Is wine in a box any good?

Answered by James Porterfield

Is in a box any good? This is a question that often sparks debate among wine enthusiasts. While boxed wine has long been associated with lower quality and cheap options, the truth is that boxed wine has come a long way in recent years and can actually be quite good.

Firstly, let's address the misconception that boxed wine is always of lower quality. The quality of wine is not solely determined by its packaging. There are exceptional wines available in boxes, just as there are subpar wines in bottles. It's important to look beyond the packaging and consider the wine itself.

One of the advantages of boxed wine is its longer shelf life compared to bottled wine. Boxed wine typically stays fresh for several weeks, even after opening, due to its vacuum-sealed bag and airtight spout. This makes it a convenient option for those who want to enjoy a glass of wine without having to finish an entire bottle within a day or two. If you don't drink wine frequently, boxed wine can help prevent waste and save money in the long run.

When it comes to the taste, boxed wine can be just as good as bottled wine, but it does depend on the type of wine you choose. Wines that are meant to be consumed within a few months, such as lighter whites and some rosés, tend to fare well in boxes. These wines are often made to be enjoyed in their youth and do not benefit from aging. So, if you're looking for a crisp and refreshing white or a fruity , boxed options can be a great choice.

However, if you're a fan of full-bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir that generally improve with age, you may not find the same quality in boxed versions. These wines typically benefit from the aging process, which allows the flavors to develop and the tannins to soften. Bottling these wines allows for more control over the aging process, whereas boxed wine is designed for immediate consumption.

That being said, there are some higher-end boxed wines available that can rival bottled options in terms of quality. Some wineries are now producing premium boxed wines, using high-quality grapes and employing careful winemaking techniques. These wines are often more expensive than their mass-produced counterparts but can still offer good value for money.

In my personal experience, I have come across some excellent boxed wines. I've enjoyed a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and a delightful rosé from Provence, both of which were boxed. These wines were vibrant, flavorful, and perfect for casual gatherings or picnics.

Boxed wine can be just as good as bottled wine, but it depends on what type of wine we're talking about. When choosing a boxed wine, aim for something that is meant to be consumed within a few months rather than a Cabernet or Pinot Noir that fends better with age. Don't let the packaging sway your decision, as there are quality options available in boxes. Ultimately, the key is to explore different brands and varietals to find the ones that suit your taste preferences.