Like Red? Drink Green…

by heather

When you hear the words “organic wine”, “boxed wine”, or “eco-friendly wine”, what do you think of? Probably a wine that’s good for the environment, but low on flavor, right?

Well, that’s what I thought a few weeks ago. And boy, was I wrong.

If you love drinking wine and you also love the idea of living an eco-friendly life, then you know that those two passions are often at odds with each other. Why? Because many places around the country don’t recycle green glass.

This creates a tension. Do you throw the green wine bottles away? Store them in the garage? Make an artistic looking garden fence?

I love wine, and this is something I struggle with daily since I always have a glass of red wine at dinner. There is no place to recycle green glass where I live, and yet throwing my wine bottles away feels like I’m committing a base treachery. It’s awful.

The solution I came up with was to save the bottles in my basement until I accumulated a box full, and then list them for free on Craigslist and Freecycle. They’re always picked up by people who make their own wine. So, I was ok with this, but I always wondered: did those people make any effort to recycle the green wine bottles once they were done? Was I only putting off the inevitable?

I could never be sure. Hence, the tension.

And then, it happened. A Eureka! moment. I realized that boxed wine eliminates the green glass conundrum.

How? You can recycle the cardboard, and the plastic bladder that holds the wine. Amazing! It’s estimated that boxed wine uses 85% less landfill space than bottled wine. And if you recycle the box and bladder, it doesn’t have to go into a landfill at all.

What’s even better is that boxed wine is WAY cheaper than bottled wine. One boxed wine equals four bottles of wine. And, most boxed wines are between $15-$22. This means that you’re paying, on average, $3.75-$5.50 per “bottle” of wine. So, buying boxed wine is saving money too.

You also save money because the wine lasts for 4 weeks once you’ve “opened” the spout, so you have much longer to drink it. Regular bottled wine starts to get bitter, at least to me, within 24 hours of opening. In this sense, boxed wine is a godsend because it keeps the harmful oxygen away from the wine.

Boxed Wine’s Bad Rep

Ok, I know wine enthusiasts might turn up their noses at boxed wine. After all, many people think that only the “cheapest” and worst-tasting wines come in boxes. But, let me defend the little guy here and make their case.

Since my Eureka! moment I’ve tried a few different brands of boxed wines. Here’s my rundown:

  • Black Box Wines– This boxed wine usually sells for $20-$25 in grocery stores. It’s flavor? Well, I’m not going to sit here and talk about its “dark cherry undertones and walnut-tasting finish”. I don’t know what that means anyway. My own personal opinion was that I wasn’t crazy about the taste of this one (I bought the shiraz). But again, this is only my opinion. You can find a more sophisticated review of this wine here.
  • Corbett Canyon Boxed Wine– I really enjoyed this wine. I bought the merlot, and felt it was really smooth and tasty. I know the wine connoisseurs will be leaving my blog in droves over this comment, but this wine really went great with cheap pizza. I can’t remember how much I paid for this boxed wine, but I think it was around $16. I would definitely buy this wine again.
  • Bota Box Wines– The Bota Box Shiraz was my favorite of the three I’ve tried thus far. I love the taste of this wine. It’s spicy and smooth at the same time. I paid $20 for the Bota Box shiraz. The best part about Bota Box is that the company is totally green. The box is printed with soy based ink on recycled paper (which can be recycled again), and the internal plastic bag has no BPAs. Go Bota!

So, there you have it. Boxed wine is better for the environment, and saves you money to boot. What’s not to love? For me, nothing. I’ll be buying boxed wine from now on, and have a clean conscience too. Fabulous.

Important Side Note: I do not have any affiliations with these companies, and was not paid or reimbursed in any way for mentioning their products.

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Reclaimed Home: Green Low Impact Housing Renovation of New York, Brooklyn, New Jersey
February 16, 2009 at 7:23 am


Aya @ Thrive February 3, 2009 at 8:56 am

It’s only been a few days since I’ve started reading your blog, and I already admire all the effort you put into being green (and saving money through it, of course)! I can’t believe you went through the trouble of offering your bottles on CL and researching the recycle-ability of boxed-wine.
I have a friend who loves wine as well, and I might make your suggestions to him. But, he is one of those guys that likes to talk about expensive wine while sloshing it in his glass, so the idea might not fly…but for the sake of the environment, it’s worth mentioning!!
Out of curiosity, I would assume so, but does white wine come in box form too? (I’m guessing you didn’t mention it since you prefer red)

heather February 3, 2009 at 9:17 am

Hi Aya,

Thanks! Yeah, it just hurts my heart to throw anything that can be recycled in the trash. But really, I’ve found it doesn’t take that much more effort to do the responsible thing.

As far as white wine goes, there’s plenty of brands that put it in a box. I’ve also found Sangria in a box, but haven’t tried it yet.

Thanks so much for reading!

Stephanie Reiley February 3, 2009 at 10:34 am

I’m big into wine and I see nothing wrong with your delight in finding a wine that goes well with cheap pizza. Wine connoisseurs who get in a tizzy over that need to lighten up.

Wine is all about sensory enjoyment, not pretension. 🙂

RecycleCindy February 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I too love Corbett Canyon red wine and have been trying to buy it by the box. I keep a big bottle and refill it so I don’t have to have a box on the table. Works great and the price is only about $10 here for a box so it’s frugal too!

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