Box vs. Bottle: Wine experts break down pros and cons of four-co - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Box vs. Bottle: Wine experts break down pros and cons of four-cornered wines

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KENNEWICK, WA - In the heart of Washington wine country there is a paradigm shift slowly taking shape - and that shape is a square. Boxed wines have gotten a bad rap but that seems to be changing. Some wineries, even local ones, are putting good wines in boxes. 

Inside Mid-Columbia Wine and Spirits in Kennewick you will find one of the largest wine selections around as well as customers considered adventurous.

"Wine lovers are a very of interest group, in general. They try everything. There's not really such a thing as brand loyalty in wine," said Mid-Columbia Wine and Spirits' Fine Wine Manager, Chuck Adkins.

Among the rows and rows of bottle wines there is a space for boxed wines. 

"Well your wine has to come in some type of container. There are advantages to both," said Adkins.

"You can take good wine and put it in a box, you can take bad wine and put it in a box. If you go to some places, like California, there are some boxed wines selling for upwards of $75 a box," said Tri-Cities Wine Society President, Ted Davis.

"Today modern box wines will have some of the premium inclusions you'd find on fine wine bottles, such as the date of vintage, the appalachian of origin... They may be certified organic," said Adkins.

"It keeps for a long time. When you open a bottle of wine, you've probably got a few days before oxygen gets in and turns the wine to vinegar. Box wine you can keep for a couple of months. If you keep it cold, you can keep it for a couple of years," said Davis.

On the other hand, bottled wines - kept in the right conditions - can be aged while boxes can't. Still, good wines are being boxed now.

"Wine spectator, the last four years, has rated about 60 different box wines. Of those, 26 rates above average and another 16 rated very good," said Adkins.

The popular Bota Box brand holds the title for number one value red wine, inclusive of boxes and bottles. That is partially because boxing wine is all around cheaper than bottling it - for winemakers and buyers.

"You've got glass, you've got foil and you've got corks which are very expensive," said Davis.

Box wines are just that: wine, cardboard and a plastic bag - all either consumable or recyclable. So, it's no wonder it's catching on.

"There are several wineries here doing it. There's one in Walla Walla. There's a number in Oregon that are starting, so it's picking up," said Davis.

"Box wines have always been a value, but the modern generation of box wines really focuses on the quality of the wine in the box. That's why I say that today some of the best wines have corners," said Adkins.