it yet I will link it here. But how did the idea of the bag-in-box come about? One of the earliest tools I found for bagged wine was the bota bag (or wineskin). A Spanish invention, the bota bag was typically made of a goat bladder lined with resin to prevent the wine from seeping through. The wineskin was a primitive tool that lasted a long time. However, there wasn’t a commercially accepted way to bag wine until 1955.
In 1955, William R. Scholle invented the first commercial bag-in-box (BiB) system. A BiB specifically for wine was then patented in 1965 by Australian Thomas Angove. A humble idea at its inception, little did Angove know he was revolutionizing the way wine is enjoyed. The invention of the bag-in-box allowed wine to be bagged and transported in a cheaper and more efficient way than if it were bottled. The BiB system also prevents oxidation, keeping wine fresh for longer than bottled wine. Over time, many different wines became commercially available in boxed form.
It is often unfairly considered the poor man’s choice of wine. Yet the simple geniousness of boxed wine has caught the eye of many well-respected wineries. As of 2017, boxed wine has made significant progress in terms of availability, and is gaining traction as an alternative to bottled wine without compromising quality.
If you haven’t tried a boxed wine yet, I recommend you start with the Bota Box Dry Rosé. With notes of raspberry and grapefruit zest, it’s perfect for summer. If you serve it at your next summer party, you can tell all your guests what a journey the wine has taken to get to the box on your tabletop!
Until next time,
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