Wine in a box good, not gauche
By Marg Land
June 16, 2009 – In a discovery that may help boxed wine shake off its
gauche image, scientists report that boxes may help reduce levels of
substances that contribute odours to wine.
June 16, 2009 – In a discovery that may help boxed wine shake off its gauche image, scientists report that boxes may help reduce levels of substances that contribute odours to wine.
Gary Pickering and colleagues note that trace amounts of chemicals called alkyl-methoxypyrazines (MPs) are generally negative to wine quality, masking the desirable fruity and floral flavours and giving wine an unpleasant green taste. With the wine industry still searching for a way of reducing MP levels, the scientists decided to look at the effects of wine packaging and closures like corks and screw caps.
They added MPs to red and white wines and monitored levels of MPs for 18 months in wine packaged in boxes and bottles with natural cork, synthetic cork, or screw caps. Boxed wine had less MPs — up to 45 per cent less — than any other packaging. Bottles sealed with synthetic cork and screw caps performed best, with natural corks associated with the highest levels of MPs.
One concern with the boxed wine, however, was evidence of greater oxidation of the wine, which itself is undesirable during wine storage.