THE NEW WINE POUCH – A JUICE BOX FOR ADULTS
Wine seems to be undergoing a packaging revolution. First Stelvin enclosures (aka screwcaps) became cool, then boxed wines were hip and now, wine in a pouch seems to be coming into vogue. At least three US wineries are now offering wines in high-tech foil pouches that essentially resemble children’s juice pouches . . . only these ones are for grownups. Glenora Winery in New York and the Clif Family Winery and Farm in California’s Napa Valley use the pouches for wines from their vineyards, while Indulge, a start-up based in Santa Barbara, California is selling its wines, made from Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes, in the containers. “We use it for our Riesling and Chardonnay. It’s the same wine as you’ll find in the bottles and it’s really good quality,” said Glenora’s winemaker Steve DiFrancesco, adding the pouches flew off shelves when they appeared last summer. The pouches take half as long to chill as a bottle, weigh much less, and will keep the 1.5 liters of wine they contain fresh for a month after they’ve been opened. They also reduce the carbon footprint by 85%. Clif (which also produces the energy snack of the same name) put a karabiner on the pouch and added it to its line of Climber wines, which include California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, organic wines also available in bottles. Wineries in Australia, Europe and South Africa have been using the pouches for several years, according to Dave Moynihan, president of AstraPouch North America. As new age as this may seem, it’s really an example of “everything old is new again”. Patrick McGovern, head of the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, told national geographic that the first wine-tasting may have occurred during the Paleolithic age when humans drank the juices of naturally fermented wild grapes from animal-skin pouches.