Stacks, cans, boxes free up wine to go
Summer has a way of slowing down our busy days, making us get out and enjoy the sunshine. But enjoying wine away from the conveniences of home can pose a dilemma. Glass is generally prohibited, but even where it isn’t, say a lake house or beach rental, we are still faced with lugging around the bottle of wine, remembering to bring a corkscrew and dealing with fragile glassware.
But that doesn’t mean you have to forgo wine. There are more options than ever before when it comes to travel and outdoor friendly wines.
Stacked single wines are new to our market and just in time for summer. Instead of packing a full bottle of wine and the glassware in your picnic basket you can have it all in one simple stack. The stack wines are a four pack of stemless shatterproof glasses of wine (187 mL each), shrink sealed together in a tower. Just snap the glasses apart, peel off the foil seal and your wine is ready to be served. No corkscrew involved and no need for glassware.
- 2017 Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay Stacked Singles, California (about $9 retail for stack of 4)
Canned wines may be the most underrated of my outdoor recommendations. Considering many wine drinkers are just now warming up to the idea of quality wine with screw tops, there has been some resistance to canned wine. This type of closure offers many summer benefits of being able to stay cold in coolers alongside other beverages, no corkscrew is needed, it’s lightweight for packing and the cans are easily recyclable. I think many consumers are concerned about taste. Over the past few weeks I experimented to see if my friends could taste a difference from what they would consider a nice, refreshing, inexpensive, chilled pinot grigio. I poured the can into a wine glass. The conclusion: Not one said a negative comment about the quality of the wine and, more importantly, they were shocked when I showed them the can. The only downside is once a can is opened, it can’t be resealed.
- 2017 Underwood Pinot Grigio, Oregon (about $7 retail for a 375 mL can)
Boxes rank among my favorites not only for convenience, but also their eco-friendliness. Most of us are familiar with the 3-liter box that fits snugly in a refrigerator but more wineries are also introducing the “mini” 500 mL Tetra Paks. Most Tetra Pak cartons are made from renewable, low carbon raw materials — primarily paperboard made from wood — that require less energy to produce than traditional glass bottles.
This is a good option for summer for many reasons: no glass, light weight for picnics and camping and a plastic closure that can be screwed back on. The drawback of these smaller boxes is, unlike their 3-liter counterparts, they don’t stay airtight for weeks.
- 2017 Black Box Pinot Grigio, California (about $5 for a 500 mL box)