As technology has advanced and the overall quality of wine available to consumers in America has improved, boxed wines aren’t what they used to be — and believe it or not, even the snobbiest of wine snobs has to admit that there are some undeniable advantages of boxed wine over traditionally bottled and corked wine.
Thanks to the components of the spout found on boxed wines, it can stay fresh for as long as six to eight weeks, whereas a traditional bottle may only stay fresh about five days if you’re lucky.
Wine in a box is also practically immune from a number of wine faults that impact traditionally bottled and corked wines.
Tainted corks ruin an estimated 10 percent of all the wine that is produced in the world. Corks crack and crumble over time, exposing wine to air and oxidizing it.
But an even more important reason you may consider purchasing a boxed wine is for the overall value and savings you get.
Traditionally, bottled wines are made up of a lot of components and different materials (i.e. costs) to them: corks, foil, glass etc. Those materials aren’t just expensive, but they’re heavy, too, which adds to a producer’s shipping costs.
When you purchase a boxed wine, the product you’re holding in your hand is about 95 percent wine and is free of the costly overhead. A boxed wine also typically holds four bottles of wine, which gives you more liquid at a lower per volume cost.
But doesn’t wine that’s been stored in plastic taste funky? It just doesn’t sound all that appealing, does it? Well, keep in mind that even if you’re eating the freshest of foods, if they have been refrigerated, they have likely sat in plastic.
The plastics used to store and secure boxed wine do not impact that flavor of the wine in any significant way.
So who are some of the key producers of boxed wine? A producer called Big House Wine is one you may have seen before in octagon-shaped boxes.
Deloach is a premium wine producer in Sonoma that offers a nice barrel shaped box wine that looks nice enough to set out at parties. There’s also Black Box, which has won dozens of gold medals for the quality of their wine.
It would be unfair, however, to tout all the benefits of boxed wine without at least addressing one of its shortfalls.
While an opened box wine will stay fresh much longer than an opened bottle of wine, you don’t want to try to age wine in a box. Your wine in a box will only last you about a year before the packaging may start to degrade. Traditionalists may also not want to give up the great romanticism of uncorking a traditional bottle of wine. It’s just hard to celebrate a nice event over a box of wine. But out by the pool — at a large yard party — or for that nephew’s wedding, maybe?
But I say here’s to all wine no matter how you like to drink it — whether it’s in a box, a pouch or a bottle! Salud!
Vic Poulos, owner Zin Valle Vineyards