Boxed Wine or Botched Wine: Why Does Boxed Wine Expire?
I’ve been collecting samples of boxed wine for a while and noticed the boxes all had an expiration date. Oh Snap! The box wines were good for only 6 months! This seemed strange, so I asked a few wine people what they thought of boxed wine and a couple of the responses were leery:
Eric Asimov made me wonder,
Is boxed wine better than it used to be?
Bag-in-Box wine or BIB certainly has benefits, including being cheaper and more efficient to distribute. But what about the wine inside? I asked Leora Kalikow, who works at Public House Wine , to set the record straight.
Quick Tips About Boxed Wine
As boxed wine lovers, we get protective when people start spreading rumors about it. One of the most repeated misconceptions about boxed wine is that plastic affects the safety and taste of the wine inside. However, quality tests and studies show –it’s just not true. So I’ll break down the myths about bag-in-box (BIB) technology, and the wine inside.
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Q: Why does boxed wine expire?
LEORA: Boxed wine (unlike bottled) has an expiration date. This is because BIB’s are more porous than glass. Boxed wine is not designed for aging. Consume it within 6-8 months of purchase and the quality will be up to par. On the upside, open a box and the wine will stay fresh for six weeks, unlike a bottle that will go sour after one.
Q: Will chemicals creep into my wine?
LEORA: Bisphenol-A, commonly known as BPA, is a harmful chemical found in plastic. Almost all BIB’s are BPA free and made with polyethlene, one of the safest plastics available. Polyethlene is one of the most widely used materials in the world, found in everything from water bottles to ziplock bags. Polyethlene doesn’t affect the taste, quality or safety of the wine it holds.
Q: But isn’t plastic bad for the environment?
LEORA: Plastic may not be the most eco-friendly material, but boxed wine is a far superior choice to bottled when it comes to the environment. Cardboard boxes require less energy to produce than glass bottles, and the BIB’s and their boxes are both recyclable. Boxed wine is also lighter to transport, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments. Since the wine stays fresh longer, you won’t throw away bottles you didn’t finish on time, reducing waste.
Have a favorite boxed wine? Mention it below!
ABOUT LEORA KALIKOW
Leora Kalikow has a degree in journalism and is studying to become a certified sommelier with American Sommelier Association. Leora lives in New York City and is the Community Manager of Public House Wine.