The wine world is huge and every winery is looking to stand out. This is especially the case with New World vineyards such as the ones in Napa Valley. Even the Old World wineries change up their bottle sizes, as well as how they package them from time to time making the whole process somewhat confusing.
Because of this there's several different wine crates and boxes because there's so many different wine bottle formats:
As you can see, there's a total of 13 sizes! The majority of wine bottles you'll see are the standard and magnum sizes, but there's plenty of wine boxes and crates made for the others. My challenge has always been what to call them. Are they wine crates or wine boxes?
A client once asked me "How many wine boxes come in a crate?" I explained that one crate is a crate and one box is a box. I felt my explanation wasn't very good and she wasn't following me either. Suffice it to say the sale was lost and I needed to find a way to clear things up.
During the sales process, If a client is clear on what they want and calls a wine crate a box or vice-versa I go with it. This happens on occasion, but it got me thinking: How many people are confused by the difference?
Unfortunately there's no mainstream definition between the two. Is a wine crate also a box? In taking creative license I want to explain how I personally see it. Here's what I've come up with:
Has two longer sides and two shorter sides
I feel this is a crate based on how it's shaped. It reminds me of the old crates from the prohibition era. It's designed to hold 12 standard Bordeaux 750ML bottles.
I used to call this a 12 bottle wine crate on the website until a client asked me if our price was for 12 crates. I told her the price was for one, but the crate holds 12 bottles. She told me I need to simply this. She asked: Why not call it a large wine crate? . I changed the name and it worked almost overnight. Everyone seemed get it. That was great advice and I appreciated it.
I also call a single bottle a crate because it's a smaller version of the large one. I call this a small wine crate.
When it comes to either wine crates or boxes the shape and size is what I feel is the most important aspect. One thing to note is that most wine crates come from various regions of Bordeaux.
All sides are about the same size
I call this a wine box because of it's shape as well. This one is made to hold 6 bottles of wine, and I call it a medium wine box for simplicity. Wine boxes come from many different countries so they vary a bit in size. Where most wine crates come from Bordeaux or other parts of France, wine boxes come from many different countries such as:
- South America
- Napa Valley
There's also wine boxes from Portugal, but many Port vineyards change their bottle sizes a great deal every vintage. This makes them very hard to define.
In any event, feel free to give me a call if you have a project which requires one or the other. Both have distinctive differences and can add a nice wine-themed accent to your home or wine cellar.