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Premium Bag in the Box Wine


Craig Camp
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I hate corks. Always have. Screw tops appear to have become more reliable and, if research shows that no plastic leaches into the wine, I'm all for boxes, too. As we know, however, perception is everything. I believe it will take a lot of gentle persuasion and favorable publicity to win over most of the wine-buying public.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Boxed wine for me certainly brings back memories of college, when the goal was quantity over quality for as little as possible :biggrin: Having said that, I'm a particular fan of Hardy's Shiraz and if that is going to be offered in boxes, I could be persuaded to try it. :cool:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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The idea for Black Box Wines arose out of his experiences in Europe, Sproule says. When he was there, he said, he found many well-made wines sold in boxes.

Where? :biggrin:

I think bag in box wines are often similar to coloured water. Does anyone know a good European bag in box wine?

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The idea for Black Box Wines arose out of his experiences in Europe, Sproule says. When he was there, he said, he found many well-made wines sold in boxes.

Where? :biggrin:

I think bag in box wines are often similar to coloured water. Does anyone know a good European bag in box wine?

...uuhhh, let me think -- wait

No.

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I would love to see it. I would keep it around mostly for cooking. I hate opening, or buying, wine for particular recipes. If I had one box of red and one white they would last for as long as needed with no spoilage.

I guess I'd also have a couple of glasses while I'm cooking.

Rodney

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Martine Saunier imports a box wine from Chablis from Jean Marc Brocard. He calls it "Jurassic". It is labeled as a chardonnay. The cost here in TN is about $40 for a 3 liter box. This is about the same as the prices above. I have been using it as my house wine for about 4 months. It has a steely, slatey nose with fresh apple type fruit with no oak. I have found it very enjoyable as an aperitif. My only complaint is there is a large amount of sediment in some of the bags. You only see this at the last glass or 2 in the box. These are not tartrate crystals but seem to be yeast cells. They should not be there IMHO. Otherwise a most enjoyable reasonably priced wine that can be kept open for a few days as my wife and I drink it up.

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Here is the ONLY good thing I have ever heard about boxed wines...

A friend of mine is an avid sailer -- I'm talking months at a time on a large yacht in various oceans around the world... Needing to utilize the space on his boat to the optimum, I purchased a box of wine. He then emptied the bladder entirely of the swill within it, carefully refilled it several times with hot water, and THEN refilled it his favorite wine (I believe at the time it was a Ridge or a Silver Oak...)

I guess it wasn't perfect, but it was better than expected with HIS wine lasting longer than he thought, offering him several weeks worth of decent wine to drink.

I thought it was pretty clever of him, actually.

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Another potential advantage of boxed wine is that it would be easier to store in a wine cellar and less likely to incur breakage in the event of an earthquake :rolleyes:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Fundamentally, boxed wine is a really good idea for purchases of wine that will be consumed over a period of time. Boxed wine is, of course, not really boxed, but rather it is bagged. The nice thing is that the bag naturally collapses as wine is poured out the tap. This is great, because it doesn't allow any oxygen into the wine that remains. The result should be that a boxed wine will stay in good condition significantly longer than a bottled wine once both are opened. I see this as a pretty good idea for good wines in the <$15/bottle range (and plenty of excellent wines are available in this range) that you'd like to have around. Sometimes, even if the wine didn't cost very much, I hesitate to open a bottle just to have one glass because I just don't know when I'll be able to finish it and I don't want it to go to waste.

--

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Sam is correct. This probably would be good for wines meant to be consumed in the near term over an extended period. Because it is different and has negative associations with cheap, i.e. "bad" wine, initial acceptance may be difficult. I still don't know how this might affect a wine's aging potential, so I would be much more skeptical of purchasing this for wine I might want to age, which is most of my wine.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Based on the NYT article a while back, we decided to try the Black Box wines and found them to be very sub par for actual drinking -- we tried both plastic cups (to match the plastic bag :smile: ) and wine glasses . No discernable difference. Used the remainder for cooking and that was OK but the boxes actually take up a fair bit of room in the fridge and we always have either an open bottle of wine or a cheap enough wine in the cellar to use for cooking that is also drinkable! I do like the sailing idea, however.

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Based on the NYT article a while back, we decided to try the Black Box wines and found them to be very sub par for actual drinking -- we tried both plastic cups (to match the plastic bag :smile: ) and wine glasses . No discernable difference. Used the remainder for cooking and that was OK but the boxes actually take up a fair bit of room in the fridge and we always have either an open bottle of wine or a cheap enough wine in the cellar to use for cooking that is also drinkable! I do like the sailing idea, however.

Was it because the wine itself wasn't that good or did the package make the wine worse?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Based on the NYT article a while back, we decided to try the Black Box wines and found them to be very sub par for actual drinking -- we tried both plastic cups (to match the plastic bag  :smile: ) and wine glasses .  No discernable difference.  Used the remainder for cooking and that was OK but the boxes actually take up a fair bit of room in the fridge and we always have either an open bottle of wine or a cheap enough wine in the cellar to use for cooking that is also drinkable!  I do like the sailing idea, however.

Was it because the wine itself wasn't that good or did the package make the wine worse?

Okay, disclaimer up front: I sell these wines in NJ as a distributor.

I was sceptical as were some co-workers but we have been reasonably successful with the recent kickoff. I have used them at a few parties and novice and experienced wine lovers have found them quite palatable for these gatherings. Are they world class, No; are they a good value for Napa Chard and Sonoma Merlot, Yes at the equivalent of $6.25 per 750ml bottle (3 litre.)

I have had a box of each on the counter and in the fridge and for over two months and I taste them every couple of weeks. Still very little change as far as oxidation to the wine.

To me it solves the problem for the novice wine lover of NO CORKED Wines plus offers a good value.

All of this IMHO, of course.

Thanks for reading.

Phil

I have never met a miserly wine lover
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I think it's all about the branding and the quality. I grew up in South Africa. On recent visits, I discovered Woolworths, which is a high end supermarket, is selling wine. Hard to descibe Woolworths, it's kind of like Marks and Spencer in the UK but better - if I had one nearby I'd be shopping there all the time. Not the US Woolworths!

They sell 1 liter tetrapaks of wine. Solid to good producers. Robertson Wineries seems to be the basic supplier, but I saw Neil Ellis Sauvignon Blanc Groenekloof in this packaging - that sells for around $20 here in northern California.

What makes it work is they are a very trusted vendor, so it's easy to pick up one of these, they are under the house brand, there are no storage issues, you don't even need a corkscrew, and you know the wine is going to be, at worst, ok.

My 2c

Tracey

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Boxed wine for me certainly brings back memories of college, when the goal was quantity over quality for as little as possible :biggrin:

Mmmm.... Late 70's Ontario wine out of a box :raz: I learned in high school that unlike bottles, boxes didn't clink in my adidas gym bag :laugh:

Seriously though, there should be no reason why a good wine wouldn't be just as good out of a box. With the added benefit of longevity. Bring 'em on!

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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While I have some trepidation about boxed wines, based on what I've had, but I'd like to see this happen. As a single person, I know when I open a bottle that I'm not going to finish it. I've had to weight the benefits of buying half bottles (overpriced), or full bottles and not finishing them.

It's actually cheaper to buy the normal bottles and not finish them. Don't tell anyone, but I've begun to freeze the last glass or two, and use this frozen wine in my cooking. Works great!

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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Has anyone else noticed a little air sneaking into the bags? I was sent a free sample of "Le Cask," a CA Zin in box, and while the wine was actually quite good (better than e.g., Ravenswood VB) it did deteriorate slightly over the course of six weeks or so. There did appear to be some air admitted to the bag. I'd be curious to learn if others have seen this with bag-in-box wines.

Walt

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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Has anyone else noticed a little air sneaking into the bags? I was sent a free sample of "Le Cask," a CA Zin in box, and while the wine was actually quite good (better than e.g., Ravenswood VB) it did deteriorate slightly over the course of six weeks or so. There did appear to be some air admitted to the bag. I'd be curious to learn if others have seen this with bag-in-box wines.

Walt

Still not bad to be able to keep it six weeks without deterioration. I'm assuming that you had been using it periodically over that period of time.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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While I have some trepidation about boxed wines, based on what I've had, but I'd like to see this happen. As a single person, I know when I open a bottle that I'm not going to finish it. I've had to weight the benefits of buying half bottles (overpriced), or full bottles and not finishing them.

It's actually cheaper to buy the normal bottles and not finish them. Don't tell anyone, but I've begun to freeze the last glass or two, and use this frozen wine in my cooking. Works great!

Freezing wine works great; I even drink the thawed stuff every now and again, and it actually tastes better than if I'd left it corked in the fridge for a couple of days -- not that I usually freeze anything that costs more than $8.99 a bottle.

To the larger point, I've never had wine-in-a-box that wasn't borderline undrinkable. It would be great if someone boxed up something above their foulest swill and sold it-- the equivalent of a good cafe wine -- so that I could drink a decent weeknight plonk during dinner for a couple of bucks, rather than spending three times that just to get something that doesn't wreck the meal.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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