12/11/2012 04:16 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Boxed Wine More Vulnerable Than Bottled Wine, UC Davis Researchers Find

If you do buy your wine in a box, keep it cool or your investment could be wasted.

That's the word from University of California, Davis researchers. They found that bag-in-box wine is more vulnerable to warmer storage temperatures than bottled wine.

Box wine has its pluses: more volume than the standard bottle, a corkscrew is not needed to open them and nothing breaks when dropped.

Researchers employed chemical analyses and a panel of trained tasters to analyze storing wine at three different temperatures and in different containers. California chardonnay was analyzed in glass bottles, with corks from trees, synthetic corks or screw caps and two kinds of bag-in-box containers.

Warmer temperatures made for changes in the wine -- and bag-in-box wines changes were more pronounced, according to a university press release.

Box wine stored at 68 and 104 degrees aged significantly faster than bottled wine. It became "darker and developed sherry-like, dried fruit-like and vinegar-like attributes."

Researchers discovered that all of the wines aged better when stored at 50 degrees.

"The way a wine looks, tastes and smells is affected by the way certain compounds react with oxygen," said lead researcher Helene Hopfer. "Those reactions speed up at higher temperatures, so differences in the way packaging systems manage oxygen in the container become critically important to aging and stability of wine." ___