Thursday, September 14, 2006

Juice boxes for grown-ups

Winemakes can't seem to stop tinkering with packaging these days. Not too long ago wine in a box was synonymous with jug wines and what we like to think of as "complimentary heartburn and headache." Then came DTour, a collaboration between Dominique Lafon, (vigneron) Daniel Johnnes, (sommelier) and Daniel Boulud (chef). DTour is packaged in a tubular vacuum packed tube. And it's getting rave reviews.

In a rather misguided attempt to broaden wine's appeal and further loosen up the intimidation factor of wine, witness the next generation of wine packaging: The Juice box.

According to the vintners using this packaging "There are times when a full bottle of wine just won't do: at the beach and on the golf course, for example, where glass bottles aren't allowed."
They also hope to target the casual drinker who only wants one glass a night or the wine drinker who's spouse drinks beer.

Even if the wine selection did rise above Sutter Home which generally falls into the jug wine category, I can't see this taking the industry by storm. As American's appetite for premium wine continues to grow this seems like a swing and a miss and righfully so. I'll be waiting for the NY Post headlines about kids who mistakenly get Mommy's juice box in their lunch by mistake. If nothing else, it has the promise of some good comic relief.

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