3 liter boxes (left) hold the identical of four 750mL glass bottles. Now, practically tetra paks are gaining popularity through consumers.

For years, one of the many loathed word combine in the long background of the grape to be “boxed wine” — and for good reason. Because that decades, poor quality wine, labeled merely as “white” or “red,” to be relegated to these boxes and sold in supermarkets at bargain basement prices.

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But things have changed in current years.

Boxed wines, once the lowest level that the quality pyramid, are ultimately getting some respect. And they’re becoming increasingly popular among consumers.

Danny Brager, Nielsen Company’s senior vice chairman of beverage alcohol practice, evidenced their newfound popular at the 2016 Wine sector Council. “While 750-ml glass party solidly hold 70 percent the the market,” the said, “3-liter boxes and Tetra paks post the the strongest growth. In ~ 3.3 percent that the market share, 3-liter boxes flourished 13.7 and 12.3 percent in value and volume, respectively, while Tetra (only one percent of the market) grew 21.9 and 21.8 percent.”

Boxed wine source in Australia in the 1930s, however it wasn’t until the 1960s that Penfolds, one of Australia’s oldest wineries, patented the plastic, air-tight madness attached come a bladder, which very closely resembles today’s packaging.

This an approach was desired for lesser quality wines the didn’t warrant the cost of a bottle. But, ironically, sales that “value” boxed wines are stagnant now. The expansion spurt is gift driven mostly by “premium” wines.

“In the case of 3-liter boxes,” Brager said, “the category has boosted sales by introducing brand-new buyers, consisting of premium wine buyers, bookkeeping for 44 percent of the growth.”

And while ladies are more reluctant than males to pick a boxed wine, the is changing too. “A wine’s packaging garners various reactions from men and also women,” Brager said, “with the last group generally associating crate with lower quality, although this is changing at a quick rate.”

In 2005, black Box Wines kicked off the boxed wine transformation by packaging premium, appellation-specific, vintage-dated wines in the signature black color box. The agency now boasts a large array the award-winning varietal wines and blends that it claims cost approximately 40 percent less than a equivalent amount of wine marketed in bottles. The decreased packaging, production and transportation costs are gift passed on to consumers, and they space taking note.

Another savings feature is that the plastic “bladder” used to package the wine avoids oxygen from comes into contact with it, preserving it for up to six weeks after ~ the container is opened and eliminating the “pressure” to complete a whole bottle in one night.

“Wine was down practically 5 percent for us last year,” Jim Surdyk, CEO the his family’s eponymous 12,000-square-foot liquor store in Minneapolis, told Shanken News Daily. But “boxed wines have exploded,” he said.

Another reason consumers are gravitating toward boxed wines is the they’re friendlier to the environment. Despite a standard 3-liter crate holds the equivalent of four 750ml glass bottles, boxed wines have roughly fifty percent the carbon footprint the bottled wines. Also, most boxed wine packaging is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, making the much an ext desirable among environmentally mindful wine drinkers.

“These assets were developed to minimization the carbon footprint in the alcohol world and to certainly bring value, convenience and ecology to the consumer,” claimed Jean-Charles Boisset the California’s Boisset family members Estates, an early adopter of alternative methods of alcohol packaging because that its “Barrel to Barrel” program and Tetra Pak products.

Boxed wine packaging additionally eliminates the opportunity of corked wine, i beg your pardon is absolutely worth considering, due to the fact that 3 come 8 percent of all wine with cork closures will be destroyed every year.

But in spite of all that is advantages, boxed wine has its limitations. In ~ best, the packaging keeps alcohol fresh just for a year, so it is not a great option because that fine wines that space meant to boost with age. Boxes are a an excellent fit because that wines that space meant come be consumed immediately, when they are young and fresh.

Also, if boxed alcohol is heading in the right direction, no all box contain an excellent wine. If you’re looking for quality, the brands you delighted in in college room most likely worth avoiding. Brands to look at for include Black Box, FishEye, Banrock Station and BotaBox native California; French Rabbit and also La Petite Frog from France; and Maipe from Chile. Boxed wines that carry a vintage date, the surname of a grape range and/or specific appellation are also a good place come start. Indigenous there, let her palate be your guide.

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For casual, day-to-day drinking and also get-togethers, given the advantages in cost, convenience and also environmental friendliness, there space compelling reasons to embrace the box, therefore the trend will most likely continue. However if you decide to dead a box of wine follow me to your following event, be prepared to offer a little wine education and learning when you get there.

Stephanie Miskew is a certified sommelier, wine educator and also proprietor the The wine Atelier, an online wine boutique. She also runs the The Glamorous Gourmet, a website specialized to wine and also entertaining.