Chilling Boxed Wine

Reader Robert Winia aboard Tuturuga sent me this idea for chilling boxed wine without having to put the entire big box into the refrigerator:

Our boat is in France and we sail the Med. So wine management on a boat is a basic skill over here. What a lot of boaters here do is pour the box of wine in empty plastic water bottles. Storing the re-filled water bottles in the fridge is much easier then a big box.

Boxed wine is great on a boat -- until you have to fit that big box into the refrigerator or cooler to chill it. Here's a tip from a sailor in France!In summer it is mostly rosé wine that needs a nice chill and then drinks like water. :-)  A plastic water bottle is not opaque, but in the fridge it is dark and the contents rarely last more then 24 hours anyway.

Decanting into water bottles also makes it easier to slip a “bottle” of wine into a cooler for happy hour on the beach or on someone else’s boat.  And if you don’t have a refrigerator, plastic bottles are much easier to keep on ice in a cooler than the original bag, even.

Just make sure to mark the bottles so you don’t mistake the wine for juice in the morning before your first cup of coffee — and if you have kids aboard, so that they don’t mistake it for pop or juice!

I'd like to know about...

Explore more

Want weekly tidbits of cruising information? Sign up for The Boat Galley's free weekly newsletter. You'll get the newest articles and podcasts as well as a few relevant older articles that you may have missed.

Do you find The Boat Galley useful? You can support the site when you buy from Amazon by using the links on this site or clicking below. No extra cost for you!

  • Jan Alexander
    Posted at 21 October 2013 Reply

    And when you have white wine in the fridge, don’t grab that instead of the cold water when making your iced coffee in the morning… Ask me how I know 🙂

  • tami
    Posted at 21 October 2013 Reply

    Why not just take the bag from the box, leave the wine in the bag, which the bag conforms to about any shape left open in your fridge?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 21 October 2013 Reply

      That will work, too, but some people don’t like trying to “pour” while holding the bag in the air with one hand and using the spigot with the other. This is also a little easier if you’re taking the wine somewhere and want to be able to pour it easily. But both ways work! 🙂

    • Stefanie
      Posted at 06 November 2013 Reply

      I would leave it in the bag, too. There are some nifty textile wine bags that you can hang from the ceiling to dispense and then move it into the fridge to chill.

      I would hate to lose the longevity advantage of the original bag – a three liter box is usually good for weeks.

  • Anne Ellingsen
    Posted at 21 October 2013 Reply

    I’ve used the water bottle wine chill method for day trips & it works great!

  • Phil St Pierre
    Posted at 21 October 2013 Reply

    In the US NAVY for four years but we somehow never had this on board ???

  • Louise
    Posted at 22 October 2013 Reply

    Brilliant! I’ll definitely try this when the fridge gets full.

    What we do to chill box wine when the fridge isn’t packed tight (we have a fridge where the door opens out, like a small household one): The bags inside will fit in a smaller box than they are shipped in. We cut the top off one of the boxes, reducing its height by about 25%. It then slips onto a fridge shelf more easily. It might be a tight squeeze to get the bag into the box at first, but as you drink, the volume reduces. When the bag is empty, put in another bag, reusing the same box over and over. Because the box stays in the fridge and stays cold, it helps chill the next bag. There is also space on top of the diminishing bag to put items like a bunch of carrots, since the box top is now cut open.

    Sometimes just reducing the packaging by a little bit like this can make all the difference between having something fit or not!

  • Annual Salvador Rally
    Posted at 11 November 2014 Reply

    We find the best way to chill wine is an ice cube in your mouth and chug.

  • Nikki Marie
    Posted at 11 November 2014 Reply

    We love the box wine…its so boatable

Post A Comment