Not Just Some Junk in a Box

There are some things you just don't do: you don't wear white to a wedding. You don't talk on the phone during the movie. And you never bring box wine to the party. You just don't. It's gauche.

Except, now you do. Of course, it's a completely different box. And a completely different wine.

The guys at Three Thieves Wineries are bringing new life to boxed wine. You will not find anything named "Sunset Blush" among their offerings. Instead they've got Cabernet, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, and more, all available in tetrapak boxes. It's not traditional, but it's certainly practical: These wine boxes are great to carry to a picnic or casual dinner, and they've even got some varieties in four-packs for those who drink alone (I'm not judging, I'm just saying), or for when you need a small bit of wine for a recipe.

The Thieves also tout the boxes' practical advantages: they create less waste, prevent the possibility of "corked" wine, and are cheaper to manufacture and to recycle than glass. Which is to say, you can get quality wine in a box for a lower price than you'd get the same wine in a bottle. Of course, if you're still partial to pouring your wine from glass, you can choose one of their chunky one-liter jugs, complete with slinging handle and twist-off cap, and still pretty affordable. In fact, on their website, you can buy any of their wines — in tetrapak, jug, or juicebox — for between $9.99 and $10.99.

What attracts me is the attitude they're cultivating. I drink a lot of wine, although I know very little about wine — other than that it's tasty, good for you (you know, red wine, antioxidants, all that jazz), makes board games night a little more fun, and just might take the edge off a first date. What I'm saying is, I don't believe I need a 1600 on the vino SAT to count as real wine drinker. Neither do these guys. Their website includes their tongue-in-cheek "True Hollywood Story," as well as the shoot-em-up "legends" behind the box and the jug. The company owner sums it up in Matthew Latkiewics' very unsnooty account of the Boston Wine Convention: "Why can't good wine be in jugs or boxes and treated like an everyday item?"

Really. Why can't it? 

And incidentally, some wise souls are taking ownership of the box wine stigma with Box Wines, a blog of reviews of affordable wines. It's quite the resource for drinking large on a small budget.

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Greg Go's picture
Greg Go

You're right about the way-too-snooty way we look at wine. It's just a drink!

It's fun to consider, but really, we don't need fancy Riedel glasses to enjoy some fermented grape juice. Also, consider the cork versus screwcap controversy. Traditionalists are screaming over the death of corks, but real traditionalists know corks weren't around back in the day

Sarah Winfrey's picture

Seriously...I thought this was why we liked them ;)

Guest's picture

As someone who only drinks wine for health reasons I fully embrace the growing popularity of box wines.  They are more convenient and easier to keep.  I've never heard of  Thank you for the tip.

"You are what you eat!" 

Will Chen's picture

We must be playing different games. Because here in the Chen household, the drinking makes board games downright deadly. =)

Guest's picture

I've been browsing through Wisebread and notice that you guys cover wine and beer a lot more than the other personal finance blogs.  Are you guys European or something?

Andrea Karim's picture

Don't worry - WiseBread authors are a diverse bunch, from all over the place. But the one thing that we have in common is that we are all raging alcoholics.

And Will, same here: in my family, once the wine starts flowing, things get dangerous. A canasta tournament was destroyed when one family member got sick of being unable to meld and through the decks of cards across the room. Other ugly incidents involve Pictionary and liberal use of the one-fingered salute.

Guest's picture

I also drink one glass of wine a day for health reasons, so many antioxidants in one glass :) I love box wines, problem is most of the finest brands only sell in bottles.