“10 Boxed Wines That Are Really Good, Seriously; Thoughtful winemakers, motivated by environmental concerns, are turning to boxes.”

What is Eco-Positive Packaging?

Most of us are very comfortable with the idea that organic farming and waste reduction and management are positive choices if we regard our planet. Though packaging has the greatest impact, it is rarely a consideration when it comes to wine choices, so here are 10 pro tips to start you on your eco-positive wine journey:

1. Box wine and reusable glass are the best packaging choices for the environment.

2. That cute little box holds 4 bottles (yes, 4 bottles!) of wine.

3. That box is pretty light too. Hold one in your hand. Try doing the same with those 4 bottles!!??

4. Imagine those 4 bottles piling up in your recycling bin. Not to mention the additional waste from the label, capsule and closure.

5. Shocker Fact: That glass is probably not even being recycled. (Gasp!!!)

6. In contrast, that cute little box is 75% recycled cardboard and breaks down neatly and amounts to less waste than a newspaper.

7. The bag. . .yeah the plastic bag. . .It is also very compact. You can send it back to me. I’ll collect it and am working on how I can upcycle them. That’s a fancy term for making the bags into something that has more ‘value’ than in its original form. For example, I am trying to turn them into sturdy crates for my reusable glass! Stay-tuned for more on this. . .And what if you don’t send the bag back to me. Most of you probably won’t because we are convenience-based and habituated to dispose of packaging rather than a circular economy based on reusing things again and again to reduce waste. It’s ok. We are not there yet, but hopefully, you are starting to think about this stuff. And I digress. . .

8. If you don’t return the bag to me it goes to the landfill, along with the glass. This sucks. I’m not going to lie. But this is honestly one small piece of the problem/puzzle. Even with this bag in the landfill, box wine is still a much better choice for the environment.

9. Reusable glass bottles are awesome because they involve zero waste at all. Return the bottle where it is accepted and it will be washed and reused for the next vintage. This is brillant. The only complexity relates to #7 above, and the fact that we are a long way off from a circular economy (can be a link) for glass wine bottles. Why? Because it is pull your hair out complicated! But we are taking the first baby steps, which is crucial!

10. This is a lot to digest, and I didn’t share everything! But please trust me. I know way too much about this stuff!


On Box Wine:
Recognizing that box wine has a negative stigma and generally fails to meet standards of a discerning palate, and that the majority of packaging have a generic appearance, Wine Queen produced her first ‘fancy’ box wine, with distinct, design-conscious packaging from a proper Domaine in southern Burgundy to buck that trend. To be able to accept that box wine can be fine wine, consumers must have sufficient choice in this more stylized format.

Wine Queen is adamant about changing market perception for box wine through education and facilitating market access to more choice in higher quality wine. In her words: Once it’s in the glass, does it really matter?

On Reusable Glass:
Wine Queen acknowledges that after centuries as the ‘preferred vessel’ for wine, glass is here to stay. Wine Queen’s interest in reusable glass, which is essentially zero waste, was sparked by a desire to ensure an environmentally responsible packaging type exists for wine styles not suited for the box wine format. These include sparkling wine and wine intended for longer term aging, and which are not meant to be consumed within roughly a year of purchase.

Using her passion and credibility as a Master of Wine, Melissa aka Wine Queen has set out to carve a path for her industry towards eco-positive practices by educating and changing consumer behavior with a unified strategy towards sustainable packaging solutions for the wine industry. Her dream is to have dedicated ‘eco-positive’ wine sections in retail stores and on wine lists that embrace wines packaged in an environmentally responsible way.

When she is not busy being a mom of two or working or running long distances, you will find her sipping Champagne.

Follow @melissamontisaunders @communalbrands