I heard a couple of interesting conversations on the wine aisle as I was working product and cleaning up around my department. The first was a couple of ladies looking for a certain kind of wine and one suggested that perhaps they buy a box of wine. The other lady nearly shuddered and said she would never buy wine in a box! She also made it clear that wine in a jug was also out of the question. A couple of hours later there was almost an identical conversation between two younger girls (young to me, but old enough to buy wine). One of the girls was jacked up about the savings you get with a box of wine. Four bottles for only twenty bucks. “That’s five bucks a bottle!” She declared with glee in her voice. Her friend dismissed the idea immediately. Neither group bought a box of wine or a jug for that matter, but it was most interesting to listen to something I haven’t heard in a while.
I have to admit that boxed wine has come a long way since Franzia. I can remember when Black Box came on the market and ramped up the quality level of boxed wine. Bota Box was not far behind soon to be joined by some European wineries that decided to join the fray of wine in a box. I have a rather small boxed wine section in my department, merely because of the amount of space I am able to devote to it. Yes, it certainly is a value. If someone wants to buy a box of wine, I want to be able to give them that option. There is nothing wrong with buying boxed wine and if someone looks down there nose at you because you buy it, I suggest you completely ignore them. Being in a bottle doesn’t necessarily make it better. I could pick on several producers who make wine of lesser quality than wine in a box but choose to bottle and cork it. However, I will not go down that road today, or any day for that matter. I look at boxed wine in a couple of ways. First, it leaves a smaller carbon footprint which is good for the earth. It is convenient and easily recyclable. Second, it is a good way to get folks into wine. Tannins are not an issue, they are smooth and easy to drink. Very little if any oak is used on these wines, or they wouldn’t be as affordable. If it takes a box to get people to try wine, then power to the box.
However, it’s nice to see folks jump from the box and try something new. As the two groups mentioned earlier. They may have started with boxed or jug wine and jumped to something different. I don’t believe we should become snobs about it. One of the ladies in the earlier group actually kidded her friend about being a wine snob. Box and jug wine have a place in the wine world, as does the new phenomenon of canned wine. I have a couple of canned wine episodes on my YouTube channel that you might want to check out.
I will admit that I am a bit picky when it comes to canned wine. A lot of younger wine drinkers are very interested in this category and I hope to make that a pleasant experience when they purchase this product from my department. Canned wine may be their first time drinking wine as they sit around the campfire with their friends. I want that to be a good experience, perhaps spring-boarding them into trying other wines in a bottle. It brings me great joy to watch younger people develop their palates and start enjoying the amazing world of wine. Contrary to what many people think, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy good wine. Whether it be in a box, can or bottle, there are a lot of options out there for wine drinkers who just want to enjoy a glass of wine with friends.
Stan The Wine Man