Here’s to you, Mr. Angrove

April 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

Yesterday the inventor of wine-in-a-box, Thomas Angrove, died at age 92.

“Boxed wine?” you ask.

Yes, boxed wine. And before you tell me the only people who care about boxed wine are broke college students, think about this:

Boxed wine, or the wine cask, revolutionized wine storage. It made wine easy to transport and easy to stack and store. Plus, with the addition of the plastic cap by Penfolds Wine, the cask became a 100% air-tight way to seal wine.

Admittedly, boxed wine isn’t very romantic. You probably wouldn’t bring it to a dinner party and set it next to candles and a perfectly cooked prime rib.

But boxed wine isn’t totally without its merits and has it pluses and minus like all sealing methods.

Take natural cork. Natural cork is a renewable resource and also biodegradable. It’s porous nature lets a minimal amount of air into the bottle that’s thought to help fine wines age.

On the flip side though, natural cork can dry out, crack and crumble when you try to remove it. And the chemical used to sterilize these corks causes a musty odor and flavor in about 5 – 10% of wine, what’s referred to as a “corked” wine.

Here at Sunset Hills Vineyard, we use synthetic cork.

Synthetic cork has the same look as natural cork and is nearly air tight as well. It’s not biodegradable like natural cork, but can be recycled to reduce waste.

Another alternative to both kinds of cork is the screw cap.

Though not as elegant as cork (more in the family of boxed wine), the screw cap is 100% air-tight and eliminates the problem of “corked” wines. They can, however, trap unwanted gases in the bottle that natural and synthetic corks let out.

While each sealing method has its pros and cons, we think there’s nothing better than the melodic “pop” of uncorking a bottle of one of Sunset Hills Vineyard’s award-winning wines.

No disrespect to the late, great Mr. Angrove.

-Suzanne

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