Just this month, Italy's Agriculture Ministry announced that some wines that receive the government’s quality assurance label may now be sold in boxes. An op-ed in yesterday's New York Times discusses how boxed wine makes more and more sense.
Author Tyler Coleman notes that the American market is huge, and growing--in terms of overall consumption, Americans are second only to the French when it comes to wine drinking--and makes a strong environmental argument for boxed wines:
More than 90 percent of American wine production occurs on the West Coast, but because the majority of consumers live east of the Mississippi, a large part of carbon-dioxide emissions associated with wine comes from simply trucking it from the vineyard to tables on the East Coast. 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.
I don't know of any local vineyards who are boxing their wines, yet. Target has actually been making "wine cubes" for a while, but they're not available in Minnesota stores due to liquor sales restrictions.