Just One Thing: Boxed Wine: Good for the Heart and the Environment

Photo: GMA Just One Thing: Why boxed wine is better for the environment that the bottled kind
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Tyler Colman, known as "Dr. Vino," appeared on "Good Morning America" today to discuss what some wine connoisseurs might think of as blasphemy – wine in a box.

That's right, boxed wine is no longer just a flashback to your college days. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it's also starting to taste better.

Packaging wine in boxes instead of bottles reduces the carbon footprint of wine. Wine is cheaper to transport in boxes because boxes weigh less – in a case of bottled wine, nearly half of the weight comes from the bottles. But according to Colman's blog, in a case of boxed wine, it's 95 percent wine and only 5 percent packaging. Plus, it's easier to store the tasty beverage in a box, and you don't get bits of cork floating in your drink.

Boxed wine was first popularized by Australians 30 years ago, but only recently has the concept been embraced by the prestigious wine growing regions of Europe. The French now regularly buy boxed wine for everyday use and Italy's own agricultural ministry has given its approval to allow some of its top wines – those that have received the government's quality assurance label - to be sold in boxes.

Dr. Vino, author of the book "A Year of Wine" and award-winning blog www.DrVino.com, wrote a scientific paper entitled "The Cost of Carbon in the Global Wine Trade," and explained the environment advantage of boxed wine to "Good Morning America": A 3-liter box of wine – the equivalent of 4 bottles – generates half the carbon-dioxide emissions of a standard 750 milliliter bottle. Switching to wine in a box for 97 percent of wines made to be consumed within one year would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 2 million tons. That's the equivalent of removing 400,000 cars from the roads. As romantic and classy as a bottle of wine may be, that's a statistic you can't ignore.

For more information, go to www.DrVino.com., www.thedailygreen.com, or www.ecosalon.com.

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