Paula’s Wines of the Week – Week starting 20 July 2020

Paula’s Wines of the Week – Week starting 20 July 2020

The paper bottle wine aisle is here

Recent advances in packaging technology now means that glass wine bottles are being replaced by single-use containers made from a paper or wood pulp outer shell with a plastic film inner lining. And wine is the first alcoholic drink to be sold commercially in a paper bottle.

The Frugal Bottle, launched on 30 June 2020 by British company Frugalpac ( is the size and shape of a standard 750ml Bordeaux glass wine bottle and is designed to fit on a standard wine-filling bottling line. Made from two basic parts, the Frugal Bottle has an outer layer made of 94% recycled paperboard (a very thick single-layer of paper) and a food-grade plastic film liner inside to hold the wine – in this instance 3Q Sangiovese 2017 made at the Italian vineyard Cantina Goccia (www.

It’s not on sale everywhere – buy direct from the Cantina Goccia website for £77.94 for a case of 6 (equivalent to £12.99 a bottle then add on £15 delivery charge to the UK) or from the Scottish vintner Woodwinters Wines and Whiskies (

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a paper wine bottle. Although ultimately unsuccessful due to manufacturing problems, the first paper initiatives went on sale in 2013 – in the UK with the Thirsty Earth range (a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and an Australian Shiraz selling at £8.49) and in the USA with the PaperBoy filled with a Californian red wine blend at $14.99 and a Chardonnay at $13.99 – these sold a quarter of a million bottles in their first 60 days on sale.

But what of the future of the paper wine bottle? It’s environmentally-friendly credentials (light weight, just 83grams, and easy disassembly of the paper outer and plastic liner for recycling) make it an obvious choice for the UK supermarket chain Co-op.

Known for their ethical stance the Co-op also showed their acceptance with the paper bottle technology when they trialled a similar paper bottle concept back in 2009 which held milk. Saying that they would “consider introducing alternative packaging for our wines”, a paper bottle range would sit comfortably alongside their extensive Fairtrade selection and sustainably-sourced wines.

PG Wine Reviews from

Farinelli Italian Rosé
£7.99 Laithwaites
4 star rating (very good wine)
Almost a light red in its colouring rather than a rosé, this lightly fruity wine is both creamy and sharp at the same time with its flavours of apple and strawberry. Food friendly.

SPAR Spanish Red
£4.89 SPAR
2 star rating (a disappointing wine)
Aromas of cherry sweets and coffee are not matched on the taste. The flavour has some fruitiness but it’s rather watery. More of a vague rosé.

Di Marco Primitivo 2018
£8 Tesco
3 star rating (good wine but over priced)
Another name for the Primitivo grape is Zinfandel. Both names result in similar fruity, earthy flavours. This Italian example has aromas of smoky plum and liquorice. The taste is dominated by the liquorice so if you like your reds to be all fruity flavours then the Primitivo/Zinfandel isn’t for you.

Tesco Finest Chilean Shiraz 2018
£9 Tesco
5 star rating (outstanding – the top rating given by
A complex and satisfying Shiraz. Full of fruity aromas and flavours: freshly picked damson with its floral overtones, plus cherry and cranberry. Then there is the milk chocolate, liquorice and spice on top of all that. It’s full of flavour.

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© Paula Goddard 2020