Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 11 July 2016

Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 11 July 2016

If you really like a certain wine, rather than buying it in single cork-stoppered bottles why not get in larger three or four bottle-sized amounts available in boxes?

You’ll find many supermarkets sell the same wine in bottles and wineboxes, but check out the equivalent price per bottle and you’ll find the winebox wine works out cheaper. Wineboxes have other advantages. Dispensed through a plastic tap dispenser, wine boxes do away with the annoyance of broken corks and tainted ‘corked’ wine – improperly sterilised corks spoil at least one in ten traditionally bottled wines.

Partially consumed winebox wine remains fresh and unoxidised for up to six weeks. As the plastic bag concealed within the cardboard box empties, the pressure of the remaining wine stops air entering the tap. For single glass consumers of wine this is a huge bonus. If you’ve tried to keep a partially drunk conventional bottle of wine you’ll know it will become tasteless and oxidised within a couple of days.

But buy your favourite white in a traditional winebox and you’ll soon discover that it just won’t sit in the fridge at a convenient pouring angle. The standard 4 inch wide box is just too big to fit on the door shelf and too tall, at 8½ inches, to sit upright on a shelf. So you’re forced to lay the box sideways, with its protruding plastic tap sticking unhygienically into a half-eaten lettuce and yesterday’s beef joint.

Wine producers have come up with a solution – chuck away the cardboard box and just sell the inner bag instead.

By replacing the see-through plastic bag with a more sturdy foil pouch the wine producers have made it possible for the bag to stand up on its own and allow the printing of all that useful information that usually appears on the labels of wine bottles.

There’s also another innovation – they’ve halved the size of the bag from a 3 litre 4-bottle capacity to half that size so that you can now buy 1.5 litres, or 2 bottles worth. Conveniently this smaller size fits on the door shelf of the fridge and what’s even better is that it’s had a marketing make over. You’ll find these smaller wine bags referred to as ‘bagnums’ because the two-bottle volume is equivalent to a magnum glass bottle.

But don’t worry you don’t have to use that phrase out loud if you don’t want to. Just call it a wine pouch instead.

PG Wine Reviews


Asda 1.5-litre pouch Italian Garganego Pinot Grigio white

£4.75/bottle equivalent, £9.50 for 1.5 litres Asda

Light and creamy apple flavours.


M&S 1.5-litre pouch Spainish Torque Virtuoso Sauvignon Blanc 2014 white

£6/bottle equivalent, £12 for 1.5 litres M&S

Creamy and fruity mango flavours. A nice standby white.


M&S 1.5-litre pouch Spanish GSM Grenache Syrah Mouvedre 2014 red

£6/bottle equivalent, £12 for 1.5 litres M&S

A really good red blend of three grape varieties results in milk chocolate and blackcurrant flavours.


Petit Monde 2.25-litre box French red

£4.16/bottle equivalent, £12.50 2.25 litres Morrisons

Costs £4.75 if you buy it in a 75cl glass bottle. Absolutely awful graphics on the box but decent vino inside.


Banrock Station 2.25-litre box Australian Shiraz Cabernet red

Banrock Station 2.25-litre box Australian Colombard Chardonnay white

£4.34/bottle equivalent, £13 for 2.25 litres Morrisons

Not quite as good as they used to be but Banrock Station is still a pretty good buy for fruity flavours.


Hardy’s Stamp 3-litre box Australian Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon red

£4.75/bottle equivalent, £19 for 3 litres Tesco

Cherry, plum and mulberry flavours.


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© Paula Goddard 2016