It’s not that wine in boxes and cans has been bad. It’s that it hasn’t been very good. Now, the quality has fully caught up with the trend.
Two things that are true at the same time: The world of wine has changed immeasurably in the past 9,000 years. It has also barely changed at all. Just about the biggest shift—from clay pots to glass bottles—took more than a century to perfect and catch on. That was 200 years ago. Which should explain—but not excuse—the less-than-thrilling first few years of the wine-in-cans movement: The producers who bought in were so obsessed with the novelty, they forgot to compete on taste.
We’re happy to report—after several months of consulting pros, throwing back cans, and draining boxes—that those low expectations can now officially be crushed and thrown in the recycling bin. The landscape has fully adapted, so ditching glass no longer means compromising on quality. Some killer producers, in California, on Long Island, and even in old-school Europe, have joined the movement, selling wine in aluminum, boxes, and Tetra Paks. For winemakers, the shift makes sense: Less packaging weight means more sustainable, less expensive shipping. Which means drinkers get a buzz with a lower carbon footprint. Still not convinced? Try shoving a wine bottle into a koozie and dragging it to the beach.