Death of the Wine Bottle?

With the emergence of the screw cap, we’ve already learned to live without the “pop” sound made by a cork being pulled out of a wine bottle. Will we soon be learning to live without the bottle as well?

Wine bottles were first made during the 1600s, when hot-burning coal furnaces made it possible to manufacture thicker, more durable glass. Shapes and sizes of wine bottles varied, but over time they became the wine “holder” of choice.

During the 20th century, “wine in a box” became popular, although it generally was limited to low-end wines—the type one might otherwise buy in large jugs at the liquor store or supermarket.

More recently, other types of containers have been introduced, including aluminum cans. Sofia Blanc de Blancs from Francis Ford Coppola is packaged in four-can cardboard cubes, and each 6.3-ounce can comes with its own straw.

Then there’s the Wine Cube, which reminds me of a kid’s juice box, only larger. Each cube contains the equivalent of about three glasses of wine.

Stack Wines have been on the market for a while, and each “tube” contains four filled glasses made out of hard plastic. Simply unzip the outer packaging, unstack the bottles and pull back their foil tops—a nice idea for a picnic.

Even the much maligned “wine in a box” has been given a stylish update by Volere Wines, which packs its 1.5-liter bags of wine in a purse-shaped box with a piece of rope attached for carrying. It definitely makes a style statement.

Will the “wine purse,” wine stacks, the Wine Cube or aluminum cans one day replace the wine bottle—singularly or collectively? Personally, I doubt it.

But in the sometimes-wacky world of wine, where that iconic pop of a cork has been joined by a “cracking” sound once reserved for cans of soda pop, I’ve learned to never to say never.

Posted in Editor's Journal
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