Why should you skip the bottles? Because boxed wine is cheap, good for the environment, and chic (yes, chic).


The process for packaging 'cask wine' (box wine) was invented by Thomas Angove of Angove's, a winemaker from Renmark, South Australia, and patented by the company on April 20, 1965.  Polyethelene bladders of 1 gallon (4.5 litres) were placed in corrugated boxes for retail sale. The original design required that the consumer cut the corner off the bladder, pour out the serving of wine and then reseal it with a special peg.

In 1967 Australian inventor Charles Malpas and Penfolds Wines patented a plastic, air-tight tap welded to a metallised bladder, making storage more convenient. All modern wine casks now use some sort of plastic tap, which is exposed by tearing away a perforated panel on the box. For the next decades bag in a box packaging was primarily preferred by producers of less expensive wines as it is cheaper to fabricate and distribute than glass bottles.

In 2003 California Central Coast  AVA–based Black Box Wines introduced mass premium wines in a box, which served to overturn the stereotype that box wines are an alternate packing on inexpensive jug wine. Within the decade premium wineries and bottlers began packaging their own high-quality boxed wine, including French rabbit, Bandit Wines, Octavin, Target, and hundreds of others. This coupled with an increased cultural interest in environmentally sustainable packaging has cultivated growing popularity with affluent wine consumers.


Bag-in-box packaging is less expensive, lighter and more environmentally friendly than glass-bottled wine, as well as being easier to transport and store. Typical bag-in-box containers hold 1.5–4 750 ml bottles of wine per box, though come a wide variety of volumes. The tap utilised by bag-in-box packaging greatly reduces oxidation of the wine during dispensing. Compared to wine in a bottle which should be consumed within hours or days of opening, bag-in-box wine is not subject to cork taint and will not spoil for approximately 3–4 weeks after breaking the seal.

Wine contained in plastic bladders are not intended for cellaring and should be consumed within the manufacturer printed shelf life. Deterioration may be noticeable by 12 months after filling.


Manufacturers of "higher class" bottled wines have complained about the cheapness of "cask" wines, arguing that they provide a cheap means for alcoholics to become inebriated. In particular, the lower level of alcohol excise levied on cask wine in Australia (compared to beer and bottled wine) has been criticised a  Cask wine in Australia is colloquially referred to as "goon", which is a term derived from the word flagon, meaning a large vessel used for drink,  or "boxy", in reference to its low price and high alcohol content.