Box wines in O, Oprah magazine and

ybwines3My monthly column on is about box wines. It’s an area that I’ve been interested in for a while and I’m glad to see greater adaptation, acceptance and quality. Click through to see the latest Cotes du Rhone that gets a thumbs up. And which Manhattan restaurant is now putting box wine right on the table.

And, coincidentally, the August issue of O, the Oprah magazine also has a short piece on box wines. They generously called me in to serve as their expert. You can find it on p. 34 in the gutter, wedged between a giant red stiletto and a full page ad for K-Y liquibeads.

The category is still uneven but the quality also appears to be improving. What’s happening in your neighborhood: Are box wines improving?

Related: “In the NYT suggesting to drink inside the box

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14 Responses to “Box wines in O, Oprah magazine and”

  1. Box wines are here to stay. It is an innovative concept and offers quite a few advantages over bottled wine. We have to remember that wine means a great deal more than just fine wines. Nowadays, there are many good quality wines available that offer pleasure, what is wrong by making those available in a box? I was amazed that my latest great Greek wine discovery also offers boxed wine to the local tavernas. This means that serious quality wine is now offered to the customers, instead of the usual home-made wine. Thinking further, if this concept were to be copied by other producers, visiting tourist would also experience quality wines at similar prices to the plunk they are usually being served. Over time this can only be a huge advantage.

  2. I agree with Markus that boxed wines are here to stay. I’ve been drinking the Yellow and Blue Malbec and Torrontes close to a year now (ever since reading about it in Tyler’s book) and enjoy the taste, price and freshness that you get out of the box. I’ve yet to try the Rosé but will soon. I’ve also tried French Rabbit’s Pinot Noir which is a little thin but good as an everyday wine. The packaging also allows you to take a cooler with you to places where glass bottles are prohibited. My next boxed wine is to try the From The Tank wine that was mentioned in the article.

  3. I tried the Yellow and Blue Malbec a couple times and did really enjoy it. My only criticism of box wine is the increased amount of sediment in the last glass from the container. Not something I’m used to from drinking bottled wine.

  4. I’ve been carrying the Yellow & Blue Malbec for a while now. Unfortunately, the packaging isn’t readily recyclable because of its mixed media. Also, while a steal at about 10 bucks for a full liter, it doesn’t hold up well once opened. And I have yet to figure out how to use a vacuvin system on it. (I suppose I could use some inert gas system…but that costs more than the box itself.)

    On the other hand, I’ve had great success selling Four Cabernet from Napa (Barry Gnekow of Educated Guess, Cycles Gladiator and Earthquake is the winemaker). I had a sample tube open for almost a month and it never lost its freshness and charm. It’s a little pricier than many boxes (about $45 retail), but people were regularly impressed with it. I ordered in another couple of cases just this week. Besides the quality of the wine itself and the nice carbon footprint ‘greeness’ of it (heck, the packaging is produced at a wind-driven facility!), my customers loved that they could take it to the park or beach for a large gathering and not worry about local anti-glass ordinances.
    I’m looking forward to carrying more boxes in the future despite the frustration of trying to find the proper shelf space for these monsters.

  5. By all means, pick up the magazine, but the O mag box wine story is on as well:

  6. I am so glad that you wrote this article. It has been so hard to find a wine that is quality in the box format. I think that the idea of a wine that is more for every day is great. Unfortunately, the quality of what is generally available is not as good as it needs to be. I think that the more that we can encourage retailers to carry quality alternatives in this style, the more that they will sell. If the only type of product that hss been generally available is mediocre, it is no wonder customer response has been slow. We need more great wines like this! Thanks for the review.

  7. Does anyone know where to buy good box wines in Manhattan? People ask me all the time, and I don’t know where to send them.

  8. @Dale H – I find that pour what’s left of any bottle (or 1L tetra box) into a 375ml bottle and then corking it and putting it in the fridge does a great job of keeping wine from one day to the next…Glad you are stocking it in your store. I didn’t flag it here, but there’s a quote in the story where an observer says that retailers are the biggest obstacle and that consumers are largely fine with the alternative packaging.

    @Sharon – Try Astor Wines. They have the From the Tank and Yellow & Blue.

    Glad you’re having fun with the format in general, everyone!

  9. one swiss wine merchant has intensified business with boxed wine and built a little website especially for that:

    klick on the top left link “The Boxx’R”, he even imports this winebox-temperature controller from Scandinavia….

  10. @Dale H – If you are using wine in a tetra pack, keeping oxygen out of the box is as simple as folding up the flaps on the top side of the box and squeezing the sides of the box in before replacing the cap and puttin it back into the fridge. Works like a charm and still keeps the bottom of the box square so that it stands up.


  11. I’ve tasted wine placed in a box. I actually prefer this one than the bottled wines. And it’s very dispensable and I don’t have to worry anymore as to where I should place it ones it has been emptied already! LOL!

  12. @Tyler — Unfortunately, my local jurisdiction doesn’t allow me to sell splits! So there’s a shortage of half bottles in town.
    @CuriousWineGuy — It’s not a perfect method, but it totally makes sense. Thanks for the idea.

  13. Dale – DeKalb, Illinois, doesn’t allow wine to be sold in half bottles? Let’s hear more about that!

  14. Tyler — well, maybe other licensees can, but I have a unique one for the municapility. While I can sell single cans or bottles of beer, I can’t sell wine in a bottle less than 450ml. It’s not worth the fight with city hall right now to have it changed. Fortunately, sake, with it’s usual 300ml bottles, counts as beer.


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