A family gathering can get expensive, especially if you're serving wine. One way to save some money is to buy your vino in a box, but are you sacrificing quality?

The McLaughlin on Your Side team took that question to a local wine store to see how well boxed wine stacks up.

At Marquis Wine Cellars we gathered a group of wine drinkers for a blind taste test.

“I drink a lot of wine,” joked one woman.

“Nothing is going to get done after this,” said another.

Our wine expert, Leah Bickford, chose a boxed and a bottled Pinot Grigio and a boxed and bottled Tempranillo. All the wines were poured into decanters beforehand so our testers wouldn’t know which wine was which.

Here’s how the wines broke down when it comes to cost.

Pinot Grigio:

  • Villa Chiopris bottle - $22.52
  • Bota Box, 3 litre box - $8.75/750 ml (or one bottle)


  • Cune Rioja Crianze bottle - $24.26
  • Radio Boca Tempranillo box - $12.40/750 ml

First our group tasted the white wines, followed by the reds.

"I'm getting a lot of dates," said one tester after drinking the boxed red wine.

“This is lighter and crisper,” said another woman after sipping on the white bottled wine.

After the wine tasters rated their favourites, Bickford revealed what they were drinking.

“What you are comparing is essentially boxed wine to bottled wine,” explained Bickford.

“I found them quite similar,” said one woman.

“I love this it's so fun to experiment," said another tester.

Turns out four out of 10 people preferred the boxed white wine over the bottle. Six out of 10 chose the boxed red wine, over the bottle.

“Honestly, sometimes I think people just like what they like and it may not have anything to do with price,” said Bickford.

“I would have no hesitation drinking any of them,” said one tester.

There are some benefits to drinking boxed wine. It will last longer, up to a month or more, it’s environmentally friendly and easy to transport. And of course, it’s more bang for your buck.

The disadvantages are you don’t get as much of a selection and it doesn’t age like a bottled wine would.

And it doesn’t look like boxed wine is going away anytime soon. The BC Liquor Distribution Branch told CTV News that boxed wine sales have increased 40 per cent over the past five years.