Boxed wine is good for you
As Black Box Wines states on their website, “The true wine enthusiast is only concerned with one thing…the quality of the wine.” That sounds extremely cheesy, but I have to agree with it. The purpose of this post is to tell anyone who is not sure if it’s okay to drink and serve boxed wine, and I believe this group to be in the majority, that it’s not only okay, but it’s smart, modern, and in the spirit of true wine drinking.
Nathan and I went through at least one ten-liter box of wine in Tarbes, which we bought from a store in a weird part of town that sold wine in huge boxes that were filled from barrels. The proprietor was a connoisseur, but not in a glass-swirling way. She was red-faced and enthusiastic, and she didn’t blink at our accents or our ignorance. We wanted good wine for daily drinking, she could see, putting us in the same category with her regular customers. She sold us something good from the region, which many of our friends rejected at subsequent social gatherings in favor of whatever was being poured from the bottle. If only they knew that we kept crap in bottles, and that what was in the box was better and more expensive.
I drink two to three glasses of red wine every day, and I’m happy to know that it may be good for my heart. It’s not practical to open a 750-milliliter bottle every time I want a glass, and it’s tedious drinking from magnums and then pumping them up every night. You’re always left thinking about whether to finish the bottle, or whether to leave some in for tomorrow. If you have a magnum of table wine open, you feel guilty opening a nice bottle for a special occasion if you haven’t finished the cheap stuff first.
I didn’t expect to find something good enough for regular enjoyment here, but Mom and I served this brand at the Christmas party, and it was surprisingly fine. I’ve since bought the merlot and the cabernet, the latter of which is much better and will probably become my house standard.
Boxed wine is perfect for people who drink regularly, but it is also perfect for the millions of people who only want a glass of wine with dinner but who never buy it because too much ends up going to waste. The box seals itself, and while Black Box only promises four weeks of freshness, I know from experience that boxes hold up much longer than that. Anyway, this is just three liters (the equivalent of four bottles, or about 24 glasses). If you’re also using it for cooking, it will be gone well within its prescribed window.
Astor has Black Box for about $18, and Warehouse Wines & Spirits has it for slightly more. If you’ve tried other brands, don’t be shy about sharing them in the comments.