Pouch Wine Is Getting Me Through Summer Quarantine
It keeps forever and is highly portable.
In the early days of the pandemic, I took a trip to the liquor store. This was shortly before New York City shut down to combat the novel coronavirus that was already spreading exponentially amongst its citizens, and one of the last times I would go into a store that wasn’t a supermarket or pharmacy for four months. I didn’t know that at the time, of course. But I did know that whatever was coming would require wine, probably in quantity, and so I stocked up. The wine store in my neighborhood was full of people with similar ideas, and I noticed one item seemed to be flying off the shelf—a pouch of VRAC rosé with a spout and handle, that promised it contained four bottles' worth of wine. That seemed optimal at a time when the fewer trips you made out of your house, the better. I grabbed a pouch.
Bagged wine isn’t a new concept. After all, the box that boxed wine comes in contains a bag inside, boxes notoriously being pretty leaky on their own. Wineskins of yore were also wine bags, if you think about it. So pouched wine, which seems like a XXXL adult Capri Sun, felt pretty easily in my comfort zone, and if the wine was truly awful I could always use it for cooking. To my delight, the VRAC Rosé was not just palatable, but pretty good. The convenience of having a pouch with a spout meant that I could pour myself a glass without worrying about finishing a bottle, and the handle allows for easy transport in and out of the fridge. The bag took up less space than a box would, and it was easier to manipulate when I was also trying to fit a week or two of groceries into the refrigerator.
VRAC isn’t the only wine who adopted the pouch concept. Maivino offers a similar, slightly smaller pouch that it’ll deliver to your door. In addition, they’re a vegan wine company (no, not all wines are vegan since most have been clarified with animal-derived products during the winemaking process). In addition to a rosé, Maivino offers a Pinot Noir and a Sauvignon Blanc if you’re not a fan of the pink stuff. They go for $35 per pouch, with a discount if you order more than one or set up a subscription service, and contain two bottles of wine apiece. Maivino claims that the wine will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 32 days, but if I’m honest, I’ve never needed that long to finish two bottles of wine. It's also nice to have an alternative to glass bottles of wine to tote along on a picnic.
The lessened environmental impact in terms of pouch packaging is also at the core of another wine-pouch subscription service, Irreverent Wine. They offer a pouch of white, red, or rosé shipped monthly, for $45, or one white and one red for $69.
Wine in a pouch isn’t the solution to everything, but it probably will help your summer a lot. I know it’s helping mine.