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Review: 2012 Paperboy Chardonnay

Remember when I told you about wine made in a paper bottles? Well, I drank it for the first time this weekend.

Verdict: meh on the wine, cool on the packaging.


I had the 2012 Paperboy Chardonnay at a picnic on Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl, one of my fave LA summer activities. A friend who is a big fan of Chardonnay brought it along.

The wine doesn’t have much going on. It smells like grape juice and it tastes like alcoholic grape juice. It’s a tart chardonnay and absent, in my mind, was the iconic butteryness in most Chards. It reminded me of Franzia.

Now about the actual good stuff: the packaging. It’s made by a U.K company called GreenBottle and the eco-friendly company’s first U.S. partner is California-based Truett-Hurst. Much like boxed wines, paper bottles are lined with a plastic bladder to hold the liquid.

Paperboy is sold at Safeway stores.

Nuts & Bolts:

  • Winery: Paperboy
  • Type: Chardonnay
  • Origin: Hopland, Calif.
  • Vintage: 2012
  • Price: Potluck addition
  • Alcohol content: 14.5%
  • When to drink: When you’re looking to bring a novelty along to a party. Not recommended to drink over a nice dinner at home.

Wine in a can? Wine in paper bottles? What’s up with that?

For those of us who went to college in the past 10 years, we’ve had our fair share of wine in a box. Who can forget slap the bag? 

But wine in paper bottles and wine in cans? These are new and intriguing entries to the U.S. wine market.

First, the paper bottle:

It’s made by a U.K company called GreenBottle and the eco-friendly company’s first U.S. partner is California-based Truett-Hurst. Inside this interesting container will be Paperboy, a 2012 red blend from Paso Robles. What’s in the blend doesn’t seem to be portrayed on the bottle, but it does clock in at 14.5% alcohol and it’s coming to a Safeway stores soon. The paper bottle has already been used by Kingsland Wines on the other side of the pond. That winery used the label Thirsty Earth for its paper bottle wines, which included a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and an Australian Shiraz.

Photo: thedieline.com

Photo: thedieline.com

Much like boxed wines, paper bottles are lined with a plastic bladder to hold the liquid. According to Fox News, you can put it in ice for up to three hours without the paper disintegrating. I feel like I need to test this out myself before believing that one. I don’t know how much it will cost, but once I figure that out, I’ll update.

Now, the can:

An Oregon winery has canned Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in 8 ounce containers! Union Wine Co., which cans the wine under the label Underwood, wanted to reverse the craft beer trend, where beer has been elevated out of Miller and Bud territory and into the world of tastings and fancy glasses, much like wine.

Photo: Union Wine Co.

Photo: Union Wine Co.

“We wanted to come up with a product that embodied our company’s philosophy of making great craft wine minus all the fuss,” Ryan Harms, owner of Union Wine Co., told Fast Company.“There is a ‘winification’ of beer trend going on and Union Wine Co. is at the forefront of a new trend, the ‘beerification’ of wine.”

It’s about taking the snobbery out of wine and making it more accessible, which seems to be the trend du jour. The cans even feature the Twitter hashtag #pinkiesdown.

They’ll be available next year; $5 for an 8-ounce can.