No longer the sole province of trashy picnics and ill-informed dorm room parties, boxed wine is hip these days. But for those who still fear the box, science now has the answer to making wine delivered thus at least somewhat palatable: Keep it cold.
For a study published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, intrepid scientists stored the same chardonnay in both bottles and boxes (the latter utilized the industry-standard bag-in-a-box technique) at a variety of temperatures. Then they subjected it to both sophisticated chemical analysis and a panel of testers who received six hours of wine-tasting training (the study authors were not messing around). The result? Boxed wine was much more sensitive to heat than the bottled kind, becoming darker and more vinegary at a relatively tepid 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
For best results, the study suggests drinkers should store boxed wine at 50 degrees or below. So yes, you should definitely invest in a temperature-controlled wine cellar to hold your Franzia. Science has spoken.