First, I challenge the notion that boxed wine is bad just because it’s in a box. I purchase Franzia burgundy often – in five-liter boxes – because I cook with it so much. Is it drinkable? Insofar as I drink it, yes. Is it enjoyable? I’ve had worse.
- The box is more eco-friendly – three-liter boxes replace four 750 ml bottles.
- The box preserves the wine better – if opening a bottle and not finishing it, the following day it has lost much of what made it great; boxed wine comes with a spout so that oxygen cannot enter and spoil the taste – have a glass a day over the course of a couple weeks and the last one is generally as good as the first.
The Franzias and their ilk aside, I shopped around and found artisan wines in a box. Octavin Wine Bar offers several; its Silver Birch Sauvignon Blanc was highly rated so I gave it a shot. Let’s just say it put Franzia’s “Refreshing White” to shame. Some boxed wines really do suck; this one is great. Drink it alone, pair it with poultry, fish, pasta – or do what I do and drink it with red meat. Red meat doesn’t need red wine – many whites work well with a medium-rare grass-fed steak, and this is one.
Boxed wine is awful. Sometimes, yes. But the statement is broad and not useful. You can’t take it to a great BYOB restaurant. There’s another convention worth challenging; just keep an empty 750 ML bottle around, fill it nearly to the top with your favorite boxed wine, re-cork and head out, apparently having enjoyed a taste before leaving home. Just be sure to finish it during the meal, and see if you can sneak it out when you leave for more refilling.