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Box wine in Boston?

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  • yumyum Sep 15, 2004 12:23 PM
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You've all probably seen the marketing by now ... decent quality wines sold in boxes are becoming more and more popular. (I linked below to one sample, in case folks haven't seen.) The boxes travel well to picnics and bbq's and the wine keeps better than in the bottle, should you ever have leftover wine. While I've never seen "leftover wine" I've heard it exists...

Problem is, I haven't seen these upscale boxes in any of the major liquor stores -- they continue to carry Franzia or some such dreck. My friends at Kappy's tell me there isn't enough demand for them to bring it in yet. Has anyone seen boxed wine locally yet?

Link: http://www.blackboxwines.com/merlot.htm

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  1. I've seen Black Box and the Hardy's line from Australia in a few places--Martinetti's on Soldiers' Field Road, Marty's now has them, at least in their Newton store, and I've even seen them at Auburndale Liquors. I find it interesting when businesses say there isn't demand for something, when they don't actually carry it--how do they really know? Now if they did stock it, and it didn't sell, that's a different story. I'm hoping these catch on--in addition to being good for a glass or two (or carafe) with dinner, they're very convenient for cooking purposes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: GR

      Great -- Hardy's is actually one of the brands that won the taste-test article I was reading. I don't go in for Merlot, but a good Cab would hit the spot. Like, now.

      Thanks for the tips.

      1. re: yumyum

        I think I've tried the Hardys Cab and Shiraz, and thought the Shiraz was better, for what it's worth.

    2. Federal Wine and Spirits (Phone: 617.367.8605) carries the "blackbox" line.

      1. I'd like to find "Three Thieves" brand.In a "carten"...This stuff is supposed to be pretty good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Trumpet Guy

          Pretty sure I've seen that brand, in bottles, but can't remember where.

          1. re: Aromatherapy

            You can buy 3 thieves at the Wine Emporium in South End. It was good enough value for me to buy a case, but not great.

        2. How long will a box keep once opened? Also, are there any stores in the area (preferrably north of Boston in the Melrose/Stoneham area) that sells the single-serving bottles that you can get on longer flights? Any recommendations on brands of the single servings that are worth a try?

          1. The reason alot of stores haven't really bought into the box theory is that they offer more wine for less price. Hence the customer doesn't have to come back as often. As far as how long they keep the wine is in a bag and as the wine gets consumed the bag collapes on itself leaving no room for oxygen, which is the enemy of wine in the long term. The result is the wine can last up to 2 weeks.

            In the next month or so you will see quite a few new brands coming out. I know of the Black Box and Hardys but also Carmenet and Stonehaven have also hit the market recently. Eventually all stores will realize there is a market for these and will cave in.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Shanti

              In addition to the more-for-less reasoning, that it will last up to 8 weeks after opening (acording to www.aboutboxedwine.com), and that quality wines are becoming more readily available, I am switching to boxed wine for environmental reasons. A single 3 liter box of wine produces less than half of the carbon emissions of one 750 ml bottle. It is time to give up the glass in favor of the recycleable lighter material packaging.
              Shortest article I found summarizing the eco-bennies: http://www.swnewsherald.com/online_co...

              1. re: 2haveaplanq

                Five and half years! Is this a record for dead-thread latency?

                I saw some box wine in South End Formaggio the other day, confirming the notion that it's getting progressively more upscale. I find it handy for its longevity in the aseptic packaging: I keep it around in the kitchen for cooking purposes.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  The Wine and Cheese Cask in Somerville has two good boxed wines. One is a Cotes du Rhone at about $30. They recently added an Italian Cabernet blend that I have found very tasty, especially at $18 for 3L.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    I heard somewhere that a big part of the popularity of boxed wine; developed and made popular in Australia was that boxes don't break like bottles and take up less space. Key benefit to sailors.

                    The longevity and environmental benefits were a side benefit.

                    1. re: 9lives

                      Harder to smash against a table and stick in someone's gut during a brawl, though.

                  2. re: 2haveaplanq

                    I just wish we could get the juice box wine here.
                    All I ever see are the small bottles...but other states have individual serving boxed wines.

                    My sister even brought me one which has a STRAW attached, like a legit grade-school juice box heh. Came from Belgium though...not the states.

                    1. re: rknrll

                      Busa in Arlington Heights has some smaller boxes...maybe 500ml??? I think is was something Australian, but that was a couple of months ago. Next time I'm there I'll check it out.

                2. Try Downtown in Davis Sq. I went to one of Citysearch's wacky-theme tastings there that included box wine (or to be accurate, as they posted on FB tonight, "bladder" wine) and a disquisition on why they don't all suck.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: djd

                    "Bladder wine" makes sense. They definitely remind me of my college dining-hall job where among other responsibilities I had to replace the six-gallon milk dispenser bags: similar technology.

                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      Yes, "bladder wine" is a *much* better euphemism for people who find "box wine" too downscale!

                      1. re: scratchie

                        I went on a boxed wine "odyssey" last year and went all over Greater Boston to find different brands to try. My favorite, that I can find easily, is the Bota Box brand, particularly the CabSauv. I wasn't a huge fan of the Black Box brand, but I think they're the best-selling. I get the Bota Box at Dorgan's in Southie. I really wish more wine stores would carry a variety of boxed wine -- I still buy bottles, mostly, but the boxes are perfect to have on hand when I want just one glass of wine and don't want to open a whole bottle and then feel like I have to drink it all in the next few days. Plus, if its good enough, you can decant the boxed wine and serve it to guests and they're none-the-wiser :)