Bringing Boxy Back: Australia Celebrates 50th Year of Box Wine

 


The goon sack is turning 50. 
 
This year marks the fifth decade of box wine's existence, and Australian Broadcasting Network's Caroline Winter interviewed the son of the inventor of bag-in-a-box wine, affectionately known as “goon bag” and “goon sack” in Oz. 
 
“It was a pretty amazing idea and I remember as a youngster thinking, 'God Dad that's crazy, that'll never work. Who's going to buy wine in a plastic bag?” said John Angove, managing director of Angove Family Winemakers, the company John's father Tom started in order to spread the box-wine gospel.
 
While seen as blasphemy by some – it “often has the perception of being ... a cheap way to get drunk,” Winter wrote – the cubed quaffer is an unmistakable hit around the world.
 
“The fundamental concept of the airless flow, in other words when you take out of that flexible package there's no air that goes into it to replace the space that the wine was taking up,” Angove said. “That fundamental concept is what's made it such a success and that's not changed at all.”
 
Angove said his father got the idea of a boxed bag of wine from the old traditions of wine transport.
 
“He kept on talking about the old goat skins and the flexible package that they used to have,” he said.
From there, Angove said his dad progressed to the concept of a modern version of the goat skin.
 
“Well, why don't we put it in a plastic bag? And if we could support the bag somehow … it might work,” his dad thought, Angove said.
 
For all the romance and revelry of Australia's mighty shiraz and other wines from Down Under, Accolade Wines' Scott Bell said Aussies have surprisingly boxy tendencies when choosing what wine they'll drink. 
 
“You know, a little known fact still to this day is that one in every three glasses of wine drunk in Australia comes out of a cask, so it's still a strong category,” Bell said.
 
As to why the country's oenophiles choose the boxed stuff 33 percent of the time, Bell said it's a matter of ease.
 
“It's convenient, there's no glass, it's easier to carry, it stays fresh for longer than a bottle, it's reduced carbon footprint, and of course, value for money versus the bottle option.”
 

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