Many people sniff at boxed wines, and not in a good way! They have a really bad reputation, especially among wine snobs; they’re rubbish, they’re paint-stripper, they’re the collected dregs of the previous year’s worst batches, they make you hair fall out (OK, a slight exaggeration there…).

Yes, some boxed wines might be a bit below-par, but then so are some bottled wines. In general, boxed wines are getting better and are coming in from the cold. Here’s a few reasons why:

They’re not all that bad

Some boxed wines are pretty good; others are actually very good. Some smaller wine producers, especially some family-run wineries, send out boxes as well as bottles because it’s cheaper and it’s better for the environment.

A serious advantage of boxed wine is that it doesn’t go off as quickly as a bottled wine does once opened. The fact that the wine is in a foil bag, in a cardboard box, means that sunlight and air don’t get to it so it keeps for a lot longer.

Boxed wines are cheaper per glass

Most boxes hold the same amount as four standard-sized bottles, but for quite a bit less than the average bottle! Most boxes come in at less that $30 – $30 for four bottles of half-decent wine? Come on, get over it!

You just need to – ahem – box clever

What you’re aiming for is a box of wine that’s cheap and good to drink. You can do it, just do your homework first. Think outside the box (OK, that’s enough) and try a new brand or winery – you never know.

Look for a box that contains just one vintage from one vineyard – no mixing, as you could well be looking at those dreaded dregs… If you’re stuck, just ask a store assistant for recommendations.

You’re not buying a mystery substance here, it’s still wine and if it’s well-made and of good quality, there’s no real way to tell during a blind tasting unless you’re a serious wine buff (or a bloodhound). Face it, we’ve all bought duff bottles before…

Anyway, if all else fails and you get that look from Uncle Walt when you turn up to his house with a box, just tell him you’re doing your bit for the environment!


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