Selling wine in TetraPak containers

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A wine importer is selling a Malbec grape wine called “Yellow + Blue” in TetraPak, a container familiar to many in the UK for its use in drink boxes. Dr. Vino took a look:

The facility in Toronto is also certified organic. The wine is put in the one liter boxes that weigh 40 grams each (compared to 500 – 750g for a bottle) and loaded onto a truck for a warehouse in New Jersey. The total amount of wine will be about 10,000 nine-liter cases.
Using my carbon calculator, I ran the numbers on this wine, called “Yellow + Blue” (makes green–get it?). I figure that each 750 ml of Yellow + Blue Malbec has about half the greenhouse gas emissions of a conventional bottle of wine from Argentina that followed the same route.
The price will follow a similar discount: Yellow + Blue will sell for $10.99 in stores and Cain suggests that the same wine in bottle would sell for about $20. But Yellow + Blue, weighing in at one liter, holds a third more wine than a regular bottle.

But what about recycling? Wine bottles are relatively easy to dispose of properly, but in the US there is not a clear system for TetraPak recycling which can split the aluminum and polyethylene used to line the cartons.

I can’t help but wonder if the trick is to stop drinking so much imported wine and trying to buy more locally available options as their available, returning and reusing the bottles. (Not always a good choice, I know.) Even so, a third more wine for the same price is a convincing argument.

Yellow + blue make green: a new organic malbec in TetraPak [Dr Vino]

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13 Responses to Selling wine in TetraPak containers

  1. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    The heirs to the tetrapak fortune need all the business they can get
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article3717955.ece

  2. Jordan M says:

    Coming from the land of the finest wines (California)… heh… sorry I couldn’t resist.

    I like glass wine bottles. I have been told from a young age that wine in boxes is crap and it is hard to break free of that thinking.

    Why can’t they just insert a small clear bag into the wine bottle that will deforms when you empty it or a false bottom that moves up as you pour? Then I can have the best of both worlds.

  3. yer_maw says:

    Wine already comes in boxes. It is stigmatised for some reason by vine snobs, but its all i buy for above reasons.

  4. Sxe says:

    I must make the distinction between cheap “wine” in a foil bag, in a box, and regular wine in a TetraPak. The former has been around since time immemorial. The latter has been around in Canada, or at least my part of Ontario, for 4-5 years. This is about as long as TetraPaks have been accepted in municipal recycling regions large enough to make TetraPak wine worthwhile.

    When they were first introduced they were part of a short eco-fad where it was trendy to give one instead of a bottle as a gift, and then when the recipient balked at receiving/opening/serving boxed wine at their snooty soiree you could unleash your little eco-diatribe, and hammer it home with the fact that the wine was actually pretty good.

    The snootiest wines at the LCBO still come in bottles, but you can get some nice low-to-medium priced wines in a TetraPak. There’s 1/4 of a TetraPak of very nice French Rabbit varietal blend thing left in my fridge. It’s well worth the $15 a “bottle” and in a low white wine consuming household, it keeps well. It was still good after being opened 9 days ago.

  5. Itsumishi says:

    Ahh, boxed wine. Australia’s finest invention.

    I’m simply wondering how (if?) these tetra packages are more recyclable than an ordinary Cask wine or “goon” as known in the native Australian tongue?

    And to Pineiro. I’m sure that it is the same in most countries that it’s the cheaper wine that comes in boxes. However it is certainly not always the case here, you can buy good wines in boxes at reasonable prices or you can buy terrible wine in boxes at about $2.50 a litre.

    My personal favorite is the catering cask of Morris Dry Red. 15 litres of reasonable wine at $40. The only drawback is you need to sacrifice quite a bit of bench space to place the thing.

  6. Otter says:

    > a third more wine for the same price is a convincing argument.

    Joel’s guest: “This wine is terrible!”

    Joel: “I know, but such big portions!”

  7. Latente says:

    In Italy (yes the land of best wines) the “vino da tavola” come in boxes.

    http://www.vinocastellino.it/

  8. Latente says:

    added note
    I use the “castellino” only for cooking
    fish and “risotto alla Milanese”

    i prefer red “Vino Primitvo”, “Valtellina Inferno”, and the white “Muller Thurgau”

  9. Kevin says:

    In the states, Target has for several years carried “Wine Cubes” made by Trinchero Family Estates (Napa). There are several US vineyards packaging very drinkable red wines in bota boxes.

    As mentioned by “Not a Doktor”, box wines are great if you are following doctor’s orders and drinking a glass a day; once opened the box will keep for 4+ weeks.

  10. Anonymous says:

    According to tetrapakrecycling.co.uk, these can reclaim the cardboard by vigorous pulping; and the plastic and aluminum can either be used together (as ???) or separated.

    They link to a German lifecycle analysis that gives tetrapaks the nod over disposable PET on lots of bases. If so, I guess we ought to push for recycling them where we live.

    (Well, the other question is, is this wine any good?)

  11. Anonymous says:

    I love the box wine concept and wish I could find more quality wines in Bota Boxes. I have never tried a tetrapak but it seems to have all the stigma of a box without the longevity? For Tetrapak fans . .why use a Tetrapak and not a box?

  12. Not a Doktor says:

    box wine is good for keeping, the internal bladder bag shrinks and keeps out oxygen

    Although I have to say my preference is cheap wine and fancy beer

  13. Pineiro says:

    Wine-in-a-box it’s very very common in my country, Chile. The country of the finest wines. Yet the ones that come in that package are the lowest quality and therefore the lowest price. There’s even some 5 liter aluminum foil bag of wine.

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