If you've followed the rise of box wine over recent years, you've read the arguments that it's just as good as glass-bottle wine. And, indeed, there are a number of reputable, good-quality wines being packaged in cartons. But, now, an interesting story in The Economist says that, in some cases, the lined cardboard packaging may actually help produce better wine.
It all starts with ladybugs. They eat grapes. Sometimes they get mixed in with the fruit as it's processed and their bodies produce chemicals that give the wine an off flavor. But researchers in Canada have found that the carton appears to absorb these chemicals. The cartons may therefore be best, The Economist says, for wines from regions with large numbers of ladybugs and that will be consumed relatively soon after packaging—as too long in the carton can lead to oxidation. [via teenagefoodie]