Elodie Cameron from drinks shop Thirsty reveals that the old-style wine-in-a-box has undergone a revolution…
Many of us remember the old bag-in-box wines of the past, how they adorned house parties alongside finger foods that didn’t get eaten. They retained a lowbrow image and were seen as cheap and cheerful, but we’ve come a long way since those days. It’s now over 50 years since winemaker Tom Angove patented his idea for flexible packaging down in South Australia, after being inspired by the old practice of using goatskins.
Slowly but surely the image and technology have moved on, whilst the basic principle – that air is not able to replace the space the wine took up – still ensures the wine stays fresh; this is where the success of Tom’s idea lies. There has been a lot of development in the quality of bag and, in turn, this has allowed for better quality and variety of wines on tap (many kegs use the same principle). What’s the point, you may well ask? With financial and environmental pressures made ever-more apparent, we begin to see the benefits for suppliers and consumers alike. There’s no glass for a start, a reduced carbon footprint, less waste (some kegs, holding 30 litres of wine, can be crushed down to the size of a couple of glass bottles and popped into the recycling bin)and less waste, as the wine can be kept on tap or in the box for much longer than a bottle, preventing oxidisation after opening. All this makes it more cost effective for all. Consistency and quality means some of the biggest names in winemaking are getting involved, and as it only takes two minutes to fill a 30-litre KeyKeg (a recyclable, top quality, lightweight keg)it allows for exciting new wines and blends to be easily accessible – which can only be good news for wine drinkers.
So, out goes the old image and in comes the new – great, easy-drinking wines that are better value and… Yes, I will say it: cool. There are now wine bars made up of wines on tap, or tap walls, which include beer, wine and even cocktails (how fun is a party with Prosecco on tap?). You can have a great time, enjoy interesting new wines, feel positive about the environmental impact – and it’s good on the wallet, to boot.Join this drinking revolution; wines on tap are here to stay!
A varied selection of wines on tap are available by the glass (or returnable bottle) at Thirsty, Chesterton Road.