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Boxed Wine Takes a Stand

Boxed Wine Takes a Stand

Instead of using possibly toxic ink, Wineberry America burns the labels onto the boxes.

Carrie Strong | Chef's Blade

The conversation of boxed wine has rippled through all media outlets throughout 2009. This simple container has been marketed as inexpensive, convenient, space-saving and ecological. While consumers are getting the hard-sell from mainstream media efforts, boxed wine has been noticed by the “green” eyes of wine industry professionals and environmental advocates alike.

Boxed wine, however, has historically had negative associations being housed in dingy cardboard packaging and being of poor taste and quality. In rescue of such a tragic reputation, Eric Dubourg, Founder of wine distribution company Wineberry America, has designed a beautiful solution for those weary of letting go of their glass bottles to drink wine from an ugly box.

Eric was determined to replace the existing boxed wine designs with a higher end, sophisticated image and product. His determination stemmed from original reasons to replace the glass bottles including a global shortage of glass, breakability costs ultimately paid for by the consumer, and a heavily weighted carbon footprint.

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These boxes can be held up on these beautifully designed stands.

Alternative packaging, however, presented Eric with an uphill battle of image, design, and quality. Eric researched existing ecologically sound packaging: Tetra Brik and traditional Bag in Box (BiB). He started with the most recently designed Swiss-based Tetra Brik packaging of milk carton disguise. While light-weight and resistant, Tetra Brik’s soft-sided cardboard has cheap-looking designs and no means of preservation. At one liter sizes, this wine is meant to be consumed in one sitting, thus preventing any oxidation. Tom Geniesse, founder of Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit and salesman of several Tetra Brik packaged wines, admits admiringly that the wine contained in Tetra Brik packaging is of good value. He continues, “One must address it with a sense of humor…but it is good wine at its price point.” Most notable Tetra Brik contender in the United States is Three Thieves, who sells their one liter Bandit label at $9. Their designs shout out fun, witty messages and flashy colors rather than a sophisticated traditional image. Eric recognized Tetra Brik were a good value but believed that the containers not only deter sophisticated wine consumers but the wine tends to bear little identity or terroir in comparison with bottled wine. His task remained to shatter those negative connotations and get some good juice in the box.