Box wine: a most curious Swedish thing

Box wine in the US is reserved for tacky afternoon picnics where you need a convenient and cheap way to transport alcohol. The wine is often bland and is almost a guaranteed way of getting a headache.

But that’s not the case here, is it? I see many of you smiling with recognition.I can’t even remember the first time I saw boxed wine here. It was probably at our company pub, where a glass of wine was sold at 15 SEK (now 20 SEK) a pop. Not a bad way to get wasted every other Friday on company premises – a safe environment. 😉

But what I do remember is staying far away from it and sticking with the Heineken or the Staropramen or some other beer. I did not want a cheap way to a headache, especially not after such a long work week. But boy was I wrong. When I finally grew the balls to try the wine, I found that it was as good as the stuff they cork. Not to mention, it keeps longer since it’s sealed and more or less free from air!

What a curious, #TrulySwedish thing! Another example of what I’ve become accustomed to seeing – true Swedish sensibility in every area of life. Perhaps it’s because the Swedes knew about the crappy boxed wine in the US and thought, “we can do the same, but with GOOD quality stuff!”

What a concept.

I’ve bought box wine equivalents of the “good stuff” so I do know that it’s actually pretty decent. When you search on the System Bolaget website, some wine options show up as 750ml bottles or 3 Liter boxes. And the price difference makes it so much easier to buy the boxed version, especially when you consider the longetivity factor.

But for the alcoholics amongst us, good box wine is also an easy path to drinking the whole box without realizing it. I’m nowhere that bad – ask my friends – but after hearing about the “box wine syndrome” in Sweden, it made sense. The concept basically goes like this: since it’s hard to tell how much wine is left in the box, it’s easy to “ignore” that fact and to keep drinking.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this applies mostly to older ladies who live alone in the city and need a pick-me-up in the afternoon. Or in the morning. Or all day long.

#TrulySwedish – taking something that seems as tacky as box wine and making it into a well-loved and good thing.

What do you think? Are you too much of a wine snob to drink box wine? Prefer to cork and the churchkey? Or are you like me, someone who has discovered that good things show up in all sizes and packages?

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