Boxed Wine: Good for the Environment

The New York Times is reporting today that Italy's Agriculture Ministry has approved the use of its "Quality Assurance Stamp" on some boxed Italian wines. This is in response to a growing trend around the world of moving to boxed wines for environmental reasons.

Boxed wines are not new, they've been around for more than three decades. They are popular in Australia and France, but they have failed to catch on in the United States. With consumers and businesses thinking more about their carbon footprints, it may not be long before boxed wine is more common in America.

Those heavy glass bottles used to transport wine is difficult to ship because it is delicate and does not make the best use of space. According to the Times, a 750 mL bottle of wine generates about 5.2 pounds of carbon dioxide during its journey from California to New York. A 3 liter box, by comparison, uses half the amount of carbon dioxide of a 750 mL bottle. If 97% of wine consumed in the United States was switched to box packaging, two million tons of carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced each year, the equivalent of taking 400,000 cars off the road.

There are some other benefits associated with boxed wines. For example, if you have a hard time finishing a bottle of wine (you lightweight) boxes keep wine fresh for about four weeks longer than a bottle.

Some California wine makers are beginning to embrace the boxed wine movement. Hopefully Italy's seal of approval will make this eco-friendly option more palatable in the U.S.

To read the full New York Times story on boxed wine, click HERE.


  1. Wow, who would have thought that boxed wine will be the choice of the future. As a wine lover this is a little odd for me, but at least you can eliminate the chances of a corked bottle, right?

  2. It's ok if you think wine is the same as a fruit juice.
    Good wine is glass bottled. Bottles shape, glass thickness and colour are important when you talk about great wine.

    Obviously boxes work for low quality pasteurized wine.