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Target has Wine-In-A-Box. . . .

  • j

well, at least in California.

I looked at it on Friday and the price of the small box wasn't that great a bargain--its says its the equal of 2 bottles and it cost $9.99. I know I've bought some decent whites for around that at BevMo or TJs or Cost Plus. But there is something to be said about the sealed box that keeps the air out.

The Target we were at had a white sangria, a pinot grigo, a cab and then there were the "blends." I confess that both my husband and I were frightened by the one that boasted of having three wines in one box. . . no, I don't remember what the "flavors" were. And it is possible that bit of advertising splendor sums up the quality of the wine but does anyone know for sure?

No, we obviously aren't talking high end here but what about for a picnic? General consumption? Something to store in the fridge [thinking white here)? Because sometimes, us budget conscious types trying to save to take a family of five to France for two weeks need to have wine with a meal that doesn't cost $10-$15-$20 a bottle even if it tastes like heaven. . .

What do you think? Is it swill? Are you willing to taste and report back?

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  1. There's a lot to be said for the box system. Too bad they don't put better wines in them.

    The Target box wines didn't do too well in an SF Chronicle comparison:


    1. For me, an occasional and non-picky wine drinker living with a never-wine-drinker, the convenience of the box (and the look, I have to admit) wins me over. It was easy to open, easy to use, convenient for a glass here and a glass there, and a conversation starter when we had friends over. Though you're right--you definitely can get two (better) bottles cheaper elsewhere (and we have since finishing The Box).

      I thought the taste was pleasant (I don't remember which I had, other than it was red and not sangria). That being said, you'll see that one of the few other posts I've made on this board was about mixing red wine and Sprite, so take my wine opinions with a grain of salt (and a squeeze of lime).

      1. I am ready to weigh in in favor of the box (specifically the bag in box). Not that I've ever tasted any box wines that were worth drinking. The box is ideally suited to dispensing wine over a period of days. Why can't someone start putting some wine in a box that is worth drinking? I think we all learned to accept the advantages of fake corks and screw-top bottles. The box is the next frontier for decent mid priced wine.

        1. We seem to be in agreement that wine in a box is not a bad concept but, aside from the review from Robert, no one seems to have a firm opinion on the Tar'get WIAB.

          okay so what if we each grab a box from our neighborhood Tar'get, grab a glass from the cupboard, take a swig and report back ASAP.

          I'll do the pinot grigio and report back tomorrow.. .

          1. I've tried a few of the supposedly better box wines and they've all been bad. Since Target's is made by Trinchero, I wouldn't hope for much.


            1. Wall street journal gave Target's Wine Cube Australian Chardonnay 3 liters for $15.99 a good/very and "best value" rating in today's Tastings column. They called it "honest wine" and "less sweet than most". Really, those quotes don't make me want to run out and buy it, but I suppose if I were having a big party, and going to make white sangria anyway....

              8 Replies
              1. re: danna

                Interesting. Thank you.

                We did try the pinot grigio. I have to say, it wasn't bad--certainly good enough for a party with most of our non foodie friends. The first taste, when the box was not quite chilled was better than after it sat in the fridge a few days. At that point it reminded me of a viogner [did I spell that right?] that I had tasted in France way years back. Applely-peachy flavor and light--good for a hot summer afternoon. But when it got colder, the flavors really diminished. So if you try it, don't over chill it.

                Time to go swipe the WSJ from the reception area!

                1. re: jenn

                  We tried the one that boasted 3 wines in a box, just out of curiosity. Now, I am not a wine connoisseur by any means, I know what I like, and that's about it, but I thought that particular Target wine in a box was absolutely TERRIBLE! It really was not drinkable for either one of us. The boxes really are attractive packaging, but I'm scared to try another!

                  1. re: Katie Nell

                    You are definitely braver than I. I'm like you--no connosseur, just likes and dislikes. My husband thought the three wine in a box combination sounded like the dying momments of a frat party with someone running around pouring everything into one bottle.

                    WSJ gave the Tar'get chardonney a good/verygood and best value. Best of tasting in chardonney went to something from Albertsons. I'd do a taste test but in truth, I'm not that big on Chardonney.

                    Maybe I need to branch out from Tar'get and try some of the higly rated red box wines.

                    I confess, I really like the WSJ wine reviewing couple. I can actually understand their reviews and they are often fun to read.

                    1. re: jenn

                      Thanks for the report back on the Target boxed wines to both you and Katie Nell.

                      The problem with the boxed wines, I'm talkin the large cubes with more than one liter, is that if it is awful, you are stuck with A LOT of bad wine. In this case you might want to check out this topic

                      Fixing bad red wine

                      If you do decide to branch out to better boxed wine, this is a starting point

                      Boxed wines - Trove & Bandit

                      One thing to keep in mind is tetra-brick package doesn'
                      t keep the wine fresh like the bag-in-box packaging. The tetra-bricks are just like bottles, once opened they start to deteriorate.

                      So far I have yet to find a boxed wine that is really any better than Franzia ... the one exception being Black Box white wines. That is the only white boxed wine that to me is drinkable.

                      For the price, I wasn't impressed with the Black Box reds. The most I can say for the whites is that they are drinkable.

                      As the link about Trove indiates DO NOT BUY TROVE... it is swill ... relatively expensive swill. IIRC, the Arbor Mist or one of those flavored wine companies owns it.

                      That was a big lesson for me. Next time I see a new boxed wine, I'm checking it out on the web first to know where it comes from.

                      Hardys, an Australian boxed wine didn't do much either.

                      The bottom line is that still, what is being bought is a bottle of wine that is in the $5-$7 bottle price range ... even with Black Box that is true.

                      So you are really not getting a top-grade wine. If you want a drinkable wine that can sit in the fridge for months without the quality suffering, go for a boxed wine ... but there isn't that much quality to start with

                      1. re: jenn

                        Blending different varietals is standard for winemaking, whether it's budget wine or highest quality. This can be done to balance alcohol content, color quality, flavor balance, or even to increase complexity or compliment the main varietals flavor. The selection of which wines to use, and in which proportion vary, according to what the winemaker thinks is appropriate. Blends are not the result of haphazard frat parties, but require the skill of highly experienced winemakers. Maybe you should try one.

                    2. re: jenn

                      Not bad, not good, I get a walmart brand Oak Leaf, OK, ... yes Walmart but, 2.99 a bottle. Yes 2.99. I would of never totally surprised when I tried it. It was nice, descent, enjoyable for an every day wine. Now 2.99. I am ashamed to even admit it but it honestly wasn't bad. I gave it to 3 friends and all said the same. I'm not talking great, but a simple glass at dinner every day ... it was good. I especially liked the cab.

                      The target wasn't bad and the box was cool, I wouldn't mind getting it, but my crowd would go through that box pretty quick ... :)

                      1. re: kchurchill5

                        I like oak Leaf. I think it compares favorably with Trader Joe's two buck Chuck. In California (SF Bay Area) Oakl Leaf is $1.99.

                        1. re: rworange

                          I'm glad I'm not alone ... It isn't bad, I cook with it in my stew etc but for guests I would buy a quality wine, but for me, it honestly isn't bad. I have been to a Trader Joe's but haven't got the two buck Chuck. FL inflation 2.99, lol

                  2. Just a thought about bag in box wines: obviously they aren't able to "breathe" as some serious wines seem to need to do. So would that mean they wouldn't benefit from air or is the isolation keeping them from rising to their proper level of mediocrity?

                    Hmmm, I just noticed this is a 3 year old topic.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Akitist

                      >>> Hmmm, I just noticed this is a 3 year old topic

                      That's ok. Not much has been happening. Lots of new boxed wines. Lots of new mediocrity. The best that can be said is it keeps much longer than mediocre bottled wine.

                      1. re: Akitist

                        If you want a BIB wine to breathe, you can put it in a carafe, but generally those sorts of wines aren't packaged that way.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          What is really weird is a number of times there's lot's of sediment in some of the boxed wines lately making it absurdly necessary to decant boxed wine.

                      2. I just tried the wine in a box at Target, the Cabernet 2007. It's pretty good! They had 2008's but I dug around and found an older box. It was $11 and is the same amount as 2 bottles so not bad and I like the convenience of it. I'll buy it again if it's just for my own consumption. I'd never serve wine-in-a-box to guests, though.
                        Over at Amazon.com I got (for free) a wine-box stand last year but I didn't drink wine-in-a-box so I gave it away. It was cute and now I wish I'd kept it.

                        1. I'm a bit disappointed with the way people on here talk about blended wine. Looking down on blended wine as if it's just "three wines in a box". Great wines around the world are blended wines. Americans in general have been completely seduced by "varietal" branding and believe (again, in general) that a great wine has to be from a single varietal. I'd like to see you tell someone from Bordeaux that... that said, I'm enjoying the Target Chardonnay and honestly, it's not the best I've ever had, but it has a very pleasing nose, is reasonably balanced, and is enjoyable (while certainly not mind-blowingly good)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: wineisforlovers

                            my question for you is:
                            "why buy Target Chardonnay at all when, for the same or a lesser cost-per-ounce you can go to Cost Plus or Trader Joes and get, wine that is, imho, far superior?"

                            last week LA wine company was selling Two Brothers Riserva Cabernet for $4/bottle.
                            cost plus was selling the Two Brothers red blend for $4/bottle, as well as several other truly decent everyday drinkers for about the same price.
                            trader joe's always sells their espiral vino verde at $4/bottle.

                            is the 'no-waste' factor the driving force here?

                          2. Loved the White Sangria in a box! It was 4 bottles in one box and it was yummy! Found it in Myrtle Beach , SC Target. Haven't seen it up here in Michigan. But, I always look.