WineboxPut away your corkscrew, wine is available on tap. Look around the wine section of your average supermarket and you’ll see 800 different bottles and 30 wineboxes. Clearly more people buy wine in bottles but they are missing out on the great advantage of buying wine in 3-litre boxes - no corkscrew is required. To pour a glass of wine all you need do is push open a plastic tap.

Winebox tap dispensers also stop air from spoiling the wine. As the plastic bag concealed within the cardboard box empties, the pressure of the remaining wine stops air entering the tap. Partially consumed wine remains fresh and unoxidised for up to six weeks. If you’ve tried to keep a partially drunk conventional bottle of wine you’ll know the wine will become tasteless and oxidised within a couple of days.Winebox tap

Wineboxes have other advantages. They’re one-third lighter than the equivalent 4 glass bottles of wine and also cheaper. You’ll find many supermarkets sell the same wine in bottles and wineboxes – check out the equivalent price per bottle and you’ll find the winebox wine works out cheaper.

Buying wine in wineboxes does have slight drawbacks. You’ll need to really like the wine you’re buying, after all you’ve just purchased three-litres of it, and are prepared to display a cardboard box at your dining table. If you have 106 Euros (£71) to spend this last point needn’t be a problem. Danish designer Lars Erdmann’s stylish stainless steel and laquered wood VinUno is designed to conceal 3-litre wineboxes.

Thirty-nine year-old Lars came up with VinUno after deciding wineboxes “look messy because of the all their different sizes and colours.”  He then designed a way of hiding the cardboard outer as well as “improving the impression of the wine”.

Like many Scandinavians, Lars and his wife Lone drink winebox wine everyday. Their favourites being 3-litres of high quality Appellation Origine Contrôlle (AOC) wine from the Bordeaux regions of Haut Médoc or Margaux. Such high quality French wine can be difficult to find in 3-litre wineboxes here in the UK. It is available, but not through supermarkets.

Valerie Blanc, of Provenance Boutique Wines, Provenance Wineboxonly sells AOC quality Bordeaux wine and it’s all available in 3 and 5-litre wineboxes. She sources her wines from small French vineyards that are part of the association of Vignerons Indépendants (independent winemakers). Valerie finds her customers are “connoisseurs who want wines that are easy to open” and “enjoy drinking wines with meals.” She explained “wineboxes are perfect for them as they don’t need to open a whole bottle”.

The UK winebox market is now worth £390m and is increasing every year. With most supermarkets stocking at least 15 different reds and whites in wineboxes, why not put away your corkscrew for the rest of the summer.

 

PG’s Tips

If you’re not sure what winebox to try first, why not buy one that has passed the taste test below.

Provenance Boutique Wines

Château Grand Champ 2005, Côtes de Blaye, Bordeaux, France.  £25 for 3-litres (equivalent to 4 bottles at £6.25)

If you like your white wines to taste of honey, then you’ll love this wine made from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes. The honey throat-pastille taste is matched with flavours of tinned fruit and lemon.

Château La Moulière 2006, Bergerac, South West France. £37 for 5-litres (equivalent to 7 bottles at £5.28)

You may find 5-litres of this easy-drinking red wine is not enough. It smells of every berry fruit growing in my allotment, with a bit of Satsuma thrown in, and tastes of blackcurrants and vanilla. A good choice for those who like a wine that works equally well with almost any food or can be drunk on its own.

Co-op

The Pink Chill 2006, White Zinfandel California rosé. £13.99 3-litre box (equivalent to 4 bottles at £3.50)

A good, simple rosé that should please everybody. It tastes and smells of strawberry ice-cream.

Asda

Soave, Veneto, Italy. £10.34 3-litre box (equivalent to 4 bottles at £2.59)

At the equivalent price of £2.59 a bottle and only 11% alcohol by volume, this is an ideal lunch-time and evening-time wine. Its crisp apple and lemon flavours will match any light summery foods.

Tesco

Hardys VR Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, South Eastern Australia. £17.99 3-litre box (equivalent to 4 bottles at £4.49)

A very pleasant blackcurrant and blackberry tasting wine that goes equally well with or without food.

Sainsbury’s

Hardys Stamp of Australia Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, South Eastern Australia. £19.99 3-litre box (equivalent to 4 bottles at £5)

At £2 more than their VR range, this blend of two grape varieties is richer and sweeter than the VR Cabernet Sauvignon. It tastes like blackberry, blackcurrant and cherry liqueur chocolates.

This first appeared on Drink Up... With Paula Goddard on livingit.com