I have written about the glories of Box Wine before, but:
Tyler Colman, reporting for The New York Times (Most Wine Should Be Sold in Boxes):
A standard wine bottle holds 750 milliliters of wine and generates about 5.2 pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions when it travels from a vineyard in California to a store in New York. A 3-liter box generates about half the emissions per 750 milliliters. Switching to wine in a box for the 97 percent of wines that are made to be consumed within a year would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about two million tons, or the equivalent of retiring 400,000 cars.[…]
What’s more, boxed wine is superior to glass bottle storage in resolving that age-old problem of not being able to finish a bottle in one sitting. Once open, a box preserves wine for about four weeks compared with only a day or two for a bottle. Boxed wine may be short on charm, but it is long on practicality.
OK SO: what is really going on here is the age-old evolutionary struggle between glass and plastic. The interesting question for me here is why did wine container technology evolve into the glass bottle in the first place? As my friend Tristan would say: why did the traits of the wine bottle get chosen over time rather than the traits of other containers?
And now, I guess, we need to ask: will other traits start to get chosen over glass bottles - things like smaller carbon footprint and storage?
So, there's a lot, obviously, about the history of technological mass production when it comes to why the wine bottle is made of glass; but one piece about the wine bottle that always tickles me is that it is the perfect amount for two people. Try and drink a whole bottle yourself and you'll end up too drunk; yet split the bottle between four and it's NEVER ENOUGH. (Unless you're my parents, in which case, ok, fine, just one glass will be fine thank you.) Even worse, try and share that bottle between an odd-numbered group and inevitably a fight will break out and injurious things will be said. No, the wine bottle was invented for two, and I love that about it - that's my favorite thing.
The Box, on the other hand, is not made for any specific number. It's a tap system, and taps work just as well for one as they do for 20. In this way, the Box makes more sense in more cases; and this is what I love about it - that's my favorite thing too.
(Via John Gruber at Daring Fireball, who very rarely comments on wine.)