NPR : News

Filed Under:

No More Shame: Boxed Wine Now Comes In A High-End Fashion Purse

Ladies, if the thought of showing up at a party or a picnic with a box of wine seems a little gauche, there's now a product for you: Vernissage's "bag-in-a-bag" of wine. It's boxed wine, shaped like a handbag.

Elliot Stern, CEO of Squish Wines, is in charge of importing the bags, which originate in Sweden, into the U.S. He says it's a "whole new concept of design" meant to appeal to a classy lady heading out to lunch with the girls or dinner with her significant other.

More than half of female drinkers chose wine over other alcoholic beverages, according to a recent Gallup poll, so there's reason to think this might appeal to a few women out there.

The idea for the wine purse originated a few years back in Sweden. Alternative wine packaging has been surging across Scandinavia, and luxury wine expert Takis Soldatos took notice, Stern says. Soldatos then paired up with the bag designer, Sofia Bloomberg, and came up with the Vernissage brand. Since its Swedish debut in 2010, the wine-in-a-purse has launched in China, Japan and several other countries in Europe.

Stores in the U.S. will start seeing these bags of wine in the next few weeks. But since wine consumption continues to steadily climb, what took the purse so long to make its voyage here?

The answer may lie within the stigma of boxed wine, which suffers a reputation for being cheap and generally lousy. Plus, a box can't really compete visually with a sleek glass bottle.

And yet there's a silver lining to all the cardboard and plastic: Bags seem to actually be better than glass for preserving wine. When a glass bottle is uncorked, air rushes in and starts to oxidize the wine, and distort the flavor. The bag-in-box technology forces the wine out of the tap while only allowing in a minimal amount of oxygen. Hence, it keeps longer — even up to a few weeks.

Oenophiles should be happy to know that Vernissage is pumping French wine from Vin de Pays d'Oc into its airtight bags. There's a Chardonnay Viognier (in a white bag), a Cabernet Shiraz (black), and a Rose (pink, of course). A 1.5-liter purse will run customers about $20. The 3-liter bag will cost about $40.

As for how well the purse will do stateside, only time will tell, but success on other continents bodes a promising future. People do accept change — eventually.

"One generation ago no one was buying wine with a screw cap," Stern says, "and look now."

Good point, Mr. Stern.

Only thing we're wondering is if there's a man bag version of this in the works.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Filmmaker Andrea Arnold On 'American Honey' And Preserving Mystery In Film

Arnold's latest film, which won the Jury Prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, tells the story of a group of abandoned teenagers who travel together selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door.
NPR

Our Robot Overlords Are Now Delivering Pizza, And Cooking It On The Go

A Silicon Valley start-up wants to use technology to solve the pizza paradox. It's a food that's meant to be delivered, but never tastes quite as good upon arrival.
WAMU 88.5

Rating The United States On Child Care

A majority of parents in the U.S. work outside the home. That means about 12 million children across the country require care. A new report ranks states on cost, quality and availability of child care - and says nobody is getting it right.

NPR

Our Robot Overlords Are Now Delivering Pizza, And Cooking It On The Go

A Silicon Valley start-up wants to use technology to solve the pizza paradox. It's a food that's meant to be delivered, but never tastes quite as good upon arrival.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.