By Matt Ruggle
A lot of self-described wine purists will tell anyone that wine in a box is automatically inferior; however, for rationally-thinking folks who still like good wine, the fact remains that sometimes boxed wine is quite fine. Those who produce the wine especially should appreciate boxed wine, because one of the best advantages is the box itself.
One perk of using boxes over bottles is shipping costs. Glass bottles are heavy, and require additional materials (such as bottle boxes) to transport. Those extra materials add even more weight and take up more room. Cardboard boxes, on the other hand, can lie flat to ship, and individually, are much, much lighter than glass, so a single truck can haul many, many more boxes – which means boxes are not only more environmentally-friendly to use, they are more cost efficient.
Another advantage to boxes is their sturdiness. Glass is fragile – if a bottle tips over while shipping or shelving, if it doesn’t break in the initial fall, there is a good chance the round bottle could roll and break against a wall or worse, another bottle. Boxes stack straight and tall, and aren’t likely to break even if they fall over.
Best of all, boxes offer more branding real estate due to their shape. Gloss bottles get one or two labels at best, and they don’t cover the entire container, so if you aren’t looking directly at the label on the front, you might not be able to tell who made that wine. Boxes, however, have six flat sides: easy to print, easy to see any angle, easy to stack taller than other products, easy to make your company known.
Boxes indeed are advantageous not only for winemakers, but also people who prefer to drink wine rather than merely collect wine. If we can drop the pretentions, then we can stop dropping bottles and start living environmentally-friendly, cost-efficient, well-branded lives drinking wine from boxes.
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