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Wine by the Box

photo by Lasse David

The best deals in wine today are boxed wines.

Snobs may turn their noses up at the mere mention of box wines, but you can find a very respectable wine for the equivalent of $5-6 a bottle. Box wines used to be uniformly bad, but more wineries are now putting their mid-level offerings in these handy-to-use containers.

The precise term for the container is bag-in-a-box because the wine is inside a plastic container that is contained in a cardboard box. They usually come in 3-liter containers for $20-25.

Box wines have their advantages. Once opened the wine stays fresh longer because no air gets into it. If you keep the box in the refrigerator, it will last 4-6 weeks. The packaging is easier on the environment, reducing packaging waste by at least 85 percent and carbon emissions by 55 percent. You don’t need a corkscrew to open the package. And you can’t beat the price.

Because they are so easy to handle, box wines are perfect for holiday gatherings or anytime you entertain a big crowd.

There are an amazing variety and quality of wines available in boxes. Some of my favorites are Silver Birch Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, Seven, a Spanish blend of seven grape varieties, Black Box, in several varietals such as Shiraz and Merlot, Bota Box (also in several varietals) and Big House wines, including Red, White, Unchained Chardonnay and Usual Suspect Cabernet Sauvignon.

I’d suggest letting the wine breathe a little after you pour it and if it’s a red wine that has been refrigerated, allow it to warm up a bit. Other than that, just pop the seal, pour yourself a glass and enjoy.
 

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