Boxed wine
Photo by Kevin Moore/

8 reasons you should be drinking boxed wine at the cottage

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OK—the cottage is not the Ritz, which is part of the reason we like it there. It’s not fussy, it’s not formal–it’s an eat-dinner-in-your-swimsuit kind of atmosphere. And when you’re feeling that laid back, do you really want to have to worry about fragile bottles of wine?

If you’re schlepping your stuff on a boat or over bumpy roads—or if you’re just tired of lugging up a bunch of glass bottles—here are eight reasons why boxed wine might actually be the answer to your low-maintenance prayers.

1. It’s not breakable

That’s a pretty obvious benefit right there. Toss your food bags into the car or onto the boat without having to worry about your spaghetti getting soaked and your clothes smelling like you took a bath in Merlot. (Plus, you’ll avoid suspicious looks from the nice officer who stops you during those long weekend RIDE checks.)

2. It’s easier to pack

Space is always at a premium when you’re packing for the cottage, so let’s hear it for things that stack! Boxed wine is much easier to pack because you don’t have to worry about it rolling around—just tuck it into a corner of the trunk and voila: you have a flat surface you can put other things on. Yes, it takes up a bit of room in the fridge, but at least it doesn’t roll around.

3. It can be surprisingly good

Boxed wine has a reputation as being well, cheap plonk (although an emphasis on the “cheap” makes it a little more palatable). Today, however, many boxed wines are pretty good. And really—you’re at the cottage. Unless you’re a real wine aficionado, the difference probably isn’t that noticeable. If you’re picky, whiz it in a blender to aerate it.

4. It stays fresher longer

Boxed wine isn’t actually contained in the box—it’s in a heavy plastic bag inside the box. If you seal it properly, boxed wine can last from four to six weeks, because less flavour-killing oxygen gets in. Sceptical? Keep this in mind: the format that boxed wine comes in was originally designed as a disposable container for battery acid. Now that’s heavy-duty.

5. It’s so much more convenient

Having a glass of wine on the deck or the dock and watching the sunset is one of the great joys of being at the cottage, but driving back and forth to the nearest liquor store is not. A four-litre wine box is equivalent to more than five bottles of wine. Less driving, more relaxing. Plus, no messing with the corkscrew—or whatever alternative you try to come up with when you realize you left the bottle opener at home.

6. It’s cheaper

Shopping in bulk really can save you money. A bottle of Naked Grape chardonnay is $9.95 in Ontario, but a box of the same wine is $39.95—which means you’re essentially getting more than a bottle for free.

7. It’s lighter

If you’re going on a camping trip, a bottle of wine can really weigh you down. Take a bag of wine out of its box and you’ve got something much easier to carry up your favourite overlook. Add a set of foldable silicone wine glasses, and it’ll be like you’re carrying nothing at all.

8. It’s a green alternative

Shipping boxed wine has a smaller carbon footprint than shipping the same amount of bottled wine, simply because the packaging is lighter and can be packed more efficiently. Plus, most blue box programs now accept bag-in-box containers.

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