Last week on my blog (and early December in the Village Voice), I published an article reviewing the “best” boxed wines on the market. Prior to tasting twenty+ wines, winnowing the field of drinkable ones to eight, I posed the following question: Can one throw an affordable, elegant dinner party with boxed wines guests would enjoy drinking? The answer was Yes but No. Affordable and enjoyable: Yea, mostly. Elegant? That was still unsolved.
I tested my dinner party theory over Thanksgiving at my sister’s house. As you can see from the photo below, we sampled lots of wines, yet the loveliness of the dining room was undermined by the silly looking collection of boxes on the table. Clearly, refilling guests out of a cardboard container is far from sophisticated unless you plan to use decanters all night. But decanters are only a solution for a party, not for daily consumption at home. Now, solving for both: The Boxxle.
Apparently I was not the only one to recognize this problem, but Tripp Middleton was the first address it. A University of Georgia graduate, Middleton acknowledged the issue of aesthetics as well as stigma around serving wine in a box, so he created the Boxxle, a patent-pending dispenser made for 3L (equal to 4 bottles) wine bladders.
As you may recall, inside every box of wine is an airtight plastic bag holding the juice. You must get that bladder into the Boxxle, a minor but surmountable challenge that involves pulling it out of the cardboard casing without puncturing it. I speak to that issue since, like an idiot, I tried opening a box with a knife, and well, you know where this is going.
The Boxxle itself features a stylish stainless steel exterior with looks akin to a simplehuman product. Perfect for matching your SH trashcan, Viking Range, Bosch Dishwasher and all the rest of the SS in your kitchen (mine included, although no Viking or Bosch here). The extraction system is easy to use and pretty genius. Rather than the traditional gravity drain method found in a normal box, the Boxxle uses a compression system to squeeze the wine out to the last drop–no embarrassing tilt and shake while trying to get that final spit of alcohol.
If you are a regular drinker of red wine, you can leave the Boxxle on your counter (unless you live in the South–too hot folks!) with your favorite 3L bag of vino rosso inside. If you prefer whites, you may have difficulty finding space in the fridge; but a little life priority and shelf rearrangement will have you discreetly drinking chilled wine for months. The beauty of the Boxxle is that nobody can see how much goes out, as long as you put another bladder back in.
Other perks of the Boxxle include larger, nebulous but still important environmental impact savings such as glass bottle waste, shipping, labeling–basically a lowering of your carbon footprint. Plus your wine stays fresh for up to six weeks! A win-win for all. The only question is: Can you find a wine good enough for the Boxxle?