When I was a kid, boxed wine was a joke. To many, it still is. Referred to as "mommy juice", boxed wine tends to bring up images of terrible Franzia offered to us at Sunday lunches. But! Fair reader! If you are still sneering at all boxed wine, you are behind the times, my friend. Let this 2011 NY Times article enlighten you as to the advantages of boxed wine:

The bag-in-a-box, to use the unlovely industry term, resolves this problem of oxidation by eliminating space for air to occupy. Wine can stay fresh for weeks once it has been opened.

Boxed wine can stay good for ages! Unlike bottles, there is no pressure to finish immediately, lest our delicious beverage metamorphose into vinegar. So most people's problem is that they haven't been introduced to a boxed wine yet that is worth keeping around for the time it is good for. Yet in recent years, many companies have been starting to invest in the boxed model. Some are ridiculously over priced. Some are worth keeping around for the days you just want a little something to take the edge off.

My favorite two boxed wine brands are Bota Box and Black Box. For Bota Box I tend to stick to whites, Pinot Grigio being my favorite - flavorful but still mild enough to make for a pleasant chilled drink on a summer night. For Black Box, I like their reds, especially their Shiraz, which has a nice bite to it while still being eminently drinkable.

Boxed wines are also incredibly affordable when compared to bottles. Each box is usually 3-5 liters, and the staying power alone will lead you to spend much, much less on wine. No more throwing out a half three-quarters empty bottle for you.

I am not a wine snob, I am the first to admit. I grew to love wine when stationed in Italy with the Army. Italians, I swear, know something that we lose sight of in America - wines are meant to be drunk, not endlessly sniffed and debated. They are to be savored, sometimes, but sometimes they are just for accompanying a good meal of homemade spaghetti. You don't need fancy drinks for that. The vino rosa della casa will suffice.

So, for the occasions where you actually just want that one glass with dinner, or to unwind with while mindlessly watching Parks and Recreation, consider the boxed wine. It is low pressure, good value, and nowadays, even good taste. For those of you with access to places like Whole Foods, check out some of these fancier brands, which are unavailable in my location. Hey, even for us drunks, moderation is good sometimes.

*This article not recommended for wine snobs