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Bottled wine versus boxed wine: two methods, one taste

Despite claims of bottled wine’s superior quality to boxed, Gary Gagnon said he believes the two taste the same.

“I don’t believe there are any differences in taste whatsoever,” said Gagnon, assistant professor of Marketing and Hospitality Services Administration.

Gagnon teaches HSA 245: Wines of the World, at Central Michigan University.

“A good wine is one you enjoy the taste of and all of the rest is pretention,” he said. “The truth is, screw-cap wines are every bit as good as corked bottles, and so are boxed.”

Gagnon said while there are not any high-quality boxes of wine, the taste is equivalent to that of bottled wines that are not aged.

The professor said boxing wine lowers shipping costs and is becoming a popular method employed by countries like New Zealand and Australia.

“Boxed wine is lower in cost, easier to ship and lasts longer once opened,” Gagnon said. “If you drink half a bottle of wine and put it back in the fridge, half of the bottle is filled with air and the wine deteriorates faster, even with a cap or cork. Boxed wine draws from the bottom of the bag so the wine isn’t exposed to the air.”

“College students drink more beer, but if they bought a box of wine, they’d learn it really goes a long way,” said Remus senior Elly Cotton.

Cotton said she thinks boxed wine has the biggest bang for her buck compared to bottled wine.

“My favorite wine is the cheapest one,” she said. “But I’m partial to reds.”

While Cotton said she thinks boxed wine offers the most quantitatively, she said bottled wine offers the highest quality.

Mount Pleasant senior Meghan Borland agreed with Cotton.

“There’s something about corks that’s just better than a box,” Borland said. “Boxed wine is about quantity over quality. It’s about enjoying your time while drinking it. Bottled wine is about enjoying what you’re drinking.”

Boxed or bottled, Borland advised against the use of wine in drinking games, but said she enjoys drinking wine year-round.

“Wine in the winter is like an instant sweater, but it’s really for any season,” she said.

Gagnon thinks boxed wine will become more and more acceptable down the long road.

Alleah Webb, Livonia senior and a student in Gagnon's HSA 245 class, said she enjoys the chic feeling of drinking only bottled wine.

“I like to do the whole ritual of unwrapping the foil, uncorking the bottle, sniffing it … it makes me feel classy,” Webb said. “Boxed wine is for people who don’t want to drink Burnett’s (Vodka) and still want to get drunk.”