From Bottles to Boxes

At the end of the month I look through our spendings and categorize everything in order to see where the money flows. It is a great way to see where your priorities really lie. As a general rule we keep within our budget, but a few things stick out... well, one thing in particular: the alcohol budget.

For the past year or so we have been attempting to bungle our way into cultivating some kind of taste and appreciation for good wine. It's been fun, but perhaps we should have waited a few more years to do that when our budget would actually allow for it.  Part of the problem is that wine just isn't as cheap in Kansas as it was in Idaho. There is no Safeway with their "buy six bottles to get 10% off entire wine purchase if you show your Safeway card" deals. Plus they don't sell wine in the grocery stores (nor any alcohol on Sundays altogether). Since we are not made of money quite yet, we decided something must be done about this. Giving up wine did not seem like a good option since those health experts are always telling us that people who drink wine in moderation will live longer than those who refrain. So we looked into boxed wines.

We asked the guy at the store (who I'm afraid may be at risk of recognizing us) which boxed wine would be the best choice. He recommended two and we picked the cheaper one. When you calculate the difference, the amount you are saving is actually quite astonishing. Instead of spending $12 on a bottle of Lindeman's Australian Cabernet Sauvignon (one of our fav's for the price), you get a little over 6 1/2 bottles of a Californian Almaden Cabernet Sauvignon for just $17.99. That's a saving of $9 per bottle. We bought our first boxed wine.

Both of us were determined to make this cheaper alternative work, so after the first taste we merely pursed our lips, squinted our eyes, and nodded solemnly like those posh wine tasters do on TV. One of us then made the suggestion that food would probably enhance the flavor, making it noticeably more palatable. Fortunately that proved to be quite true. In fact, by the time the box was emptied, we even enjoyed it. One can only hope our wine taste buds aren't slowly being silenced into the grave. However, the choice was not difficult to make. Although breaking up is never easy, we just can't take the toll of this affair with the bottle. After we've had a little space and time, we can hope for a joyous reunion; for now we look for consolation in the box.

We wine connoisseur wannabes are giving up the bottle and embracing the box.


  1. Bran and I are going through a similar realization, except ours is with eating out. We know we'll save money by eating at home - it's just a matter of doing it! Also, I think every connoisseur should have to start out drinking the boxed stuff - it's good for the soul.


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