Eat My Words: Thinking outside the wine in a box

It’s been awhile since I did one of these so I’m a little behind in my articles; forgive me, please. But this piece on wine packaging in the June issue of Fast Company was one of my favorites to write. And research—I mean, really, when else am I going to get the chance to knock back a liter of wine a night for weeks in the name of my career!

I first met the suave Frenchman Jean-Charles Boisset at the Compostmodern conference in San Francisco. He kissed my hand, and I swore to write an article about him (really, that’s how easy it is). He gave an excellent presentation about how his Boisset Family Winery is one of the few true innovators in the wine making industry. As you can imagine, it’s quite a stuffy business; let’s just say when it comes to resisting change, you could till a vineyard with the dragging fingernails of a traditional winemaker. But Boisset, concerned about the fact that wine regions are shifting so rapidly due to climate change—we’re talking Champagne grapes in England, people—focused on dematerializing the wine packaging process. The result is a flashy, metallic, low-impact Tetra Pak that not only looks great in your Hollywood Bowl picnic basket, it has honest-to-goodness excellent wine inside.

The amazing art peeps at Fast Company have once again wrestled all this information into a great online slideshow, which illustrates the thought put into these glorified juice boxes. Besides the fact that making a Tetra Pak uses far less energy and creates less waste than a glass bottle, the packing and shipping is so effective that Boisset can fit the same amount of Tetra Pak wine in one of their trucks as compared to 28 trucks carrying glass bottles. And no joke, it actually behooves you financially to buy the Tetra Pak over the bottle:  You will get a liter of wine in a Tetra Pak compared to the standard 750mL in a glass bottle, for the same price. That’s 33% more wine! I can already see a whole new brand of environmentalist out there:  The Eco-Wino.

Here’s the piece as a PDF, with a bit more information and images.

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  • Spencer Cross

    This is super interesting, and I’d drink wine out of a Tetra Pak without hesitation. Unfortunately, Tetra Paks are only recyclable in a few municipalities and Los Angeles is, sadly, not one of them. :(

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