Drinking wine out of a box, it’s pretty fair to say, has over the years generally not been the path to recognition by one’s peers as a gentleman or a lady. Problem drinker is more like it.
Indeed, as a conduit, wine from a box is usually lumped with the likes of keeping a cheap keg in the garage or stocking your liquor cabinet with Mad Dog. But the times, it seems, they are a changing.
Increasingly, some very good wineries have taken to packaging their product in a box. Boxed wines, in fact, have become the fastest-growing segment of the industry.
“Boxes are very, very chic now,” says Leslie Sbrocco, author of The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide: Buying, Pairing, and Sharing for All.
Aside from the all important up-tick in quality, boxed wine have some distinct advantages over their bottled brothers and sisters. First and foremost, properly packaged opened wine keeps far longer in the box than it does in a bottle—about four weeks compared with just one in the bottle.
And, now that summer’s almost here, you can soon take advantage of the other big plus: portability. From the beach to the barbecue to the tailgate party, a box provides more wine in a break-proof container.And, finally, there’s the price. You can get three liters (four bottles-worth) for about $25 or less, which means you’re saving a bundle by opting for the box over the bottle.
So now that we’re sold you on the advantages, and (we hope) taken the shame out of lugging that box home, here’s a look at our list of the best boxed wines out there. Bottom’s up!
6. French Rabbit Pinot Noir, Vin de Pays D'Oc 2004; $9, 1L.
An earthy but smooth wine, with raspberry and strawberry highlights. Comes in an eco-friendly “Tetra Pak” container that’s biodegradable, so you can enjoy your red and still be green.