Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Boxed Wine Basics

You’ve probably seen them at your local wine or liquor store: cardboard boxes filled with wine, often being carried out by embarrassed shoppers wearing sunglasses to hide their identities. Okay, at least I’ve seen them. 

A box or cask of wine
Boxed wines, or “casks” as they’re sometimes referred to, have a bit of a reputation for being the tacky sort of thing your alcoholic aunt might purchase. Fortunately, the times are changing! 

Here are a few good reasons to consider buying boxed wine:

It’s Cheaper: Boxed wine is almost always going to be cheaper, especially if there is an option to purchase the same wine in a smaller bottle. Be a smart consumer and look at the price per litre for the different sizes available. 

It Stays Fresh: The vacuum sealed bag inside the box prevents oxidization (air coming into contact with the wine). This means that your wine can stay fresh for 6 weeks, and each glass tastes as good as the first. A lot of people are hesitant to buy 4 litres of wine in one go, but when you consider how long it will last, it’s often worth it (unless you’ll be tempted to drink the whole thing in a week).

It’s Environmentally Friendly: Now you can feel like a real altruist every time you crack open a new box. The cardboard box itself can be recycled, and the inner bag can be returned to get your bottle deposit back. There’s less packaging, and they’re lighter than traditional wine bottles. This means less fuel is used to ship the wine too. 

Of course, boxed wine has its downfalls. It’s not exactly the sort of thing you’d bring to a fancy dinner party with people you’re trying to impress. On the other hand, if you’re serving it to guests at home, you can always pour the wine into a fancy decanter and hide the box. Due to the material breakdown over time, you can’t cellar boxed wine the way you would with a bottle. There is an expiration date on the box, as it should be consumed within a year of buying. Boxed wine usually isn’t the kind of wine you would cellar anyway, but there are definitely some decent table wines available in a box.

Have you tried boxed wines? Can you taste the difference?

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