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Best Box Wine?

I absolutely love the idea of having a box of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio in the fridge at all times. (If you want to have a glass but not open a bottle (or when you want another glass after the bottle is gone), for cooking...)

Which ones are the best?

I've tried the Black Box Cab, which was pretty good, and the Trove Cab, which is not so good...


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  1. give delicato a try

    with box wines, there's no need to keep it in the fridge after opening to reduce oxidation.

          1. re: akp

            Because in the US, the short answer is: "there isn't any." The image of "box wine" is cheap, insipid plonk that's one step above dreck.

            That said, however, there are some "good" box wines made, and some are just starting to appear (within the last year or two). One example is Black Box. There is also some Macon available -- the name of which escapes me at the moment -- coming in, and some offerings from Australia.

            I've heard that he Macon is surprisingly good, but none of the wines I've sampled have been more than "good." In other words, none have been exceptional, or captured my interest beyond the initial taste.

            1. re: zin1953

              I don't think the OP mentioned boxed wine being exceptional.

              1. re: JoLi

                No, but neither would the OP wish to have something that isn't very good. And, as the rest of the sentence says, "none have been exceptional, OR captured my interest beyond the initial taste."

                1. re: zin1953

                  Sorry to offend but my swim club does not allow any glass on the premises. If my friends and I decide to go down after work and relax with a glass of wine, I refuse to be embarrassed by bringing a box of wine.

                  1. re: southernitalian

                    You could prop the box up on the table and lay under it in the chaise and just let it drip :) Or grab a straw and make it like a giant juice box.
                    At least, that's what I'd do...

                    1. re: BaileysMom521

                      Oh don't you just love the idea!!! On a hot northern night!!! I just about died with laughter..so much that I'll just have to race out, buy me a 'cask' as we Aussies call it (even tho it is now passe to admit to buying such in this form)..but I'll keep away from the Lambrusco casks in the interest of "good taste" and stick to the small better quality 2 litre jobs... might even go for a rose, seeing as we are sinking (on the divan) to new low heights(or levels)....while my son is sucking at his Fishrock, I will indulge....

                2. re: zin1953

                  AND, for folks like myself, who can taste the plastic, even if the wine was better than plonk before they put it in the plastic liner, it certainly is disgusting afterwards.

                  i can taste the plastic in water that has been bottled in those translucent plastic bottles as well.

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    I would guess (never have been a fan of B-in-a-B wines), that the mylar is fairly inert, and that the wine is the biggest element in the equation.

                    Still, and along with the "plastic wine bottles" threads, I just cannot imagine that I would be acquiring many of these.


                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      Mylar imparts as much flavor as glass. It's neutral.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        And that is why I mentioned "fairly inert."


            2. Awhile ago, I tried the Wine Block. It was pretty good as far as box wine goes. Give it a try. It is made by Jess Jackson.

              1. I've heard Hardy's is decent.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Abacus

                  They make a perfectly drinkable Merlot, try it sometime.

                2. There's no practical reason they couldn't sell good wine in a box, and in other countries they do, but I have yet to taste one here that I'd buy twice.

                  1. i love the litttle juice boxes they serve at the front porch in sf, with bendy straws. it's a pinot grigio from three thieves, produced by joel gott, i think.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: potatoe

                      Three Thieves makes a GREAT Pinot Noir.

                      1. re: BaileysMom521

                        and the little jug is a fun way to sip out of the bottle..

                        1. re: BaileysMom521

                          Three Thieves uses milk-carton-style boxes rather than bag-in-box, so the wine oxidizes just like a bottle. And they don't sell their pinot noir in boxes anyway, only in jugs.


                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Can't ship alcohol in MA. I lose :( Just gotta hunt for it. I find it sometimes few and far between.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Correct. The Three Thieves Bandit comes in Pinot Grigio, Cabernet, and now unoaked Chardonnay. These are 1liter tetra packs (like your chicken broth comes in). They also now have 250ml juice box looking single servings that are really cool to sip on at an outdoors/no glass type of event. I call it an adult juice box.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                I think that mac8111 is more accurate. I drink a lot of Three Thieves Merlot, because I can't get any better boxed red, and I have guilted myself into buying almost exclusively boxed wine for the sake of our planet. When I read the "milk-carton-style boxes" remark, I shook my head in disbelief. The wine certainly has that twinge of "bottled in Capri Sun packages" taste. So I cut open an empty Bandit, and sure enough, while it does not have a separate bag inside, the cardboard is lined with some sort of metallic looking stuff.

                                Interestingly enough, I came to this page after it was the first result in a Google search for "Why does boxed wine taste bad?" I was under the impression that the tetra pack material actually ruins the wine, because that's what someone had told me. I had also read that the guys who make Three Thieves Bandit are accomplished wine makers, which seemed to support the theory that it was the packaging.

                                Anyway, if I ever see the Three Thieves Pinot Noir, I'll give it a shot to test my theory, but I may have to start compromising and drinking bottled wine, but restricting myself to locally produced wine to minimize the impact. Long Island has some nice reds, but I think that they're a little pricey.

                                  1. re: BentBentsen

                                    Dang, five years later, and this thread still has legs!


                          2. I bought the D-Tour Cotes du Rhone box (or cannister, actually). It is the Daniel Boulud - Daniel Johnnes - Dominique Lafon venture. They also produced a Macon-Villages that I have tasted but have not purchased since it is currently not available until spring. The cannister is vacuum-packed, has a pretty reasonably manageable spigot (fairly drip-free too). The cannister is the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine and it cost $33 and sat nicely on the counter. It was not the best CDR Id ever had but it also was far from the worst...simply, it was a good wine with a very good value to pour and sip after playing basketball or for a weeknight dinner accompaniment or to drink while watching TV. I'll buy the Macon when it comes out. I dont need every wine I have to be exceptional.


                            3 Replies
                            1. re: swirlwineevents

                              That's very interesting. Sounds like exactly what I've been hoping for. Not necessarily a lower price than similar wine by the bottle, but for drinking by the glass over a few weeks, it greatly reduces the oxidation problem.

                              It's the same technology as bag-in-a-box except that instead of a box it has a cardboard cylinder. It's the bag rather than the cylinder that's "vacuum-sealed" (i.e. there's no air in the bag).

                              Unfortunately DTOUR wines seem to be available only in NY, New Jersey, and Maryland at the moment.

                              1. re: swirlwineevents

                                THAT'S the Macon I mentioned above! Thanks -- I couldn't remember the name of it.

                                1. re: swirlwineevents

                                  (le sigh)
                                  I found the design of that D-Tour Cotes du Rhone cannister to be brilliant, but the wine pretty awful. It turned after a couple weeks...and nobody liked it enough to drink it before that. bummer. I was hoping for a decent picnic wine.
                                  The D-Tour chardonnay was wildly convenient to have around for cooking, and not terrible (chardonnay is *not* my thing)

                                  We also opened a box of red Bandit (in purple box)
                                  It made my teeth hurt, and I put it down the drain.
                                  I'm cured of the box wine fantasy. ; )

                                2. In Manhattan, at Astor, the Cuvee de Pena is a pretty decent box of red from south of France. I make spritzers from the Banrock Station box chardonnay, and shiraz, about 1/2 wine, 1/2 soda water, and ice, more refreshing than yet another Bud.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bob192

                                    I used to LOVE Cuvee de Pena. for years it was a VERY good bottle of wine. When did they put it in a box? Is it still really good?

                                  2. I have been doing box wine flights for a month now. First, there are many many more expensive bottles that could be considered as rotgut compared to some of the boxed wine I have had. The first rule of thumb I've found is stay away from anything over 3 liters; the equivalent of $0.69 a bottle should be your first clue. With that said, I love Fish Eye Shiraz, very jammy. Others I recommend are Killer Juice Cabernet, Hardy's Shiraz, Black Box Cabernet. I am still on my quest for the best, but Fish Eye is very enjoyable. Biggest disappointment? La Faux Frog.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Chazz77

                                      i've had the killer juice merlot - it's not bad at all.

                                    2. akp, I support your desire not to let pretentious snobbery get in the way of having a decent cheap wine around the house. However, as Zack points out, there's no need to refrigerate the box: what we do is keep it in a dark, cool spot in the mudroom (or, in summer, down in the basement next to the wine rack), which keeps the wine just cool enough to enjoy without having to take the refrigerator chill off.

                                      Hardy's and Banrock Station are different labels from the same Australian company, and I recommend them both for what you're looking for: a decent everyday wine for a casual glass or for cooking. No, these are not mindblowing wines, and yes, the wine snobs in your life will shun you for enjoying them, but personally, I think that alone makes them worthwhile, since life without wine snobs is roughly 100% better than life with.

                                      1. Washington Hills makes a pretty good one. The Merlot is the only one I have tried.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Suzie

                                          I'm not a fan of the Washington Hill merlot but I do like their Rainier Red.

                                        2. There is great organic boxed wine from France that I bought last summer. I will try to find out the name of it, and yes it was good. I bought it from a cheese shop in my neighborhood that carries a lot of organic wine/beer and imported items.

                                          1. Botter from Italy makes good boxes from Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Nero D'Avola.

                                            1. I tasted several high-quality 3L boxed wines at a food festival in Bordeaux last month. Now if someone would just import them.

                                              I asked the bartender what they called them, he said "Beeb." "Beeb?" "Oui, est anglais. 'Bag In Box.'"

                                              photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/robert.la...

                                              1. akp,

                                                Just read your post for the third time, and I'd like you to consider that there are several ways to meet your wine needs that don't involve a box.

                                                If it's price or value that draws you to box wines, then you can find those same prices in a bottle of wine. If it's that the wine doesn't go bad quickly, simply buy a canister of Private Preserve and keep your bottle fresh that way. Very easy to use. If you always want a cold wine on hand, just keep your fridge stocked.

                                                But the real bonus for you if you don't limit yourself to a certain container is...flavor and an abundance of possibilities.

                                                I was quite intrigued to read about the Macon canister (4 bottles worth) at $33, but that boxed wine is certainly the exception currently. Almost all of them are dreck, plonk, drain cleaner, etc. You can find everything you need -- and more flavor -- in a bottle.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                                  Gassing leftover wine in bottles does not keep the wine nearly as fresh as excluding oxygen entirely with a bag-in-box.

                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                    Yes (sigh) you are factually correct.. But practically -- in terms of the real experience of enjoying a bottle of wine over two or three evenings -- the difference is negligible. ATP enjoys a couple of glasses of wine, gasses the bottle, another day enjoys another couple of glasses and re-gasses, till the five+ glasses in the bottle are consumed. Quite a small price to pay in light of the overall far greater flavor experience ATP can have by drinking wine from a bottle.

                                                    1. re: maria lorraine

                                                      Oops, sorry, A -- *K* -- P. You already have ATP in your engine and in your cells.

                                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                                        Gassing, to my palate, never tastes great the second day.

                                                        I just brought a 3L box of Cotes de Bourg back from France, and after a week each glass still tastes like it's from a freshly opened bottle.

                                                        Drank some with a friend who works for an importer, he told me that they've been trying to bring in some quality French bag-in-box wines, but the post-9/11 paperwork is a bottleneck.

                                                  2. Has anyone tried the La Petite Frog box? It's Picpoul from a Languedoc coop. Maybe not the MOST exciting varietal, but a pretty nice summer white, and I could imagine it being much better than a heavily processed Chard.

                                                    14 Replies
                                                    1. re: jasmurph

                                                      The only box of wine that interests me is the cardboard box or wooden crate that holds 6 or 12 glass bottles with real corks...perhaps a 12 pack of Clos de la Roche or the like.

                                                      1. re: jasmurph

                                                        I really enjoy La Petite Frog - refreshing for summer, and just sweet enough (though it's still fairly dry).

                                                        More recently, I've finally gotten the white version (a Côtes du Rhône) of "From the Tank", distributed in the US by the well-known biodynamic specialists "Jenny and François", who are unfortunately mostly underrepresented on the west coast. It's very dry, very clean. Natural yeasts, and no oak.

                                                        1. re: will47

                                                          I just tried the From The Tank Jenny and Francois red, which is in stock at K & L. It's not a bad wine, but there is a serious problem getting the spigot to work. I just broke a nice wine glass, trying to position it j just so under the spigot and pressing and pressing trying to get wine out of the spigot.

                                                          I recently had an Italian white box wine, which I won't buy again because I thought it had too much sugar, but at least I didn't have the same problem with the spigot.

                                                          I'm done with box wine. Trying to pour a glass from the spigot shouldn't be an ordeal.

                                                          1. re: omotosando

                                                            Just opened a 3 l box of Le Bord'Eaux ($30) last night that I picked up at K&L in SF a couple of weeks ago. Happy to report that it made a great reduction sauce for a filet strip, was pleasant for sipping during the meal prep, and the spigot seated and functioned perfectly without a hitch. I found this to be better than the Pierre Plouzeau Chinon (Cab Franc) I had tried previously at @ the same price point ($50 for 5 l)

                                                            1. re: PolarBear

                                                              I had both the Bord'Eaux and Plouzeau open at the same time and somewhat preferred the latter, but then I'm very partial to Cab Franc. The Plouzeau is now $55 so slightly more expensive.

                                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                Le Bord'Eaux -- thought it was decent. At least, not super oaky and fairly dry. But the packaging is awful. If the goal is to get more people to take boxed wine seriously, I think this is a failure.

                                                                The LA K&L doesn't carry the Plouzeau, but I will try to get one transferred to try it out.

                                                                Do folks mostly keep their boxed reds in the fridge? Will it keep Ok at room temperature in the winter? What about cellar temperature? I have a wine fridge that stays around 57, but haven't figured out an easy way to make that work logistically.

                                                                Just as another data point, I haven't had problems with the spigots on the "From the Tank" box wines, other than some minor hassle with the initial setup of getting the spigot setup through the opening.

                                                                1. re: will47

                                                                  I keep box wine in my wine cooler, which is 60°.

                                                                  1. re: will47

                                                                    Check with The Wine Country in Signal Hill, that's where I found it last spring.


                                                                  2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                    As a rule I prefer Cab Franc as well. In fact searched this one out on your reco. To be fair, I ended up giving it to a good friend's elderly mother so she could have her nightly glass or two of red, so I only got a small taste or two. Seem to recall a vegetal or stemmy note that I didn't care for and haven't noticed in other Cab Francs I've been enjoying.

                                                                2. re: omotosando

                                                                  It sounds like maybe you didn't tear the plastic shipping tab completely off the spigot.

                                                                  1. re: omotosando

                                                                    I've had problems with the spigots that twist, either being hard to turn or leaking or both. I much prefer the push button types - which don't seem as popular. I tried Seven and Pinot Evil. Drinkable but, meh... at least they aren't overly concentrated jammy wines. Bota Box has been inconsistant. I love the idea of box of wine, but the only one I really like isn't available in my area any more.

                                                                    1. re: corneygirl

                                                                      I'm with you -- the inconsistency makes it a no-go for us.

                                                                      We've had really, really good box wine, and really, really bad box wine -- and there's no way to be sure which one you've got until you've already committed yourself to drinking a LOT of the same kind of wine.

                                                                      1. re: corneygirl

                                                                        This spigot that I had a problem with is the push button type. I push and push and nothing happens. So I try to rearrange the angle of the box and spigot and try again and sometimes it works, although as stated above, I ended up breaking a very nice glass as I was trying to rearrange the box to get it to pour.

                                                                        The spigot that I had no problem with was the twist kind, although the wine itself was too sweet and too generic.

                                                                        1. re: omotosando

                                                                          As an addendum, I have decided that I am returning the "From the Tank" to K&L. I tried to get some wine from the tank today and got a half glass (which tasted oxidized by the way) and then it stopped working. For $37 this really pisses me off.

                                                                3. For white wines, there is a growing number of decent quality available in screw tops, especially from NZ and Australia, which will give you a fair range at a decent price in packaging that keeps the wine fresh. For reds, there are fewer available with screw caps (that is changing), but they are almost excusively from NZ and OZ, and they aren't good value. I just recork my bottle and stick it in the fridge. Granted, on Day 2 it's not as good as on Day 1, but it's still better than any of the boxed wines I've tasted. That might change over time, but currently... a moi la bouteille!

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                    I wonder if the boxed wine fad is in its infancy yet a sign of things to come? Look at screwcaps. 10 years ago, no serious winemaker would have considered using them. Now they're the flavour de jour, and even old world winemakers are starting to use screw-tops rather than real cork.

                                                                    Who knows? In ten years we might see $30 California Cabs and $80 Bordeaux in boxes. I doubt it, but one factor to consider is that tetrapacks are easy to recycle now (perhaps moreso than glass?)

                                                                    1. re: anewton

                                                                      Now that corks have been revealed not to be the problem in cork taint, maybe the new wave is a return to corks. Anything is possible.

                                                                    2. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                      Screwcaps avoid some problems with corks, but they don't do a better job of keeping opened bottles fresh.

                                                                    3. Took several European box wines on a camping trip (figured it would save a lot of weight):

                                                                      Seeberger Pfalz Riesling ($13.99 3L = $3.50 750ml): simple but varietally correct, refreshing, slightly off-dry so some disliked it; very good value compared with bottled counterparts

                                                                      La Petite Frog Picpoul de Pinet ($30 3L = $7.50 750ml): light and refreshing, crowd pleaser (finished first), could get more interesting wine in a bottle in that price range

                                                                      Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone ($60 5L = $9.00 750ml): bit bland as CdRs go but we drank it all; would not be easy to find a better CdR in a bottle for that price

                                                                      "Angel Juice" Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie ($22.99 3L = $5.75 750ml): oxidized and nasty; would have returned it to the store but my friends poured it down the sink

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                        Question from the SF board: do all European wines come in a shiny silver (mylar?) rather than transparent bag?

                                                                        Definitely not, of those four I think only the Cotes du Rhone came in a mylar bag. Could be standard for reds, I dunno.

                                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                          all of the BiB I've bought in France has the silver bag -- and has for a number of years.

                                                                        2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                          Was the picpoul a not so interesting wine or a not so interesting picpoul? I ask because I like Picpoul for all the reason you said, but do not think it's ever particularly interesting. I'd love to hear what wines you think are interesting at that price.

                                                                          1. re: jasmurph

                                                                            It was good for a Picpoul. In that price range I favor sauvignon blanc (currently have some Quincy in the cellar) and relatively obscure European wines (currently have some Abymes and some Hungarian chardonnay).

                                                                        3. For practical purposes, I've brought home lots o' box wine in the last year. If nothing else, I feel better having emptied the container rather than having poured its contents down the drain (after I'd cleaned around it for several weeks out of guilt).

                                                                          Often it's just me and two small children at dinner time, and I won't open a bottle if I just want a glass with dinner. On the other hand, if I open a bottle. . .

                                                                          I'm happy to have drinkable box wine available at my convenience, especially if I need 1/2 cup for a recipe and I'm not in the mood for a glass myself.

                                                                          1. I dont think there's such a thing...if you find one, let me know

                                                                            1. For an everyday drinking wine, I'm a big fan of the box. I've had some good cotes du rhone. my current everyday red is Rain Dance Shiraz from South Africa.

                                                                              1. There was an interesting article in the Austin Chronicle about boxed wines. They did a double blind taste test and even threw some $15-20 bottle wines in there to shake things up. The results were surprising. The Seeberger riesling mentioned above ($16 for 3L) and a cab ($20 for 3L) came out on top!


                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Lixer

                                                                                  Great link.. thank you. I am going to try a box in my second home for the upcomming desert saeson. thanks

                                                                                2. Picked up a Cordier Ch. les Gravettes 2002 1ere Cotes de Blaye 3L / $3.99 ($1 / 750ml). Bit thin, slight tarriness, drinkable, would make a good base for sangria. Was probably better two years ago (which is probably why it's at Grocery Outlet today).

                                                                                  I'd be very interested in tracking down the current release.

                                                                                  1. I'm lucky enought to live in Australia, where box (or as we call it "cask") wine has been round for years. Nothing beats a good bottle of Yerrin 2002 Cab Sav, but at $75 a bottle, I'll settle for a 2 litre cask for $15. For everyday quaffing, we have some very VERY good casks. Banrock Station, as already mentioned, is very good. Unlike other wineries, It casks the same quality as it bottles... I am currenly in like with their White Shiraz, and as the weather gets warmer, I might just come to love it.


                                                                                    Morris do a very good quality Cab Sav in a cask and also a red called "Pressings", which is arguably the best cask red on the market.


                                                                                    De Bortoli do a Gold Seal cask range


                                                                                    which has actually won some awards, and is eminently quaffable. I've tried a selection of their wites and reds from this range, and they're all very very good FOR CASK WINE

                                                                                    Ed to add:

                                                                                    I agree with whom ever suggested not buying any cask over 3 litres. I have embarrasing photographic evidence that I recently purchased a 5 litre White Burgundy cask for $11.95.


                                                                                    piss-weak and worthless. However, all that was available at the deplorable local bottle-o. Next time I'll remember to pick up something worthwile from town.

                                                                                    1. At the moment I'm enjoying Free Range box wines - I think they're Loire or Languedoc in origin. Mourvèdre lives in the fridge and their Merlot on the counter - that last a revelation as I'm not a fan of American merlots. (Their red and white Bordeaux are fine too but not worth the $25/3L I'm paying - the most I've spent for box wines!)

                                                                                      Black Box Cab's quite nice too. I go back and forth on the Shirazes I've had in box (what I've found in local MA wine stores); jammy sure, but somehow not that interesting? Banrock Station, Black Box, Delicato have all found their way to my pantry. Only tried Hardy's riesling and won't ever go there again; no relation to the many wonderful Alsatian and German rieslings I've loved over the years. I'll keep an eye peeled for Seeberger, if it's available here that is.

                                                                                      1. I've tried a few boxes... maybe it's the anti-snob appeal in part ;)

                                                                                        So far the best of the bunch IMO i Tefft Cellar Cabernet/Merlot. It's a WA wine and it tastes like a 10 dollar a bottle wine. I find the taste pretty similar to Hedges CMS [I actually like the Tefft a little more, less "band-aid"]. If you can find it it's not the cheapest or the most expensive but I like it better than Black Box, Trove, Killer Juice, Hardy's, Banrock, 3 Thieves.

                                                                                        Another one that was surpisingly good was Pinot Evil. It's a French pinot noir and it's very drinkable.

                                                                                        Of the Aussies Banrock is probably the best of the boxes... my comparison being Hardy's and Tindindi.

                                                                                        I think Black Box can be pretty good depending on the year/batch. The current Merlot is pretty good. In the past it has been better and not as good.

                                                                                        Tefft is still the hands down winner so far.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: knowspicker

                                                                                          I, too, enjoy the Pinot Evil, but my experience with all the Banrock reds, Hardy's and even Black Box has been so unreliable I have given up on those brands. As we speak I'm drinking a BoHo Merlot from the box. Over several months only gotten one box of this that was starting oxidization. Took it back and the next one was fine. The others I have mentioned had repeated incidents of oxidization, so I've given up.

                                                                                          How this happens is a mystery, since that is the point of the box - avoid the off-tastes you get after opening a bottle (but resealing) and letting it sit for days.

                                                                                          To be honest, I drink 2-3 glasses per day in the evning and just don't want to be opening a new bottle that often, hence the box.

                                                                                          1. re: nedrocooker

                                                                                            If there's a leak in the bag or valve, air will get in, and the wine won't last as long.

                                                                                        2. I am always interested in Box wine reviews as each summer I go on 14 day rafting trips on very pristine rivers where glass is unacceptable. Back Box wines have saved the day for me for many years running now. Would I love to find something bettter? Sure. Keep the reviews coming!!!

                                                                                          And before one is so quick to judge, remember we all have different needs for different reasons.

                                                                                          1. I buy the Wine Cube at Target for $17.99. I only like the Shiraz, so far. It's peppery, dark and fruity and has nice acid. The box is equivalent to 4 bottles so it's a deal and I'd like to think there is less of an eco footprint than buying bottles.
                                                                                            In response to some elitist remarks about wine... I am just happy that I can afford to drink a glass every night. I am a stay-at-home mom (before motherhood I managed a top shelf wine bar in Chicago) and we cannot afford to drink Burgundy every night. I think box wines are an amazing value and the quality will continue to evolve as savvy wine consumers catch on. In my opinion, wine snobbery is at the very opposite end of the spectrum as healthy wine appreciation. It's a drink! It brings people together! It's made from sunshine! If I have to get it from a box sold at Target...so be it. If wine shops sold diapers then maybe I'd buy my wine there! :)

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: cherylknecht

                                                                                              Here's another vote for the Target wine boxes. We've enjoyed both the Shiraz & the Sauvagion Blanc. We also find "Black Box" Chardonnay very dependable.

                                                                                              1. re: cherylknecht

                                                                                                I like the Target White Table wine as well as the Pino Gris. I also like the Seeberger Riesling, but not a fan of the Black Box wines.

                                                                                              2. Spanish Table carries some box wines. I tried the Capote Velho thinking it was the same as their low-end bottled red, but it's not. Not bad for $30 / 5 L, though.


                                                                                                1. I would recommend the following

                                                                                                  Bota Box
                                                                                                  Fish Eye
                                                                                                  Pinot Evil
                                                                                                  Corbett Canyon

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Sydney1124

                                                                                                    The Bota Box Malbec got a double gold at this years SF International Wine Competition. Their other boxes did well too.

                                                                                                    1. re: BernalKC

                                                                                                      Hmmm... I finally had a chance to buy a Bota Box Malbec. I'm suspicious. Memories of tastes are a fleeting thing. But what came from that box was not the same wine that was entered into the competition. Not nearly as good. Not bad, actually, but not award-worthy. And the price has more than tripled. Could it be that they entered a box with a different, more premium batch of Malbec, got an award(s), and switched to a lesser wine while at the same time upping their price?

                                                                                                      1. re: BernalKC

                                                                                                        I'm just drinking my first ever glass of bota box Malbec as I write this. The first taste was not what I expected - a bit syrupy and not great. A few minutes later and it tastes much more like a Malbec and the syrup has receded to be a very welcome slight blackcurrannt aftertaste. I have a suspicion I am going to love this wine after a few more minutes of breathing. MORAL - it's not just about what happens in the box or bottle - it's also about what happens after you pour the wine - and I'm sure many other factors too.

                                                                                                  2. I recently found Maipe Malbec in a 3L box. Desperately wish I could find an old world wine in a box here in OK.

                                                                                                    1. I also enjoy the Maipe malbec n a box...very easy for me to drink

                                                                                                      1. I recently purchased a box (3L, $40) of Evesham Wood rose from the Willamette Valley and was generally pleased with the QPR. An unusual Tempranillo rose, but went over rather well at a Thai-focused BBQ. Dunno if it's available outside OR, but if so, give it a whirl.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Chew Toy

                                                                                                          Is this commonly available in Oregon? I'll be driving through on I-5 in a few weeks and sounds like it might be interesting to try, provided I don't have to go too far out of my way to pick one up.

                                                                                                          1. re: bayareabeagle

                                                                                                            I don't know about widespread availability. I am a recent transplant (from SF) and was poking around for local rose in various wine shops. I found this particular one at Whole Foods of all places (at NE Fremont and NE 15th Aves, which isn't too far from I-5). The wine buyer was on site, and I was loading up my panniers with way too many bottles, so he stepped in and offered assistance when he saw that I had the Evesham rose in bottle form -- guess he thought he could save me some space, not to mention my legs, with the box, which is a slim rectangle. I figured it would be best tested in the BBQ setting with proper caveats, which it turned out, weren't needed!

                                                                                                        2. This weekend I tried my first box wine! A dry German riesling labeled "Wurtz" (mit umlaut) and it's a bit thin but OK unceremonious drinking for our 95-degree weather.

                                                                                                          Another local store has a Black Box Sauvignon Blanc from, I think, New Zealand, and I wonder if anyone here has tried it. Thanks!

                                                                                                          1. A couple of nice box wines I've tried recently...

                                                                                                            La Vielle Ferme Cote de Ventoux is surprisingly good for a box wine. It's only available at a couple places in my area but it's a very nice wine. It's easier to find the bottled version if you want to try it with a smaller committment.

                                                                                                            Vi Zorro is a Spanish box that has a nice red and Vinho Verde that was a very nice surprise. I bought the Vinho Verde by accident [my wife doesn't like white] and I have never had VV before. It was one of my favorite white wines.

                                                                                                            The local Fred Meyer [owned by Kroger] had a nice Portuguese red in a box that was dirt cheap.

                                                                                                            I don't know the policy at Fred Meyer but they all seem to have different box wines [for the better ones] and they seem to be much more adventurous than most grocery stores. It might be local manager discretion. But they are one of the few places that carry Powers Cabernet. If you've ever tried Powers Cab in a bottle for $10 this is pretty comparable and a very nice WA cabernet. But then it's only one store that has Powers. Another has the Vi Zorro. The common denominator is the Hardys, Delicato, etc. which are fine but it seems each store has a few adventurous options that can turn out to be a cut above the average box and a lot of bottles, too. If you have on in your area they are a good place to check out.

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: seattleviking

                                                                                                              La Vielle Ferme Cote de Ventoux = extremely high PQR

                                                                                                              1. re: McSooner

                                                                                                                it's available in my neighborhood for $6 a bottle

                                                                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                  Goes for $11 in OK. We have insanely archaic alcohol laws.

                                                                                                              2. re: seattleviking

                                                                                                                I agree about the Powers cab. We've only got one location here in our part of E. WA that sells it, but I think it's the best that I can lay my hands on. I don't mind the Osbourne 7, but the Big House Red is like blackcurrant cordial. Drinkable in a storm.

                                                                                                              3. French Rabbit 1L Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet from Vin de Pays and Yellow and Blue 1L organic wines from Argentina. They have a Malbec, Torrontes and Sauv Blanc. All very good box wines and you might even see them on a wine list.

                                                                                                                1. Call me a wine snob, but I have yet to find a box wine that I have truly enjoyed....but them again, I don't seek them out as this would be a bigger pain in the you know what to store than a bottle. Definitely not adding a row of racking in my cellar for boxed wines! ;-) -mJ

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                                                                                                                  1. re: njfoodies

                                                                                                                    In Florida where do you find good "Box" wine, other than what I have seen at Target, which is not bad for beach picnics, boat lunches etc. Especially the crisp whites.
                                                                                                                    Are there any good Italian table Reds in " La scatola".

                                                                                                                    1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                      Osprey, they might not have them, but West Palm Wines at the corner of Palm and 22nd carries exclusively European wines....they *might* have a box wine (but they might also be able to steer you toward some of their "house" wines -- $5 a bottle if you buy a case -- and it's good wine. Not like to roll Robert Parker's eyes, but solid, drinkable wines for day-to-day drinking. (not terribly boat-friendly though) :S

                                                                                                                      If not there, try Total Wines at Dale Mabry and I-275 -- I know they carry the Hardy for sure -- and a half an aisle of other stuff.

                                                                                                                  2. Yesterday I bought the best bag-in-box wine I've had to date at Paul Marcus Wines in Oakland: 2009 Pierre Plouzeau Chinon, 5 liters for $52, which is $7.80 per 750ml. Typical price for a simple young Chinon / Saumur / Bourgueil (Loire Cabernet Franc) like this is around $12.


                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                                                      This is also at K&L for 5L / $50.

                                                                                                                      They also have a Blason Isonzo Rosso for 3L / $20. Simple but delicious.


                                                                                                                    2. The best that I've seen are probably "Red Truck" or "Pinot Evil". I know they are starting to sell better boxed wines here in the US so I'm sure somewhere you could find better.

                                                                                                                      I've never gotten the boxes but I had Pinot Evil, thought it wasn't half bad for the clearance price I paid, then next week saw a boxed version!

                                                                                                                      1. I am sorry if I missed a rec but how has anyone not mentioned Big House???

                                                                                                                        Black box is drinkable but Big House for the price is amazing wine.

                                                                                                                        The 2009 Big House White is a great everyday drinker and for 3 Liters around $15. The red is a bit sweet on the palate but very nice also.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: redmeatfan

                                                                                                                          I like the white Big House well enough (we buy it for the odd drink at the office) but the red was WAY too sweet for me, and I'm not particularly picky about that.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Vetter

                                                                                                                            These were my exact feelings as well! Had it at a store wide wine tasting; thought the white would be a nice drinkable white to have in the fridge, but the red was to sweet to finish the taste.

                                                                                                                        2. I like Cuvee de Pena, in my area it's about $30.00 for a 3000ml box. I'd say it holds its own with other wines that aren't disappointing for $12 - $15 a bottle. Sorry if this is a dupe, I read through all the posts a few weeks ago...

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: corneygirl

                                                                                                                            I have had the Pepperwood Grove Old Vine Zin "Green Box", and It actually is better than many Ravenswood bottles, a Zin maker I trust. And while some box wines use plastic, others use mylar, which would be difficult for even the most discerning palate to "taste"; if you did, I would imagine you would be able to taste the bottle as well ;) The biggest issue here on this post is you may have tried one bad box, but unlike having a bad bottle, many here are unwilling to try a different box. Would anyone here stop drinking wine altogether if they had one bad bottle? Don't get me wrong; I doubt if we will see Petrus in a box anytime soon....

                                                                                                                          2. I recently went to a wine tasting, where they had over 160 wines, some open to view some blind, everyone had a scorecard and one of the top 10 rated was Bota Box Shiraz (the ONLY boxed wine on the tasting venue) It outscored some wines in the $50 a bottle range. Keep in mind this was an open event and free to the public, but you can't argue with the numbers. I tried it myself and for the cost it's a fantastic value... very drinkable.

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                                                                                              See my comment above. I also tasted a Bota Box (Malbec) that was entered into a competition and scored very well. The box I bought from BevMo was not the same wine. Not terrible, but not the same wine.

                                                                                                                              As I discuss this with some of my friends who've done similar tests, it seems that this is not an uncommon practice.

                                                                                                                              Of course, I can't prove this...

                                                                                                                              1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                                                                                                The palate of the public is not especially trained. ;)

                                                                                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                  Well, THAT is the TRUTH! [Pun intended].

                                                                                                                                  I've judged some regional wine events, and have been blown away by some of the consensus winners. Did those judges get something different, than what I was tasting? Did the crowd get a different wine, before they filled in their cards? Not sure, but I was amazed at some of the "popular" choices.

                                                                                                                                  Tastes are personal, but in many cases, should NEVER be shared with others.


                                                                                                                              2. Box wines are pretty standard-issue in France (found widely at supermarkets, wine retailers, and vineyards) , and there are some truly good wines that are packaged BiB (bag-in-box, pronounced beeb in French!)

                                                                                                                                There's also a lot of two-bit plonk in boxes.

                                                                                                                                Even price isn't a guarantee -- we've had some incredibly drinkable cheap stuff, and some comparatively pricey stuff that we sent down the drain because it was just lousy.

                                                                                                                                BiBs show up at parties a lot, especially outdoor parties, because it's lighter/faster/cheaper/easier than dealing with a load of bottles, and nobody raises an eyebrow.

                                                                                                                                But I've found that unless we're buying a BiB direct from a vintner or from a very trusted cave, the quality is just too flakey to spend money on, and we tend to just stay with bottles unless we *know* this is a good box.

                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                  In some/many osterie and trattorie in italy, much to my suprise "Vino de la Spina", is from boxes, rather large boxes at that. Boxes are rapidly replacing the old barrels that are becoming more and more of a curiosity in local places. Does this have to do with the E.U. and its standards and regulations?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                                    No, it's because the BiB is far better than barrels at protecting the wine from light and oxygen -- less waste=more profit for the restaurant.

                                                                                                                                    Hubby and I had the chance to do a test -- we had one of the small plastic barrels that *used* to be the standard for buying wine in bulk. For the first 2-3 days, it was fine -- by the end of the third day, it was starting to taste pretty oxidized, and by the fourth day it was cooked-- completely undrinkable. Half the barrel down the drain.

                                                                                                                                    We then bought a 3L BiB -- we actually got to drink the whole thing over the course of a week, and the last glass was just as tasty as the first, because the silver inner bag did its job and kept it from getting oxidized.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                      Sunshine... Thanks for the info..I personally do not have a bias against BIB, if the wine tastes good, I'm all for it, makes it much easier to store in the cooler/cellar/etc.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                                        The best part is that if you only want a glass of wine, or one of you wants a glass but the other one is nursing a headache (or a beer) or something similar -- you're not risking a whole bottle just for that one glass (yes, vacuum pumps help...but they're not a guarantee, either) Makes it nice to always have the house red (or white...or rose) right there to hand, whether you need a half a glass for pasta sauce, or a big glass for the chef, or both.

                                                                                                                                        Good for parties, too, because there's no worrying about where the corkscrew got to, busted glass, where to put the empty bottles, etc., etc., etc (busted wine bottles and river-rock pool decks are a bad combination)

                                                                                                                                        We tend to shy away from them, though, simply because the quality is really, really inconsistent, so we tend to only buy BiB when we're at a producer we trust. We've dumped a couple of groery-store and wine-shop BiBs because they were utter crap, and it's a lot cheaper to ditch a bad bottle than it is to ditch a 3L box.

                                                                                                                                2. Though this thread is what, 4.25 years old now? I have to comment - again.

                                                                                                                                  Just had French Rabbit, in what looked like a quart milk jug - a waxed (?) cardboard container, with perhaps some sort of bladder (?). It was a Chard, and pretty bleak. Even though it was free at our lodge, we did not return. Instead, we went to the bar and bought several Montrachets, and a Meursault.

                                                                                                                                  Not sure if the box was the issue, or if the wine was just plonk. Either way, we paid, instead of drinking this wine free. I could not bring myself to even sample the Cab Sauvignon.


                                                                                                                                  1. This is now about a 7 million year old thread, but still useful. I decided after reading this, and a bunch of other sources, to try the Bota Box Shiraz. $16 + tax. It's pretty terrible, but drinkable in a pretty guilty *this tastes like fruit juice* kind of way. As far as I'm concerned the only way to drink it is by making it into mulled wine. It was delicious because of the cloying sweetness of the Botulism Box Shiraz.

                                                                                                                                    I am going to try one more mainstream box - Seven by Osborne. It sounds like the most likely to provide exactly what the OP was originally after, almost 5 years ago...drinkable plonk that keeps (although it won't have the bite of a Cab as far as I can tell).

                                                                                                                                    I'll let you know how I get on with it.

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: dr_lager

                                                                                                                                      The Bota Box Cab is much better than the Shiraz imho.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sydney1124

                                                                                                                                        its been four years since I replied to this thread...and a lot has changed in that time I think. I am a wine educator and run a range of events and have a local cable wine and food tv show in NJ, and just taped a piece on box wine, or wine in a bag as its known elsewhere. The NY Times did a review of box wines so I went and picked up what they considered the best, Domaine le Garrigon cotes du rhone...it was a good CDR and came out to about $9 a bottle (nice wooden box too). I decided to use it for a dinner party I was speaking at...told the host that I was going to use a box wine during the dinner, but would pour it from a decanter. One guest was especially into the conversation throughout the dinner and would ask me specific questions about the different wines. So after tasting the CDR from the decanter, he asks to see the bottle. I told him I cant. He looked at me puzzled and asked why not...I went into the kitchen and retrieved the box and put it on the table in front of him...he laughed pretty loudly, and I talked about wine packaging and preservation and all. I told them that I met with someone earlier this year from France looking to sell designer dispensers to place the wine bags in, a product already gaining in popularity in France where wine in a bag sales are the only area of sales growth in the wine business in that country, according to statistics he showed me.

                                                                                                                                        The one weird thing about the CDR...Im used to a wine changing at least a bit when its been open on the counter...the Domaine le Garrigon doesnt change since its vacuum-packed, so the tannins stay consistent a few weeks in (yes, they last a few weeks since there's other stuff open on the counter usually).

                                                                                                                                        By the way, got the #1 and #2 wines from the NY Times review at Astor.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: swirlwineevents

                                                                                                                                          I've never heard "wine bag" before except for the insulated carriers sales reps use. As noted above, in France the term is "bib" (for bag-in-box).

                                                                                                                                    2. 2009 Bord'Eaux Bordeaux AOC, 100% Merlot, very nice, balanced, great food wine, about as unlike a California Merlot as possible. $30 for 3L at K&L.


                                                                                                                                      2010 vintage of Pierre Plouzeau Chinon is similar to the 2009, price has gone up, I think it was $59 for 5L, still a great value.

                                                                                                                                      1. Just getting my feet wet (as it were) with boxed wine, and bought the "trial size" (yes, a small box, ca. 300 ml) of Black Box Cab 2009. Oh, man, way too sweet. I wouldn't even buy it as as cheap guzzler.