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Boxed Wine

by Staff Writer - C. Barnett | July 01, 2011

Boxed wines have slowly grown in popularity in the United States. Their presence and popularity has already been established in France and Australia. Slowing down the increased popularity of Boxed Wine is that the first boxed wines were traditionally made of low quality wines. Standard wine makers stayed away from the Boxed Wines so they did not hurt their reputation. Luckily this pattern has changed and boxed wines are gaining in popularity with various good wines. As Boxed Wine began to grow in popularity, it has also been known by another name which should be noted, Cask Wine.

The wine inside the box is enclosed in a vacuum-sealed plastic (bag) container. This method is called the Bag-In-A-Box wine. When the wine is dispensed out through an attached tap, no air can get back into the container and the plastic (bag) container collapses. Since there is no air to cause damage, the wine can stay fresher for a longer period of time. Boxed wine can stay fresh for as long as a few weeks, rather than a few days from a bottle. There are pros and cons to consider when deciding to purchase Boxed Wine.

The Pros of Boxed Wine

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  • Ability to Store Opened Wine Longer An issue that a wine drinker deals with is what to do with leftover wine. If the entire bottle of wine is finished or will be finished within a couple of days there is no problem. But if you have leftover wine then you do not want it degrading, especially if it is a high quality or expensive wine. You can use a special wine vacuum sealer, but there is an additional cost in purchasing this tool. Even when Boxed Wine is opened, it normally stays fresh for at least four weeks. You can drink as little or as much at a time that you want, without the wine oxidizing.
  • Cost of Boxed Wine vs. Bottled Wine It is becoming known that you can get more wine for less money when you buy wine in a box instead of a bottle. The popular three liter size box holds the equivalent of four bottles of wine. The wine box is very portable and more easily stored than a bottle. Boxed Wine is modern and practical. Boxes come in various sizes including: 3 liter (4 bottles) and 1.5 liter (2 bottles). There are no corks to worry about opening and wine boxes are stackable and easy to transport. Depending on the Boxed Wine size, the wine will cost between $10 to $40 dollars per box. Boxed wine may not always be the cheapest option, but it can be the least inexpensive option.
  • Environmental Impact Boxed Wine is eco-friendly (green) because they use much less packaging and have less waste. Transportation for Boxed Wine ends up being easier and cheaper for the consumer, because it is less expensive for the winemakers and distributors. The estimated carbon cost of shipping for one three liter box of wine is half the cost of shipping for a 750ml bottle of wine. If you are going “green” then Boxed Wine is a definite positive option.

The Cons of Boxed Wine

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  • Quality of Boxed Wine One of the most obvious and serious drawbacks of Boxed Wines may be their quality. This is not as much of an issue today as it was in the past because the original boxed wines were undeniably inferior. This poor reputation is slowly dissipating but it may take a long time for the general public to believe that Boxed Wine is of the same quality as bottled wine. Boxed wine can be as good as bottled wine, but in general if you desire a superior wine, it is understood that you should be looking into bottled wines.
  • Aging Wine A major disadvantage of Boxed Wine is that you cannot age wines in a box. To age wine, you must use bottles sealed with a natural cork. The wine bottles are then kept in specific storage conditions over the course of years. The fortunate news for Boxed Wine is that only a small minority of wines benefit from being aged for a long period of time. The majority of wines are table wines and they are intended to be drunk in a year or two of being bottled. Since Boxed Wine can last about that long, they are considered well suited for the average table wine.
  • Small Selections of Boxed Wines The selection of boxed wines available for purchase in the United States is a lot smaller than the selection for bottled wines. As the popularity of Boxed Wine grows, the selections have continued to expand, especially for wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Shiraz.

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Making the decision between bottled wine or Boxed Wine comes down to a matter of preference. There are many pros and cons to consider. Boxed Wine is a budget friendly, convenient option for casual wine drinking, as well as for parties, camping, picnics, tailgating, or cookouts. The box won’t break and any leftover wine can be refrigerated and kept for several weeks.

Consumer Reports did a blind taste test among wine drinkers. They pitted Boxed Wines against bottled wines. The wine drinkers and experts liked the boxed wines better than most of the bottled wine they tasted. The white wines, like Chardonnay, fared especially well during the taste test. Maybe it is time to start “Thinking Inside the Box”.

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