Where to buy Boxed Wine in SF or online?
I am SO curious about boxed wine. I love the idea of having wine on tap in my apartment! One red, one white - there for me whenever I want, no having to open up a whole bottle and drink it in the next few days. I've looked for places to buy online, but haven't been able to find anything. Been to the Jug shop and BevMo on Van Ness, very little selection. Done extensive searches online on where to go, no luck. Any suggestions?
1301 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Here's a couple of year old tasting. The Wine Cube is sold at Target. Black Box at Wal-Mart.
Top 5 Boxed Red Wines
87 points Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles 2006
87 points Bota Box Cabernet Sauvignon California 2007
87 points Wine Cube Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz California 2007
85 points Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon California 2007
84 points Carlo Rossi Cabernet Sauvignon California Reserve NV
Top 5 Boxed White Wines
88 points Wine Cube Chardonnay California 2007
87 points Black Box Chardonnay Monterey County 2008
87 points Wine Cube Sauvignon Blanc California 2007
86 points Bota Box Pinot Grigio California 2007
86 points Killer Juice Chardonnay California Angel Juice 2007
Black Box is available at most Safeway's and Lucky's supermarkets. I buy them from time to time for parties and such and they are usually reliable, good (not great) table wines. You will not find a large selection of box wines but most supermarkets will have a few if you look for them. I would not want to pay the shipping charges when ordering online for this product because it is a commodity item. Black Box is usually about $25/box and maybe a few dollars less on sale. The 3 liter boxes = 4 bottles, so it's pretty affordable.
I have not have such good luck when trying Target's boxes. I believe that this is a problem with transportation and storage because I have had a couple of boxes that I bought have a "cooked' taste.
Trader Joe's has a bagged wine that they added recently. I didn't care for the white that I tried, but it was attractively packaged in a 1.5 liter bag (no box) at about $10. World Market (Cost Plus) has their own label of box wine that seems to show up during summer.
Also, look for box wines from Australia and even France if you can find them. They are a bit more expensive.
I'm not surprised that the wine stores don't carry a lot of them, because boxed wines probably are less profitable than regular bottles.
I'd also vote for Big House Red in a box (1.5 Liters). That is, if I had to vote for a boxed wine. It's been available for some time at Lucky stores and Trader Joe's (at least it has been in the East Bay). But, seriously, Big House Red in the bottle is better than BHR in the box and the price per ounce difference is not that much and the Stelvin closures on the bottles are MUCH easier and convenient to open than extracting that spigot from the box (and the spigot is unreliable and tends to leak).
I'd try Whole Foods.
Upscale grocers like Canyon and Whole Foods are a good market for this kind of product; wine stores still think of box wine as jug wine, and Target doesn't have much incentive to look for quality.
Or if you get them at TJ's, ask a staff member. The best way to increase selection at TJ's is to let them know you're interested in a product.
Long topic on the Wine board:
K&L has a number of good ones. Some are direct imports and you won't see them elsewhere. The Pierre Plouzeau Chinon (Cabernet Franc) is very good, 5 liters for $50 (last time I bought one) works out to $7.50 per 750ml, comparable bottled wines typically cost twice that. Here's a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, $25 / 3L, not in stock at the SF K&L, but you can order online and pick up in the store, so no shipping charges:
There are some good ones.. look up the NY Times boxed wine article. I frankly find most of the Ones at the larger places like the ones mentioned below not so good.. however have had the Bota Zinfandel and liked it. There are some more artisinal ones that are much better in my opinion.