Bag-in-box wine is an important segment of the wine market, and in countries such as Sweden, it is responsible for around half the wine sold. Also known as the wine cask, it’s commonly seen as a good way of transporting, selling and dispensing inexpensive wine.
The basis of the bag-in-box is a plastic pouch, which usually has a metal layer in it to minimise oxygen transmission. The pouch has a dispensing tap fitted, and it’s most commonly put into a cardboard box to provide support. Interestingly, the box often has a picture of wine bottles on it to reassure customers that it contains wine, so strong is the mental association between the wine and the bottle.
The beauty of bag-in-box or cask wine is that it stays pretty fresh for a good number of days after opening. It also has a much lower carbon footprint than glass-bottled wine. The drawback? Because of the packaging and the fact that it allows the wine inside to see a bit more oxygen than a bottle and cork or cap, Bag-in-Box has a shelf life and is usually bottled with slightly higher levels of sulphur dioxide.
I’d always wondered how the pouch was filled, and earlier this week I saw a bag-in-box ‘bottling’ line in action. Here’s a short film of it: