Five wines that don't come in a bottle

By Amelia Ball

8 Nov, 2021

Forget about wine in bottles this season and consider these five sustainable, convenient and quality alternatives.

We may expect wine to come in 750ml glass bottles, but a growing choice of alternatives is now available – and they hold quality wines, too. Ideal for people who don't want to share a whole bottle in one sitting, they either come in smaller formats or can retain the wine's freshness longer than a traditional open bottle. 

In addition, these options tick a range of sustainability boxes by lowering their carbon footprint in various ways, so they are also doing good, too. Perfect for picnics, single-serve occasions or any other gathering, these five alternatives are worth a closer look.       

A picnic settingA growing range of non-traditional wine packaging options are perfect for your next picnic.

1. Wine in a can

Fourth Wave Wine has led the charge with the booming canned wine market and now, their moderate-alcohol range Tread Softly is in this format. In addition to employing sustainable practices, the label is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by planting an Australian native tree for every dozen wines sold. As of the middle of this year, Tread Softly is responsible for planting almost 320,000 native trees and shrubs in conjunction with Carbon Neutral Australia. This spritzy prosecco has scents of apple, pear and melon, and is an ideal refresher on the go.
RRP $24 per four-pack. 

2. Wine in a pouch

Choose between pinot noir and pinot grigio in Trentham Estate’s new range, Three’s a Crowd, which comes in 1.5-litre packaging. The compact pouch produces 80 per cent less carbon emissions than glass, with the bottles and their transportation being the two biggest contributors to wine’s carbon footprint. The pinot grigio is described as delicate, fresh and bright, with lemon zest and pear notes, while the pinot noir is a fleshy, savoury take on the variety.
RRP $16    

3. Wine in a box

Cask wine is an Aussie icon, but it hasn’t always been celebrated for its quality. That was then – new range Hey Tomorrow is boxing up some of Victoria’s top producers in two-litre casks that look as good as they taste. From the team behind hospitality’s Tigerbird International, Hey Tomorrow reduces carbon emissions through its packaging, as well as via donations of half its profits to the Sunshot Zero Carbon Futures initiative. The debut wines include the Lethbridge Nouveau White, Valentine Rosé, Syrahmi Syrah, and Philip Lobley Nouveau Red.
From RRP $50 to $75. 

4. Wine in a sack

Coming in at the same size as Three’s a Crowd (see #2), The Happy Sack holds 1.5 litres of wine in fun, easy-to- travel packs. Already proving popular with a sold-out Adelaide Hills Rosé, they have now collaborated with broadcaster and presenter Myf Warhurst with the current release, The Lonely Lady Happy Sack White Wine. The textural, spicy and approachable white blend is also from the Adelaide Hills and available from select retailers, including Melbourne’s Blackhearts & Sparrows.
RRP $40. 

5. Wine in a single serve

Keep an eye out for the second releases from A Glass of – the recently launched range that offers wine in 200ml foil pouches. Said to be better for preserving the quality of wine and more sustainable than glass or plastic bottles, the wines are selected by top sommeliers, with the first five-wine range showcasing the likes of Nick Spencer Wines, A. Retief and Blind Corner. Bought as a set of five, complete with tasting notes, the first release proved so popular it’s sold out, but more is soon to land.
RRP $45 

This article is from issue #61 of Halliday magazineBecome a member to receive six editions a year, as well as unlock more than 150,000 tasting notes, exclusive content and wine insights.