Truth or marketing?

Wine fountains
Wine fountains

If I say “boxed wine” to you, what comes to mind? Depending on your own experience it might be a bad memory (or no memory, if a bit of overindulgence were involved) or you might have lucked out and found something you like. Now, what if I say “wine fountain”? Ah, visions of wedding receptions and stacks of champagne glasses with bubbly flowing over the sides to fill the glasses below. Guess what our supermarket calls their display of wine in plastic and cardboard?

There it was, hovering above an entire aisle of what appeared from the distance to be boxes of wine, the sign that said “Fontaines à Vin”. Sure enough, there on the bottom row were huge 10-liter (2+ gallons) spigoted containers  marked rather generically “rouge” or “rosé”. On the shelves above were 5-liter and 3-liter boxes with labels that looked slightly familiar. Upon looking closely we started to recognize a few of those labels as belonging on individual bottles we had previously purchased based on recommendations we had found in a magazine for people who enjoy wine.

Not wine fountains, Square Gambetta, Carcassonne
Not wine fountains, Square Gambetta, Carcassonne

Next we checked the prices and were pleasantly surprised to see that there was a significant savings by buying a multi-liter box rather than one bottle. Not only would we be able to take the equivalent of several bottles of wine home in a single box, we wouldn’t have to deal with the weight of carrying all that glass in our backpacks, nor with getting it to a recycling center since our bins don’t accept glass. A win-win situation was developing.

The final check mark went into the “Yes” column when we went into our favorite wine store in town and saw a display of boxed wine prominently featured at the front of the store. We respect the owner’s opinion in that she’s always directed us to bottles that we’ve enjoyed so since her sign said “Fontaines”, you can bet that we have boxes fountains of wine at our house.

4 thoughts on “Truth or marketing?

  1. We were rather impressed at how easy it was to give up the idea that wine must come in glass bottles. Living as close as we did to Napa Valley, and many other wine-growing areas on the West Coast, we definitely had a preconceived idea that wine must be both bottled and pricey to be good. These days Alan just takes our plastic jug to the “refilling station” were the proprietor serves only local wines. We need only order rouge, rose, or blanc and she takes care of the rest. Though I must admit that my inner wine snob did shake her head the first time I saw someone purchase boxed wine in the grocery store, thankfully she is quite silent these days!

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  2. Our favorite boxed wine (and bottled, but the box is for everyday) is Domaine Moureau, a Minervois.
    The vignerons call boxed wine ‘bibs”–pronounced beebs–for bag-in-box.


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