I was on one of my morning runs when I passed a new shop in my neighborhood with cute lavender-colored boxes in the window, so I stopped for a photo. Wine in a box! They looked so cute I went back for an apéro that evening with my friend Lisa to check it out.
BiBoVino is a French company revolutionizing the boxed wine market by selling “Premium Wine in Beautiful Boxes”. Unlike the cheap stuff on the bottom shelf of the supermarket, BiboVino has exclusive partnerships with high-end vineyards in France (including Haut-Médoc wines from Bordeaux, Côte du Rhone, Languedoc, Loire Valley, Provence, etc.) chosen by their internationally recognized wine expert Bruno Quenioux. The eco-friendly boxes, or stylish round containers for the Medoc wines, come in 2 or 3 liter sizes and are priced €19-€42. There are reds, whites, and rosés, several which are organic and “biodynamic”.
There are three shops in Paris (the Marais at 35 rue Charlot, 3rd; Gobelins at 13 blvd Arago, 13th; Ternes at 14 rue Poncelet, 17th) which also have some tables so you can enjoy a tasting if you don’t want to commit to an entire box (wines by the glass and small meat and cheese platters on the menu). They also sell online (free shipping from €100).
You might think the French would never drink wine from a box, but according to Le Point magazine’s wine columnist Carnet de Vin, sales of boxed wine in France has grown from 10% in 2004 to almost 35% today. There are many benefits: it’s easier to carry and store, no heavy bottles to recycle, the vacuum-sealed wine doesn’t go bad so you can pour just one glass and save the rest until later (also handy for restaurants to serve wines by the glass), no worries about corked wine, and the price is reduced by 30% because of savings on packaging and transport. And pouring wine from the little spout on the box reminds people of the tradition of filling their glasses straight from the wine barrel (which you can still do in Paris at the wine bar Le Baron Rouge).
Verdict? Great wines, good price, and if you don’t think the box is cute you can always discreetly fill and serve the wine from a decanter of your choice.