American’s love wine, many of us–myself included has a glass or two or three (no judgments) a few times a week. Wine is my personal favorite alcoholic beverage. Whether it’s the smoothness, the elegance of the glass that makes me feel like I’m indulging; that compliment to a meal or dessert or the punch of pure bliss at the end wine has us all sipping away.
The United States is the largest wine market and with us having similar reasons for drinking I don’t foresee a decrease. Here’s where things get a little complicated, most Americans hold a stigma against–dare I say it, box wine. However, boxed wine has been around for centuries with the first being invented by Thomas Angove from Australia in the 1930’s. Box wine is extremely popular in Australia and the norm in France. My question is if France and the French are so admired for their taste, food, country and lifestyle, why hasn’t boxed wine become just as popular in the U.S.–even for at least home consumption?
Like the vast majority I’ve always purchased traditional wines in a bottle; however, lately boxed wines have peaked my interest. A bottle of wine is meant to be consumed in one sitting; wine sealers are for home use to help preserve the wine. Once a bottle of wine is opened then left for a later date the quality and taste drastically diminishes due to air getting in the bottle causing oxidation. When wine oxidizes that bottle of wine is only good for 2-3 days after being refrigerated; not refrigerating your wine after opening will decrease that number.
On the other contrary, opened and unfinished boxed wine last for a (minimum of a month!) The secret is in the mechanism of the bag the wine is housed in. The interior of the bag has a self-collapsing bladder that prevents air from coming in while pouring. You will never have to worry about your wine having a plastic taste as Polyethylene is the safest, most non-toxic plastic available. It does not influence the flavor of the wine.
Another big return on investment–if you even needed more convincing is the amount of wine in each boxed wine. A typical box of wine holds four bottles of wine in only the $20 price range; a wine in a box is a tremendous value.A study conducted by American Wine Consumer Preference Survey launched by Sonoma State University (SSU) and the Wine Business Institute in 2015 states, “In terms of pricing, when buying a bottle of wine to drink at home, the most common price was $10 to $15 per bottle at 32 percent of the sample. However 19 percent will spend $15 to $20, and 14 percent will spend more than $20 per bottle to drink at home”. Additionally, keep in mind that most wines on the shelf are for casual drinking which is table wines; boxed wines are table wines of the same quality.
There are pros and cons of just about anything and boxed wine isn’t any different. Due to the lack of popularity in America, there are not many brands much less variety of boxed wines sold in stores. Like most table wines boxed wines have a short shelf life; they should be drunk within a year of purchase–just a bit less than the average bottled wines. One notable con is that boxed wines are not able to be aged. Aging occurs only from wine being in a bottle with a natural cork in specific conditions over the course of many years. However, this is only done to elite bottles of wine; most bottled wines don’t experience this kind of aging. Lastly, if you are on the fence about purchasing a boxed wine that you haven’t tried, I encourage you to try it in a glass or bottle version prior to purchasing it in a box. Due to the volume of wine, you will be getting in a box you’ll want to try a more dispensable version before buying a boxed wine as to not waste it on a wine type you may not like.
I have gathered three boxed wine suggestions (because we all love options) to choose from.
Deloach is a premium biodynamic wine producer in Sonoma offering a “wine barrel” which holds a large wine pouch inside. The presentation is beautiful and great for parties.
Black Box is the infamous boxed wine that’s breaking records with gold medals in the U.S
Bandit offers something for the environmentalist in you. Boasting eco-friendly and recyclable paper boxes with several wines/flavors in color-coordinated cartons including riesling, pinot grigio, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, moscato and sangria. Bandit is owned by Trinchero Family Estates.
In conclusion, some may think boxed wine isn’t as illustrious as bottle wine– and for fancy evenings out this may hold true. Yet for everyday consumption and parties, box wine competes with the quality, taste and exceeds in shelf life and value as it’s bottled counterparts.