Tuesday, August 19, 2008

**** in a box

My first exposure to wine was courtesy of my college roommate who had an affinity for boxed wine. It only took one time being mocked by a bartender (in front of potential employers no less!) for ordering white zin to realize that I better learn a bit more about wine if I was going to order it in public, and I never gave much thought to boxed wine again. Until today...

Fascinating NY Times article about the practicality of boxed wine. Check it out here.

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.

Like many, I think of boxed wine in terms of that pink horror, Franzia, but if boxes makes wine last longer and it's good for the environment and my pocketbook, then I'm all for it! Obviously winemakers have to get Americans past the boxed wine stigma. Perhaps eco-wines could lead the way. I imagine the type of consumer who seeks out eco-friendly wines is also more likely to take a chance on boxed wine if it's good for the environment. Sampling will also be key in convincing people that good wine can come in a box. I can envision wine tastings where they reveal at the end that everything came out of a box. Hopefully something we'll see more of!



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