Wine in a Box - Why Not?
The NY Times published an Op-Ed earlier this week on the benefits of wine in a box. The author mostly brought up the environmental benefits of wine in a box, but also brings up the fact that it's comparable or better than everyday table wines in a bottle.
Although some sommeliers may scoff at wine from a plastic spigot, boxes are perfect for table wines that don’t need to age, which is to say, all but a relative handful of the top wines from around the world. What’s more, boxed wine is superior to glass bottle storage in resolving that age-old problem of not being able to finish a bottle in one sitting. Once open, a box preserves wine for about four weeks compared with only a day or two for a bottle. Boxed wine may be short on charm, but it is long on practicality.
At the Bull E. Vard mansion we have been consuming wines in a box for a couple of years. I like a drink with dinner, sometimes it's beer, sometimes it's wine. With the box we don't have to worry about opening a bottle and digging out the Vac-U-Vin (the finest drinking invention since the Bob Newhart drinking game) to seal the bottle back up.
The Australians are way ahead of everyone on the technology of wines in a box. My particular favorites are the Hardy Shiraz and Hardy Chardonnay. Black Box wines are okay, I didn't really like Fish Eye. Bota Box, which comes from Italy, are not good at all. The wines that come in the 5 liter size, like Franzia or Almaden are generally crap and should be avoided.
There is a place for these wines simply because it is better to have some economical table wine around. Life is just better with wine and if you save wine drinking for that "special" meal, you're really missing out. Plus, drinking the box wines regularly will increase your enjoyment of the higher quality bottle wines.
Oh yeah, and if it matters to you box wines are more environmentally friendly. Go out and try one, it's only $16-$20 for the equivalent of 4 bottles. Well worth it.