Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spot the Difference...

One is the Clos Petite Bellane Cotes du Rhone Rouge that featured as one of last week’s Wines of the Week in the Irish Times, and the other is…… well, exactly the same wine!

It’s been a while since I have opened a bag-in-box wine. My previous experiences were circa 1986, attending concerts in Dalymount Park in Dublin. Bottles and cans were prohibited, so bag-in-box wines were very popular as they could be “stuffed” up jumpers, into bags etc. All very innocent on a sunny afternoon… but that’s where my relationship with them ended.

Fast forward some 24 years and our discovery of Clos Petite Bellane and their wonderful Rhone wines. One day they mentioned about the possibility of getting their regular Cotes du Rhone in Bag-In-Box – and we thought why not? It’s a 10L box at a much cheaper price than 13-ish equivalent individual bottles – and it’s exactly the same wine as in the bottle. We’ve even subjected it to blind tasting tests!

So are we ready for the return of Bag-In-Box wines? Well, here’s my planned sales pitch to a no doubt sceptical restaurant and hotel trade….
  • It’s cheaper – significantly
  • It’s exactly the same wine – proven quality
  • It’s more environmentally friendly – wine has a huge carbon footprint between the actual glass bottles themselves and the shipping of the wines. This is a more efficient way to package and distribute the wine
  • It saves on space – I actually had to double check there were 10 litres in there – but there are!
  • It stays fresh for 8-10 days – so if you’re using a case of wine a week, it’s perfect. Or having a party…
More importantly than the restaurants and hotels themselves – are their customers ready for the return of Bag-In-Box for wines served by the glass or carafe?

We shall see…..



  1. I wouldn't fancy it myself (I'm in the Green Party, so I should be more positive about them!) but I think that most consumers wouldn't mind. Sure, isn't most wine sold in Ireland inexpensive and branded - can't see many of those people turning up their noses at bag-in-box concept. People are so skint right now I'm sure many of them would pour their wine from a sheep's bladder if it halved the price and the wine tasted okay.

  2. Interesting post Liam..I've asked myself the question a number of times (we're often offered the BIB option by wineries..)
    There are certainly some real advantages..
    Good luck with it!

  3. Well good news to date - two customers have so far listed it - and it would seem a few more are interested. It will be interesting to see what their own customer feedback is...