Boxed Wine for Grown-Ups

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I’ve always thought boxed wine got a bad rap – if we’re talking cheap party drinks, I’d take Franzia over a bucket of jungle juice any day, and a big batch of boxed wine makes the perfect low-budget base for summer sangria.

There’s no doubt that boxed wine is stamped with a stereotype. People think wine that comes in anything other than a glass bottle is crap – even though wine is now sold in everything from aluminum cans to rosé-filled kegs. But consider how heavy and expensive glass bottles are to make and transport – sure, they’re better for the environment since they’re infinitely recyclable, but they’re harder on our wallets and have a tendency to break when dropped down the stairs of my third floor walk-up. So, a plastic bag of wine inside a box seems like the perfect solution to these incredibly pressing problems.

The general public is just starting to accept screw-top wine (I think it’s the best thing ever, not sure why everyone is so loyal to corkscrews), and boxed wine is pushing hard for a breakthrough. And now, there’s a boxed wine that even sommelier sippers won’t be able to resist, thanks to aesthetically pleasing packaging that stores a high-quality product. And I’m a big fan of the price tag.

The newest arrival to the market comes from importer M. Touton Selection, bringing three wines from France that cost $30 for a three-liter box. This is the equivalent of around four bottles of wine at $7.50 a pop – definitely a step up from two-buck-chuck, but nowhere close to breaking the bank.

These bagged wines come in a wooden box that wouldn’t be out of place in a Provencal wine cellar – I’ll definitely be repurposing these into succulent planters or storage bins or something else moderately useful. The wines were ranked between “very good” and “excellent” by The Washington Post, and the label is offering a basic Chardonnay, a vintage Bordeaux and a quality Cotes-du-Rhone.

If you’re sheepish about serving dinner guests wine from a crate (however chic these ones are), pour it in a decanter and you’ll fool everyone.

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