Y+B Wines Sustainable with a Conscience


What is the carbon footprint of your wine? At first glance, Y+B Wines may cause a double take. The 1L box wine is a departure from the glass wine bottle. If you’re of the mindset that there is something romantic about popping the cork on a wine, then you may have a difficult time adjusting. If you have greater concern for our planet and are interested in what’s inside the container, then Y+B Wines may be a perfect combination. While Y+B may have stereotypes and hundreds of years of tradition to overcome, they are certainly making a strong case for quality, sustainable, eco-friendly packaging.

Wine Blogger Dr. Vino used a carbon footprint calculator he created for the wine business to determine that Y+B Wines have a carbon footprint about 54% less than traditional packaging.

 “Consider: A case of wine in glass weighs 40 pounds and holds 9 liters of wine — close to 50% wine and 50% packaging. A case of Yellow+Blue weighs 26 pounds and holds 12 liters of certified organic wine. That’s 93% wine and 7% packaging.” – From the Y+B Web Site

As you continue your review of the Y+B company (not even thinking about wine), you notice a company committed to doing right by people and the planet. Grapes are grown 100% organic and sustainable, the company offsets it’s carbon footprint by purchasing carbon offsets, and 1% of proceeds go to www.kiva.org (a person to person micro-lending web site)

So, how’s the wine? Yellow plus blue may equal green for the planet, but can they make purple (and gold…oh, and Rose too)?

Y+B’s current line-up includes a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, Rose from Spain, Malbec and Torrontes from Argentina. Below are reviews for Sauvignon Blanc and Malbec.

2009 Sauvignon Blanc

  • The Stuff: 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Central Valley of Chile farmed organically and sustainably  
  • The Swirl: Very pale, not even qualify as yellow or gold, maybe wheat almost ready for harvest
  • The Sniff: Bright citric fruit with emphasis on lemon and mandarin orange
  • The Sip: Again very bright citric of lemon, lime and a little tart. Throw slightly off balance with a little steeliness. The acidity is mild and the finish trails off quickly
  • The Score: At only $12 for 1L this is a fantastic value for every day drinking Sauv Blanc – I score it a 3 (lowered slightly due to the off balance steeliness)

2008 Malbec

  • The Stuff: 100% Malbec from San Juan Argentina farmed organically and sustainably
  • The Swirl: Very dark purple borderline plum and black
  • The Sniff: A woody earthy berry that seems not quite ripe
  • The Sip: Nice red berry (maybe cherry) with some tree components. The finish was moderately tart
  • The Score: At only $12 for 1L, I score this a 3 (out of 5). This is not a smooth drinking wine but more a food hearty drinker with decent characteristics

The overall impression is that these are not your typical box wines (think cube). They offer good quality as well as portability that bottles may not offer (camping, picnics, etc). One note about the Tetra-Pak spout – on both bottles the spout came slightly disconnected from the box upon opening causing a party foul dribble pour. Creative pouring ensued.

The Verdict: Look beyond the packaging and examine the product inside. If you like the wine, the earth friendly packaging and socially conscience business model adds to the value!

*These wines were provided as an industry sample with the intention to review


Owner of Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane, WA. (@nectarwine) Publisher of Spokane Wine Magazine (@spowinemag), author, speaker, consultant and internet marketer with Nectar Media (@nectarmedia)

6 comments on “Y+B Wines Sustainable with a Conscience

  1. Pingback: uberVU - social comments

  2. Sip with Me!

    Thanks for the great post Josh. We all need greater awareness about our carbon footprint and to open our minds to other packaging possibilities. Even knowing that, it’s still hard to get past the old bottle thing. With time, I imagine it will probably get easier – kinda like screwcaps.

    1. drinknectar

      I agree! The wine is quite good. As with anything to catch on, it will take consistent quality and a major player getting on board.

  3. Raelinn

    Nice post Josh! I agree and it tastes pretty darn good too! Cheers!

  4. Joe

    haven’t had it, but heard good things. Hopefully, all the “carbon footprint” hype isn’t skewing peoples’ perspectives of the product within the environmentally-sound packaging (or, negatively skewing tasters’ perceptions because it’s not in a “romantic” bottle).


    1. drinknectar

      Joe – I think there is definitely a possibility either way, preconceived bias against “box” and also die hard environmentalists that swear it tastes like gold.

      I’m definitely not a tree-hugger but I have to admit I missed the bottle, cork, etc – but the wine was pretty good.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment.


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