Boxed wine
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Boxed wine

I don’t drink much alcohol. So unless I have company, a bottle of wine (red or white) is either going to go bad before I finish it, or I’ll have to plan ahead to use it in my cooking.

But, as with most things, wine goes bad because of exposure to oxygen. I’ve heard that the vacuum pump options aren’t very effective at preserving wine, and while there’s a special heavy gas that you can spray in the bottle to crowd out O2, but if you want to have a small glass every evening, it seems sort of wasteful.

Enter: boxed wine.

My grandmother used to have a box of Franzia in her fridge, right alongside a 2 liter bottle of diet grapefruit soda and the makings of pimento cheese sandwiches with miracle whip on white bread, so I’d always assumed it was only for cheap wine and cheap people. I was so wrong!

Boxed wine is often excellent, lasts for ages (it’s in a plastic bladder that is air-free and shrinks as the wine is drained), and is also well-priced (at 4 bottles per box).

I have tried many varieties, but because I do most of my shopping at Trader Joe’s, I usually have a box of their Chardonnay in the fridge and a box of Cabernet on the fridge (which is also quite useful for cooking). I’ve had good experiences with Black Box as well.