Australia May Take a Big Stand Against Boxed Wine

By Aly Walansky |

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Certain occasions call for great volumes of wine at a price we can afford, and for those times, we love boxed wine.

However, Australian physicians are thinking this correlation may have created a problem. The country that invented boxed wine is seeing an influx in underage and binge drinking. They are theorizing the availability of cheap, boxed wine may be partially to blame and they want to use the tax code to put a stop to it.

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The Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists believes that inexpensive wine with large volume is specifically attractive to underage and binge drinkers. These health lobbyists are hoping a high tax on this wine can make it prohibitively expensive. As of now, Australia taxes wine based on retail price. So, cheaper wine has lower taxes. However, if they started to tax based on volume, as the health lobbyists suggest, the cost of boxed wine would skyrocket.

Some are reacting with their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks: “What a shame that would be for all Goon of Fortune players – (a drinking game where the plastic ‘goon’ bladder from the box is hung from a circular clothesline and spun around) whom I might add can be well into their adulthood while participating,” says sommelier and wine writer Whitney Adams.

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But maybe the reason we should be shunning boxed wine is more about quality than risk of underage drinking, says one expert. “I have tried very hard to find a good quality boxed wine to sell [at Amanti Vino].  It is very difficult to find quality wine available in box, as the plastic bag inside the box tends to affect the flavor in the wine. That said, I have found a couple. I had thought that they would be big sellers but have not found the trend to catch on in –store.   I have had zero instances of people under 21 attempting to purchase them,” says Sharon Sevrens, a sommelier and proprietor of Amanti Vino, a boutique wine, spirits and craft beer shop.


Right now the doctors’ recommendation is just that, a recommendation. But if it is put it in place, the aussies will have to find somewhere else to turn for their cheap wine. Anyone up for some 2 Buck Chuck?