Filling dates and shelf life seem to be a challenge for the hugely popular bag in box segment. While simple but consistent wines were expected in this tasting, some did not meet the minimum requirements.
Here are some of the key messages from the judges:
Higgo Jacobs, Chairman of Which Wine:
Bag in box caters for a specific market, since almost half of the wines have gone beyond their shelf life. Unfortunately one cannot pick that up, until the wine is served. Should consumers consider the fill-date when buying these wines? If so, what product recall systems are in place since most of these products are non-vintage? It is important to safeguard the integrity of the product and the category, especially since it has almost doubled its sales in the past few years.
Len Knoetze, Production manager Namaqua Wines:
Fill-dates and product decline on the shelf are big concerns, but it is important to look at the production cycle when considering this. From fill-in date, it takes at least a month or two to get the product to a retailers shelves. There are other aspects of production that need to be adhered to, which include palletisation and other documentation before the product leaves the plant. Then the logistics which is mostly outsourced. There must be more focus on the getting the product out there quicker and off the shelves, once it has passed its sell-by date.
Jeanne-Marie Kritzinger, Wine Buyer, Shoprite Checkers Group:
More research should be done on packaging that will enable longevity of the product, since six months shelf life gives the retailer a short window to source and also sell the product. The increase in smaller volumes packaging is a big positive, as people need an easy to carry, lightweight product. The 3 litre segment is on the rise and good quality wine is coming through from that front.
List of wines
- Du Toitskloof Sauvignon Blanc NV
- Rusthof Dry Red NV
- Namaqua Dry Red NV
- Drostdy-Hof Light Natural Sweet Rosé NV
- 4th Street Natural Sweet Rosé NV
- Dragon’s Back Mountain Medium Sweet Red NV
- Robertson Winery Extra Light Sauvignon Blanc NV
- Arniston Bay Colombard Chenin Blanc NV
- Overmeer Cellars Natural Sweet Rosé NV
- Imbuko Shortwood Sauvignon Blanc 2013
For ratings, tasting notes and more information on the wines tasted for the January Which Wine edition, please click here.