HomeAbout UsWine ReviewsArchivesAdvertiseContact Us


Whitley On Wine

Wine Review Online Radio

W.R. Tish

Leslie Sbrocco

International Wine Center

The Great Wines of America

Wine Style Book

Gold Medal Wines

New York Times 'The Pour'


Critics Challenge

San Diego International


WRO Wine Blog

May 25, 2022

No Corkscrew Required: Really Good Boxed Wine

Boxed wine is no newcomer to the wine scene, but innovators like Jake Whitman, Founder, and CEO of Really Good Boxed Wine, have recast the underestimated boxed format into a compelling field of its own, reaching beyond the familiar Franzia to include premium California wines that fuse quality and quantity for blockbuster performance.

Whitman, a Cincinnati native, honed his business and brand skills as the Head of Marketing for SoFi Money.  Before SoFi, he worked at Intuit on the corporate marketing team and spent several years at Procter & Gamble as a Brand Manager.  He also wrote and self-published Destination Teach For America, where he offers an insider look at the Teach For America application process.

I recently sat down with Whitman to discuss the genesis of Really Good Boxed Wine, the advantages of the box format, and what's next for his enterprising brand.

Whitman, his wife, and friends turned to boxed wine during the pandemic and were disappointed in the existing quality of box wine.  Whitman asked himself the fundamental question, is there an inherent reason why high-quality wines can't be served in a box?  Whitman noted, "it was something I’d been tossing around in my mind for a while, but I always assumed there was a technical reason why you couldn’t do it."

He found that there was no reason that high-quality wine couldn't be served in a box – except for sparkling wine and aged wine.  He started learning everything he could about the box format, how it works, and how it keeps the wine fresh.  From there, Whitman called his friend, Allie Ketcham, owner of Ketcham Estate.  Whitman noted that "Allie had become a good friend of mine, and she and her team make some of my favorite Pinot Noirs in the world."  Allie put him in touch with Healdsburg Custom Crush in Sonoma County, where he secured a winegrower license.

The brand's test launch was held in Cincinnati in August 2021 with a Ketchem Vineyard Pinot Noir hand-filled into 3-liter boxes.  It sold out in days.  A successful national pilot followed, and from there, the brand has flourished with the release of a Paso Robles Cabernet, a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Rosé, a Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc, along with an endorsement from Andy Myers, Master Sommelier.

The success can largely be attributed to fine quality, eco-friendly packaging, and competitive prices.  There are many compelling benefits to the box format, as Whittman noted: "The first is that it stays fresh for six weeks when you open it."  Additionally, the box format can significantly reduce carbon emissions by comparison to bottles.  A box of wine weighs about the same as two bottles, so packaging and shipping costs are significantly lower.  One 3 Liter box of Really Good Boxed Wine is the equivalent of four bottles of wine…and costs $65.  "If you're used to spending $30 for a bottle on the weekend, here's the same wine at $15 for you to enjoy all week," Whitman explained.  "And if you typically spend $15 on a bottle, here's a wine worth twice as much you can get for the same price."

And this is just the beginning.  Next month, Whitman will feature a Pinot Noir from the San Luis Obispo Coast, the newest American Viticultural Area (AVA) that benefits from the Pacific Ocean's influence.  The area was awarded the designation on March 9, 2022, making Really Good Box Wine one of the first (if not the first) wines under the new AVA.  This summer, Whitman will also launch a co-branded collaboration series with award-winning Napa winemakers.
Whitman proves that oenophiles should take a second look at the box format.  With wine this good (really good), it's a no-brainer.  You can snag your box directly from the Really Good Box Wine website, delivering to 39 states and the District of Columbia.  Retail sales are forthcoming in OH, KY, and VA.

Posted by Miranda Franco at 4:23 PM