Sunday, April 29, 2007

Boxed Wine Isn't for Everyone

Christian Pillsbury, in an April 24 post on the wine blog winibris, has some great comments on the boxed wine trend.
I don’t like box wine. I am however a fan of box wine. It’s not a snob thing; I just usually know something not much more expensive that will provide me with a lot more pleasure. On box wine

While boxed wine may not be the choice for him, Christian believes that boxed wine is a great choice for a good sized segment of the wine buying public; the maybe 40% who will walk into Trader Joe's and buy an appealing label for a reasonable price. Maybe there's something good inside, but maybe not. Or the perhaps 20% who are still searching for the beer keg.

Enter modern box wine. I see box wine as an easy, safe bridge to the world of wine. Buy it at Target and Walmart. It’s cheap. With a Mylar bag insert, it will last in the fridge. Many of the wines are better than “Two buck Chuck”, and serve as an easy and confidence inspiring alternative to beer. I am all for the bigger wine companies flexing their economies of scale, and reviving the flagging >$6 wines category with a new, sensible range of offerings. On box wine

This sensible view is in synch with my feeling that those of us shopping for wine in the $5 - $15 per bottle range have no rational reason to fear 3 liter premium boxed wines, other that "what will the neighbors think."

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Will Super-Premium Wine Brands Ever Be Boxed?

This week the Wine & Spirits Daily blog posted the results of an informal reader survey question regarding acceptance of boxed wine. In WILL HIGH END WINES EVER GET BOXED? the responses ran the gamut from "absolutely" to a succinct "NO." Take a look at the post to read all the responses.

Yesterday we revealed survey results concerning critter brand in which most respondents said the category has plenty of momentum in the near term but will eventually fade out. So while we’re on the subject of packaging, we asked readers who took the survey what they think about box wine trends and its premium prospects. The actual question read, “Do you think the recent resurgence in box wine will continue? If so, do you think well-known premium and super-premium wine brands will eventually use this type of packaging?”

While there were some people who were emphatically against the prospect, most people seemed to thing that both premium and super-premium brands will eventually use box packaging. However, a sizable amount of respondents think premium has a chance but not super-premium.


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Monday, April 02, 2007

Wilfred Wong on the Box

Yesterday Patti Reising of KCBS radio in San Francisco spoke with Wilfred Wong, Cellar Master of Bevmo, and Jon Bonne, wine columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, about the increasing quality and popularity of boxed wines. (Listen here).

Boxed Wines Grow in Quality, Popularity

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- Boxed wine has long had a bad reputation, and for good reason according to Bevmo Cellar Master Wilfred Wong.

"When boxed wine in America first was put into the marketplace it was really the low grade wine," he explained.

However, new figures by AC Nielson show sales of 3-liter boxed wine grew by 44 percent last year. The numbers aren’t surprising to Wong, or to San Francisco Chronicle wine critic Jon Bonne.

"Boxed wines are getting a whole lot better than they have been in the past and wines that typically people would buy in bottle they're now finding in boxes," said Bonne, who expects the trend to continue.

Bonne added that there are certain people who will likely never serve boxed wine, no matter how high the quality. He said many wine drinkers interact with the bottle in a special way. "What's on the label and the shape of the bottle, the color of the bottle, the way you open it, it's very important."

Boxed wine has the added bonus of staying fresh in the refrigerator longer.

KCBS - Boxed Wines Grow in Quality, Popularity