Freshcase wineboxesNew Year, new wine gadgets – that’s how the wine industry likes to keep our attention during the post-Christmas slow down. And this year it’s the turn of the Australian wine producer Hardys with their innovative winebox The Freshcase. Because Freshcase isn’t your bog-standard winebox, its sleek design knocks spots of the usual cardboard 3-litre nasties. And what’s even better is that someone’s finally sat down and ironed out all those irritating design features that made pouring wine from a winebox less than a pleasure.

Buy your favourite white in a traditional winebox and you’ll soon discover that it just won’t sit in the fridge at a convenient pouring angle. The standard 4 inch wide box is just too big to fit on the door shelf and too tall, at 8½ inches, to sit upright on a shelf. So you’re forced to lay the box sideways, with its protruding plastic tap sticking unhygienically into a half-eaten lettuce and yesterday’s beef joint.

Freshcase ChardonnayBut buy three bottles worth of the coconut and lemon curd tasting Freshcase Chardonnay and you’ll find that the box slots easily between the shelves, while the dispensing tap sits on the shelf edge enabling a swift push-and-pour technique. No more finagling the box out of the fridge just to pour out a single glass.

Freshcase also comes filled with a fruity red. This time the dispensing tap sits at 90-degrees to the vertical, enabling the box to be tapped and poured up-right from the kitchen worktop.

There is one drawback to this paragon of packaging. Freshcase contains less wine than a standard winebox, 2.25-litres rather than the usual 3-litres, so you may have to pop back to the shops a little more often.

Hardys Nottage Hill FreshCase Chardonnay 2008 and Cabernet Shiraz 2007 available at Sainsbury's for £17.99 (equivalent to £6 a bottle – sold at £7.25 in a standard 75-cl glass bottle).

From 26th January (or thereabouts) FreshCase will be stocked in Waitrose at £19.99.

Read more about it at and also view the product pics and videos (should you feel so inclined).