Boxes of Wine

by @edent | # # | 5 comments

I like wine. I don't know much about it, but I enjoy visiting vineyards, tasting it, and drinking it with friends. While I can tell the difference between red and white, I'm not entirely sure of the difference between grape varieties, and I can rarely remember which wines I like. I tend to go by price. Which is a dumb thing to do.

The American Association of Wine Economists (what a job!) recently published a paper "Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?" Well? Do they?

Our main finding is that, on average, individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In fact, they enjoy more expensive wines slightly less.

Ah. Back to buying those 2-for-£1 specials at Lidl, then? Perhaps not. Thanks to that wonderful chap, Documentally, I was able to get my hands on two free boxes of wine from FreshCase. Now, I know what you're thinking. Boxed wine is usually the sort of "drink" served a school's bring-and-buy sale. Often emblazoned with the words "Product of more than one country" or, more likely, "If ingested, seek medical help".

The wine contained in these boxes is Hardy's Nottage Hill. Now, I don't know much about wine - but this stuff is regarded as rather good. What's more, the box is actually rather clever. Take a look at my amateurish review.

Taste

I'm happy to report that the wine is eminently drinkable. While the packaging says it will keep it fresh for six weeks, ours was drained dry, disassembled, and recycled within a week.

The white wine has a slightly different tap placement so it can lie flat in the fridge.  Delightfully chilled, it makes it easy to enjoy half a glass of wine without feeling the need to finish off the whole bottle.

Pricing

The suggested retail price is £20. Given that each box contains the equivalent of 3 bottles of wine, that works out at a fairly reasonable £6.66 per bottle.

That compares very favourably to similar wines.  It's also lighter, and has an integrated handle, making it much easier to carry.

It seems that people can't tell the difference between cheap and expensive wine.  Give your friends a blindfold and see if they can tell the difference between FreshCase and a traditional glass bottle.  I'm sure they'll be pleasantly surprised.

5 thoughts on “Boxes of Wine

  1. I think the real challenge is to see if the wine actually lasts 6 weeks. I am not sure i will ever make it.. 🙂

  2. Awhilton says:

    In response to documentally. There is no reason why it shouldn't last 6 weeks if the seal on the tap works effectively and doesn't allow air in to oxidise the wine (causing it to 'go off'). Most box wines would last 6 weeks without too much issue. However with the cheaper 'boxes' they tend to be lower quality and therefore there is lower expectation of perfect wine 6 weeks down the line. It is usually 'ok'.
    I am interested to see whether the concept will hold up as i am seriously concerned about the recyclability claims. Glass/plastic wine bottles are widely recycled as whole items. This packaging may reduce weight but the percentage of recyclable material drops from near as damn it 100% to perhaps 60% (being generous and by volume not weight (as all recyclate is measured)) by weight it's probably less than 30% as a guestimate without seeing the product.

    1. I've nearly finished the white, so I'll post a disassembly video later this week.
      Both the top and bottom of the box are fairly solid chunks of recyclable plastic. The sleeve which holds it all together is standard cardboard.
      The only bit which doesn't recycle is the bag with attached tap.

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