Boxed Wines for Beginners

One of my favorite parts of the wine experience is the ritual of uncorking the bottle. That sound, feel and smell of the cork all are all part of the romance of wine. However, corks can be unreliable. They can break, resulting in a stuck bottle or bits of cork in your wine. A faulty cork can even let air into the bottle, leaving you with a "corked" bottle of wine that smells a lot like old, used, sweaty gym socks. Definitely not romantic.

As an answer to the cork conundrum, wine makers from all over have started turning to screw caps and plastic corks so that they can better control their end product. And then there's always boxed wine -- the topic of today's blog.

Many wine snobs shy away from what once was a "great vehicle" for an ice cold glass of White Zinfandel. You may remember it from college parties or your grandma's fridge -- or anywhere else cost outweighed quality. The stigma against boxed wine is beginning to lift, however, and people are beginning to discover that boxed wines may actually be good -- and are getting better all the time. In fact, Consumer Reports did a blind tasting among wine experts, pitting boxed wines against those in a bottle.

Guess what? The experts liked the boxed wines better than most of the bottled wine they tried. The white wines, like Chardonnay, fared particularly well during the taste test.