Why Your Wine Should Come From A Box
Wine in a box has always had a bad rap. But these days, many box wines are high quality — and they won’t shatter all over the floor when you drop them.
By Sidney Smith
Many people think box wine is the 40 oz. malt liquor of wine — cheap, not very tasty, but a great way to get hammered. Well, that used to be true, and there are certainly still plenty of terrible box wines out there. But these days, there are also plenty of great wines served in convenient, sensible boxes. In fact, in some cases, box wine is a much better bet than bottled wine. ”A lot of lower-end wines were doing boxes, and that gave it a stigma,” says Jamil Williams, wine buyer at Buzz Wine Beer Shop in Los Angeles. “Now we’re facing an uphill battle to get the word out that box wine is pretty cool.”
Why is box wine often a great alternative to wine in bottles?
IT STAYS FRESHER LONGER
A typical $10 bottle of wine should ideally be consumed within 24 hours of opening it. Now, believe it or not, there are people who don’t polish off the entire bottle of wine they open at breakfast. “Boxed wine comes in a bag that shrinks during pouring, and it’s airtight when you reseal it,” Williams explains. “A lot of restaurants are using them now; we keep a few boxes around for three or four weeks at a time, and they’re fine.” Another bonus: Box wines chill faster.
THERE’S NO CORK TAINT
Cork taint is essentially the wine equivalent to skunked beer. “Maybe one out of 30 bottles have cork taint,” Williams says. “Some wineries lose whole vintages because they buy the wrong kind of cork.” Obviously, bottles with corks are susceptible to this; box wine isn’t.
CARDBOARD BOXES DON’T SHATTER
If you knock a bottle of wine off the kitchen counter, chances are it will shatter and create a mess, and you’ll be forced to shout, “Shut up! I’m not drunk! It was an accident!” even though you are all alone. But boxes don’t shatter, so nothing gets damaged if it’s dropped. That makes boxes of wine better for on-the-go drinking, like when you’re heading to the beach, pool, or cemetery.
YOU’LL IMPRESS CUTE ENVIRONMENTALISTS
“Most boxes hold a lot more wine than bottles, so you’re using less packaging by drinking from a box,” Williams says. “Also, recycled glass isn’t that common in wine bottles.”
If you’re ready to give box wine a chance, these three are a great place to start …
From the Tank Côtes du Rhône | $37 for a 3L box
Expect a tart, fruity taste with the white and a smoky taste from the red. There’s basically nothing artificial used in the winemaking process, so what you’re drinking to excess is booze the way Ma Nature intended.
Climber Pouch Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon | $17 for a 1.5L pouch
The packaging is light, has a easy-grab handle, and will earn you a gold star from Captain Planet (each pouch contains an 80 percent lower carbon footprint than two glass bottles). Taste-wise, it’s fruity but with relatively low acidity.
Yellow+Blue Select Red | $9 for a 1L box
All of the Yellow + Blue wines are certified organic — growers don’t use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers in their vineyards — and their Select Red is an affordable and tasty blend of Tempranillo, Mourvedre, and Syrah. It goes well with grilled meats.