The emergence of alternative packaging, in wine and far beyond, is a response to the contemporary need for convenience, sustainability, and innovation. As the world evolves, so do our lifestyles, preferences and mindsets – and as global wine quality improves, is it time to consider this quality when poured from non-traditional formats?
In its 20th year, DWWA said yes.
Bag-in-box, cans, cartons, wine pouches and other formats have boldly stepped into the wine scene, challenging the status quo and reshaping the way we think about enjoying wine. As the world’s largest wine competition, with two decades under its belt, 2023 seemed the time for DWWA to open entries to wines ‘bottled’ in alternative formats.
But, in a quest for accuracy, fairness, and true benchmarking of wine quality, all entries, regardless of packaging, were categorised and sampled by expert judges in carefully organised flights based on country, region, colour, grape, style, vintage and price point. This approach allowed for impartial evaluations, eliminating any preconceived notions about packaging or labelling to award quality based on the content.
On this, co-Chair Michael Hill Smith MW said, ‘I don’t really care whether a wine is in a bottle or in a can or a sack. What’s important to me is that there’s actually a high quality wine in the glass.’
Scroll down to see all DWWA award-winning wines in alternative packaging
‘Winning a DWWA medal means a lot, it means that it is being assessed by a panel of experts,’ said DWWA judge Andrea Pritzker MW during this year’s judging week. ‘It’s being in a competition with a lot of other excellent wines, so it’s really a standout.’
Whether Bronze, Silver, Gold or beyond, a DWWA medal is hard-fought, and marking this first year for alternative packaging entries, a total of 31 wines were awarded a medal.
Among these, bag-in-box wines emerged as the frontrunner with 19 medals awarded, including two Silver medals for:
- Alileo Wines, Syrah, Terre Siciliane, Sicily, Italy 2022
- Mare Magnum, Mauro Alberello Primitivo, Salento, Puglia, Italy 2021
Associated with convenience and portability, canned wines are gaining traction in the wine industry. On this, Pritzker added, ‘I think the quality is there, the technology now exists for that quality to be at the level that’s really expected.’
This year’s DWWA saw six wines in aluminium can awarded medals, reflecting the growing quality of this format. Of these, two white wines were awarded Silver medals:
- Mad Wine, Pop Dry NV from Hungary, a still white wine produced with 80% Furmint, 15% Hárslevel? and 5% Muscat Blanc À Petits Grains
- Apriori Wine, Muscat NV from Moldova, a canned sparkling wine, described by the judges as fresh and aromatic with notes of pear, peach, grape and clementine
A look at alternative packaging results below highlights not just diversity in packaging formats, but experimentation with the grape varieties and styles of wines being packaged. From Grüner Veltliner and St Laurent to Rosato Syrah and orange wine packaged in pouch, this innovative category is attracting an adventurous crowd while driving quality forward.
‘Alternative packaging is a hot subject in the wine world at the moment and as it should be,’ said co-chair Ronan Sayburn MS.
‘If you’re a wine lover, you probably find your recycling bin being filled up with empty glass at the end of every week or every month, and so alternative packaging is something which I think is very important. If you’re going to consume something relatively quickly I think it can come in alternative packaging, which is much more eco-friendly,’ he added.
Adding to awarded formats, wines packaged in carton and PET bottles made the medal chart with five medals in total.
Whether you’re a supporter of wines…
Source : https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/uncorking-innovation-dwwa-2023-alternative-packaging-results-508903/