One of the debates I have frequently with my
wine-drinking friends is about packaging. Many wine drinkers focus heavily on the
container and closure a wine comes in, almost to the point of excluding its actual taste.
Now, it's clear where this perception (or misperception) comes from. For years, cheap bulk
wines were put in less expensive containers and pricey glass bottles and cork
were reserved for better wines.
Today, this distinction is plenty blurry. Imagine this taste-off: a $2 Charles
Shaw wine in a glass bottle with a cork, versus a 3 Liter boxed wine from
"Black Box" for $22 (equivalent to $5.50 per standard bottle). With the Charles Shaw, most of
the $2 price just covers that expensive packaging, while Black Box uses high-quality
grapes from regions such as Napa Valley and Paso Robles and can sell it to you at a great
price because the packaging is, well ... cheap.
Consider also that many people don't finish a bottle of wine in one night. I've tried every special
closure under the sun (moving it to a smaller container and refrigerating it is
the most effective) but nothing really preserves it completely because you've let in
air. With a boxed wine, the bag inside deflates as you use the wine and stays
airtight, letting you keep the wine fresh over a day to a week.
Here's a few better-quality wines that come
in untraditional packaging to try:
Black Box (3 Liter boxes)
Three Thieves (1 Liter jugs and Tetrapaks)
DTour (3 Liter 'tube' boxes)
Next Article: $10 Wines Versus $30 Wines
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