Wine from a cardboard box- the tyranny of a bottle

You know, you have seen them. Wine in a box. They tend to be table wines, not special vintages as the general public is as yet not quite accepting of this new packaging. But maybe its time we rethink the need to struggle with the traditional glass bottle and the infernal cork?

Wine makers have tried plastic corks to save on bucks (and actually the plastic corks work way better in keeping air out of the bottles) but they are as yet not used on expensive wines. Fact is we like the sizzle too and not just the steak. The flash and flair of the waiter opening up that 200 dollar bottle of wine at your table and letting you have a sniff of the cork, then a small taste. Now who ever sends the wine back at that point anyway? Somehow it would be crass perhaps and unbefitting of that 200 dollar of wine if it were to come to you in a small carton by the tetrapak people? Its all a show and the show must go on.

But for us common folk, not often at a table where a 200 dolllar bottle of wine is being served, I say that the time of the tetrapak has arrived. Yours truly has given in to the draw and finally purchased a copy. Previously Iv only seen them in brick form containing around 2 bottles of wine. Now that would be perfect for a party but not for personal consumption. Currently I do like the 4 tiny glass bottles in a pack that we can get, with each bottle being about 180cc or equivalent to a glass of wine. Those generally equal the cost of buying a 750cc (roughly 4 glasses worth) glass bottle with the infernal cork. Yesterday I came across a 500cc tetrapak of Vendange Cabernet Sauvignon (a noble grape), the stated equivalent of 3 glasses of wine on the package. The billionaire Rausing brothers are adding to their extreme fortune again with wine in a tetrapak. Now, Iv just had a glass of this wine and I can assure you its every bit the same as the exact wine that comes in a glass bottle from the same maker. Totally the same. And I dare say, if you didnt see the tetrapak box you would be just fine accepting the wine if it came to you in a glass. Poured and ready to go.

Airlines such as EVA have been roundly criticized as having bad wine in airline reviews as soon as the customers found out the wine came “from a box” as it were. Because its lost that snob appeal. In many cases its been the exact same wine. I certainly cant fathom carrying the extra weight of the glass bottles on a plane and having the stewardess struggle with those dang corks. I hate those bloody corks ok? They dont always come out in one piece. And even if they do, its like pulling teeth!!

We havent liked the glass bottle with the plastic cork and we havent liked ,as consumers, the glass bottle with the bottlecap (makes it cheap doesnt it?). Now we are against the box. But I say for many occasions it makes perfect sense. However, we should perhaps keep the box out of sight. If EVA and other airlines simply poured the wine into the small plastic glasses we get in the air rather then serving it straight out of the box, I dare say the customers would nary know the difference.

So go ahead, get yourself one of those tetrapak bottles of wine and drink. No difference to the wine inside. Wine doesnt further age in the glass bottle anyway, not really. And we can save a bit of money too this way. This box of three glasses worth of wine was only 3.75. The same wine in a 750cc glass bottle from the same maker typically runs 7 to 8 dollars.

Its going to be awhile before that 200 dollar bottle is going to come to you in a tetrapak but I dont see why most table wines and wines that you buy that are under 10 bucks a 750cc copy shouldnt come in such an easy form?

Cheers !

A little touch of class presented to the world from Australia - the wine cask is an Australian invention.


The touch of class being that they decided to call it a “cask” rather than a “keg.”

No, in the level of self sacrifice obvious in switching product packaging. How do we line our cork hats now? We’ll be eaten by flies!


I think boxed wines are great! Maybe because I’m cheap or perhaps I’m just not enough of a connoiseur.

However, I’m not alone:

[quote]Five reasons to buy boxed wine:

  1. You get more bang for your buck. Premium wines come in 3-liter boxes (the equivalent of about four bottles) and sell anywhere from $15 to $25 a pop. Do the math — you’re getting a good deal on a good wine.

  2. There’s no pressure to polish it off in one night. Unlike a bottle, which goes bad within a day or two of uncorking, boxed wine lasts about four to six weeks.

  3. You can drink it now. Forget about the whole let-it-age thing — boxed wines are meant to be drunk within a year of being made.

  4. It’s transportable. Because it won’t shatter, boxed wine is perfect for picnics, the beach, and tailgates. Take the oxygen-tight bag out of the box and bring it backcountry camping.

  5. You have a reason to use that carafe. A pretty decanter filled with red wine looks so good on your table.[/quote]

Source: … 13,00.html

There are many good drinkable wines in boxes, just a pity i have no self control. I don’t get quite as drunk having a bottle as i would a box

They forgot a very important reason. Wine casks don’t break if you drop 'em. There are few things worse than dropping a bottle, especially when it’s the end of the month and you are down to your last coins, and you’ve cancelled one of your bank accounts to get your hands on the NT$230 sitting idle.

Yep, it’s bad enough dropping a bottle of beer (actually, for this very reason I just buy cans) but when it’s a bottle of wine or spirits, it destroys a piece of your soul.

Edit: Just saw this on the BBC. Australia MPs ‘face breath tests’

In rural France, drinking the local co-op table wine from a box in the norm. The routier may even put in in a re-cycled wine bottle for easier consumption. When you’re done, you go drive down to the co-op and re-fill your box from the “gas pump”.

The number one reason for adopting the wine box is all the good it does the environment. Surprised nobody mentioned it yet:

“More than 90 percent of American wine production occurs on the West Coast, but because the majority of consumers live east of the Mississippi, a large part of carbon-dioxide emissions associated with wine comes from simply trucking it from the vineyard to tables on the East Coast. A standard wine bottle holds 750 milliliters of wine and generates about 5.2 pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions when it travels from a vineyard in California to a store in New York. A 3-liter box generates about half the emissions per 750 milliliters. Switching to wine in a box for the 97 percent of wines that are made to be consumed within a year would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about two million tons, or the equivalent of retiring 400,000 cars.”

Geez. Give me a break. I don’t think the average drinker is too worried about his carbon footprint. I used to do a lot of home brewing which I guess is relatively environmentally friendly but that was not the motivation.

If you really want to be green, you wouldn’t drink wine. You’d just drink rain water that you collected from your roof. :slight_smile:

Tommy, I started buying boxed wine long before I came to Taiwan – more than 20 years ago! You really DO live under a rock, don’t you? Come from within driving distance of Napa, Sonoma, etc., and wax lyrical – in 2008 – about new-fangled wine boxes!
And I’ll tell you something else. They’re great for packing into the “trunk” of these new inventions they’ve recently come up with. The “motor-car.”

On a related note, I stumbled upon this:

[quote]South Africa Wine Industry Bans ‘Papsak’ Foil-Bags Used in Boxed Wine

The banning of cheap, low quality wine in the notorious foil-bags (papsak) by the Minister of Agriculture, has been welcomed by the wine industry. According to Dr Johan van Rooyen, chief executive of the South Africa Wine Industry Council, the industry initiated this ban as far back as 2004 and welcomes the gazetting of the ban on wine in these substandard containers.[/quote]

More here:

Comments from the SAFFAS?

[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]A little touch of class presented to the world from Australia - the wine cask is an Australian invention.


Yes - the goon box.

When you have drunk more than half of your goon box you can peg it to a rotating clothes line and play “goon of fortune”. This involves spinning the clothes lines and where it stops the closest person has to drink. Afternoon you can use the empty cask as a pillow. If you want to be really thrifty you can keep it with you hiking gear and re-use whenever necessary.

Provincially its has also been know as a “Dubbo Suitcase” amongst other things. CBF’d googling it.

About time they arrived in Taiwan. Expensive though!! :unamused:

So then we can no longer use the term “uncork”…

[quote=“sandman”]Tommy, I started buying boxed wine long before I came to Taiwan – more than 20 years ago! You really DO live under a rock, don’t you? Come from within driving distance of Napa, Sonoma, etc., and wax lyrical – in 2008 – about new-fangled wine boxes!
And I’ll tell you something else. They’re great for packing into the “trunk” of these new inventions they’ve recently come up with. The “motor-car.”[/quote]

Weeel , sometimes I aint as hip on those new fangled inventions thar bro :slight_smile:

See in my defense I am within 30 miles of Napa and Napa is considered the primo wine producing region of the United States (North America at least or maybe even the Americas). NOw the Napa wine folk consider wine in a box to be unworthy. They dont like plastic corks either or bottle caps. Napa is responsible for something like only 5 percent of the wine production of California (most people think its more like 40pct). And wine made from Napa grown and harvested grapes tend to be much more expensive and generally tend to be the creme de la creme of California. A lot of the cheap bulk wines come from the Central Valley. Some of the better Central Valley grapes come up to napa to be made into wine. But the “best” wines from California are generally considered to be napa grown, harvested and produced into wine.

IN fact within Napa valley itself (and to a slightly lesser extend Sonoma county) there are different areas of excellence where the grapes from which are carefully nurtured into the priciest of Napa valley wines.

So in short, the bay area is a place of wine snobs !!

Now I myself am not a wine connoiseur (can barel spell the name) and in fact I drink little wine. My excitement was in coming across a 500cc box of wine for 3.75 at Longs Drugs :slight_smile: And that was the reason for my posting. That now wine comes in 500cc boxes at 3.75 and is of good quality (tommy525 quality) and is cheaper then the same stuff in a bottle. Hence the !!!

Target has long had wine in boxes of the equivalent of 2 or 3 or more bottles, but I didnt know they could be kept. I still thought they had to be all drunk when opened like a bottle of wine. So of course that would not do for moi .

But a 500cc box of wine at 3.75??? And reasonable quality?? Now thats something to behold in wonder !!

p.s. sorry for some typos. the result of my 500cc box of wine :smiley:

As far as I can tell from this thread, there is a mix up of two different “boxed” wines here:

  1. Tetra Pak (like milk - actually called Tetra Brik I think)

  2. Plastic Bag in a cardboard box (comes with a tap AFAIK)

#2 could really have the advantage over a bottle that after emptying half of it, there is no air inside the container (the plastic bag contracts as the wine is emptied), and thus it could potentially keep longer.

I guess Tommy got variation #1

The strangest I ever came across was French red and white wine in small tin cans, in a UK Tesco. We did a degustation back in Germany with my family, but the taste didn’t recieve many positive comments. Well, it could have been just bad quality wine… but maybe also the packaging adds a bit to the taste…

Uncorking the bottle is a hassle. And I have an electric uncorker. I find that after opening the box with the bag in it, it won’t taste good after about a week. I never keep it in the refrigerator. Now that the weather is getting cooler, they should last a bit longer.

One time I brought a bottle of wine to a lady friend, and I bought a cork screw in case she didn’t have one. And I just gave her the bottle with the cork screw in a paper bag. Well, she took the bottle out and, not knowing that there was anything in the bag, she balled it up and tried to smash it flat with her hand. Ouch! It was not a moment that was conducive to a romantic evening.

So, good doctor, you could say she was screwed before anything happened?