Wineberry, the box wine in a wood crate

Wine in a box? Try wine in a crate.

After my GMA segment last week, I thought I would elaborate a little more on one of the box wines that I tasted for the first time this fall: Wineberry box. The lineup includes about six wines, red, white and rosé, all from France. They are priced at about $40 for a three-liter box. (Search for the wines at retail.)

Eric Dubourg, president of Wineberry America, a wine importer and distributor based in New York, says that he wanted to change box wine, “to get away from bag-in-box as student or grandmother wine.”

Box wines still have a stigma and this stylish wooden crate can go a long way to dispelling the downmarket image on looks alone. (It’s worth noting, however, that the wooden box is heavier than a cardboard one, thus somewhat reducing the carbon efficiencies. But Dubourg says he can still fit twice as much wine in a shipping container as we can if it were bottled, which reduces the greenhouse gas emissions, as well as his shipping costs.) Another cool feature is that the box has a retractable bottom panel: Slide it back and you can pop in the gel ice pack (pictured, right) that comes with the whites and rosés to keep them cool. Are you gellin’? For Wineberry box, the answer is yes.

But style alone couldn’t carry the wine. Dubourg selected existing wineries from his bottled wine portfolio and asked them to put some of their production in the box. He has the packaging made in Bordeaux and then dispatches a mobile bottling–er, boxing?–truck to the properties where the wines are boxed just the same way as if they were putting it in the bottle.

My favorite wine of the lineup was Domaine Le Garrigon, a 2008 Cotes du Rhone. The exact same wine still comes in a bottle format, which costs $15 while the box comes in at $10 per 750ml–perfect for all your bottle vs. box blind tastings. I tasted them both at the Wineberry fall portfolio tasting and couldn’t distinguish a difference: both were dark in the glass, with brambly southern Rhone aromatics, and even had a arcing finish. Imagine that–a box wine with an arc!

Other notable wines in the lineup are Chateau les Maines, a 2009 rosé from Bordeaux that I wish I had discovered at the beginning of the summer, and the 2007 Chateau Moulin de la Roquille, with right-bank Bordeaux that has a nice note of cabernet franc.

One place where Dubourg met his match with the packaging was with sparkling wine, since it requires thicker packaging to withstand the pressure from carbonation. He did experiment with technology akin to the Heineken keg but couldn’t make it work. But that would certainly be something to toast: a five-liter mini keg of Champagne.

The Wineberry box wines can be found at select stores in NYC such as Juice Box Wine Co and UVA Wines in Brooklyn and Alphabet City Wine Co, Astor Wines, and Le Du’s Wines in the Village. They also have distribution in Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts and Tennessee, where the box wines actually debuted.

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12 Responses to “Wineberry, the box wine in a wood crate”

  1. Twitter Comment

    Bag-in-box wil van haar goedkope imago af, “Wineberry, the box wine in a wood crate” [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  2. Not only is it less expensive, the box (crate) makes excellent fire wood, further reducing it’s carbon footprint.

  3. Excellent to see boxed wines getting national press. I’m doing a local Tampa TV segment this week featuring a few other casks that are tearing up the boxed wine scene (Pepperwood Grove Zin, Big House White, BoHo Zin). But something not many people have mentioned in relation to boxed wines: restaurant wines by the glass. I put the ’08 Garrigon by the glass at a restaurant it’s selling quite nicely. Customers don’t have to know and the restaurant can charge less $$ since spoilage isn’t an issue. Win-win.

  4. And, for starters, you can turn the boxes into bird houses, lunch boxes, display shelves and purses.

  5. Actually the 2009 Domaine de Garrigon is now out and it is even better than the 08! Yipee

  6. Thanks for the review. There is, I believe, a market for boxed wines and these look interesting!

  7. Twitter Comment

    #RT @ AZGrapeEscapes Wineberry, the box wine in a wood crate [link to post] very cool, happy #WW

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  8. AWESOME! I also love the design put into some of the other cardboard boxed wines, like “Man in a Box.” Have you seen the cool barrel that Deloach released for pinot noir? Here’s the thing about wooden boxes and barrels, the buyer should be able to buy JUST the refill bladders. Technically, that even more sustainable.

    I feel like once the delicious wine hits your lips, who cares what container it arrived in? – Madeline at

  9. The Octovin boxed wine, especially the Big House White and the Boho Old Vine Zinfandel are outstanding wines that beat most wines in the $7.00 to $9.00 price. I really think that boxed wines will replace the low end two-buck-chuck wines. They are varietally correct, have a sense of place and will maintain freshness for six weeks…and totally green….cheers! Russ Winton–Wine Line—

  10. Boxed wines are getting better. Just for kicks, I ordered a few boxes to taste alongside the dozens I normally taste on any given Tuesday, and a few of them were actually OK, although they don’t quite evoke the same semblance of sophistication as wine in a bottle(I felt a little trashy drinking it). At the same time, though, I recognize their convenience. And who knows? If boxed wine keeps improving, perhaps one day the romance formerly ascribed to the extracting of a cork will be redirected to the releasing of a plastic tap.

    Paul Kalemkiarian
    President, Wine of the Month Club

  11. Boxed wine in wood – great. But what about boxed wine in a stylsih steel container that you can use again and again and again…
    I came across this the other day – a Boxxle and wondered what everyone thought of it. Good idea or not?

  12. […] to see Eric Asimov and the NYT wine panel recommend some box wines. Their clear favorites were the Wineberry Cotes de Rhone red and the Eztezargues, boxes that I have also […]


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