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Boxed wine (cask wine) is wine packaged in a bag-in-box. Wine is contained in a plastic bladder typically with an air-tight valve emerging from a protective corrugated fiberboard box. It serves as an alternative to traditional wine bottling in glass with a cork or synthetic seal. It is sometimes called goon, goon bag, "the 8th wonder of the ancient world,” or "Chateau Cardboard" in Australia.
The process for packaging 'cask wine' (boxed wine) was invented by Thomas Angove, a winemaker from Renmark, South Australia, and patented by his company on April 20, 1965. Polyethylene bladders of 1 gallon (4.5 litres) were placed in corrugated boxes for retail sale. The original design required that the consumer cut the corner off the bladder, pour out the serving of wine and then reseal it with a special peg and was based on a product already on the market, which was a bag in a box used by mechanics to hold and transport battery acid.
In 1967, Australian inventor Charles Malpas and Penfolds Wines patented a plastic, air-tight tap welded to a metallised bladder, making storage more convenient. All modern wine casks now use some sort of plastic tap, which is exposed by tearing away a perforated panel on the box. For the next decades bag in a box packaging was primarily preferred by producers of less expensive wines as it is cheaper to fabricate and distribute than glass bottles.
In 2003, California Central Coast AVA–based Black Box Wines introduced mass premium wines in a box, which served to overturn the stereotype that boxed wines are an alternate packing on inexpensive jug wine.[where?] Within the decade premium wineries and bottlers began packaging their own high-quality boxed wine, including French rabbit, Bandit Wines, Octavin, Target, and hundreds of others. This coupled with an increased cultural interest in environmentally sustainable packaging has cultivated growing popularity with affluent wine consumers.
During the mid-1970s, the bag in box packaging concept expanded to other beverages including spring waters, orange juices, and wine coolers, however today wine and spring water are the main two beverages packed into these bags.
Bag-in-box packaging is less expensive, lighter and more environmentally friendly than glass-bottled wine, as well as being easier to transport and store. Typical bag-in-box containers hold one and a half to four 750 ml bottles of wine per box, though they come in a wide variety of volumes.
The fact that wine is removed from the flexible bag without adding air to fill the vacated space greatly reduces oxidation of the wine during dispensing. Compared to wine in a bottle which should be consumed within hours or days of opening, bag-in-box wine is not subject to cork taint and will not spoil for approximately 3–4 weeks after breaking the seal.
In a 2007 editorial in The Sydney Morning Herald, Adele Horin criticized the lower level of alcohol excise levied on cask wine in Australia (compared to beer and bottled wine), saying it encourages binge drinking.[unreliable source?]
- McClintock, Alex (2 March 2015). "Happy birthday goon: cask wine turns 50". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
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