What Do Sommeliers Really Think Of Boxed Wine?
“I was dining at a high-end Italian restaurant in NYC about two weeks ago. After meeting the owner, he quickly pulled up a chair and we proceeded to dive into all things wine. He produces wines from Tuscany and asked if I would like to ‘try something from the back.’ He returned and poured a most delicious Sangiovese from a carafe. I am not sure how we got on the topic of wine cork, but I mentioned that I think the majority of wines don’t need cork. Cork is only needed if you want to lay down a wine to age. His face lit up, and he disappeared again. This time he came back and said, ‘Want to know where the wine you are drinking came from?’ He set down a box of wine on the table.

“Today’s wine buyers are more environmentally conscious and the ways they are drinking wine is changing. Screw cap, cans, tetra paks, boxes, wines on tap — these are the future. And boxed wines have very obvious advantages. Most hold about three liters (or about four bottles), making them perfect for large crowds, or if it is just you, that wine will stay fresh for about three weeks after opening, not four to five days.

“So how do we change our perception of boxed wine? In my opinion, we start drinking it.

“It’s like the chicken or the egg. Which comes first? Quality or demand? If we start buying boxed wine, will more producers join in and add better and better quality wines? Or does the quality need to rise before consumers get the memo? I am not sure, but I do know there are some great boxed wines out there already.

“Here are some delicious boxed wines to get you started:
VRAC, Rosé Bag-in-Box – 2018: It’s summer and that means rosé time. This rosé delivers on what you love about pink wines from Provence. It is perfect for that cheese platter you are having at an outdoor concert or that BBQ by the pool.

Bridge Lane Wine Boxes: If you cannot decide which kind of wine to try first, why not get them all? This producer is fantastic and has you covered.

Bota Box Shiraz: I love to find a solid red option and this one fits the bill. Not only would this be great for groups, but if you live a Netflix/Seamless life and need a wine to go with your burgers and pizza, it will last you weeks if you are only having a glass or two a night!”

— Sayle Milne, certified wine educator and founder of Wine Savvy NYC