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So I had a glass of box wine down at a picnic . Wasn't bad wasn't great

came back to do some research - last CH thread was 2007 - WOW!

So I thought I would bump the topic so to speak and update the input

Any thoughts?

Best Box wine for the summer outings?

Ones I def should AVOID bringing so as not to poison the crowd? <smiling>

I am a red sipper - but lots of white winers in the group....

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  1. The best I have had and only good one I have had was Big House Red and White. I like the white a little bit better. Should be a crowd pleaser.

    1 Reply
    1. Australia or North America? Big difference in quality.

      1. The Target box wines are drinkable.

        Even in France, the disparate quality of box wines means I usually just don't bother -- there are some great ones, and some really awful ones, and it's all but impossible to know which is which -- so I just stick with bottles that I know.

        4 Replies
        1. re: sunshine842

          "the disparate quality of box wines... it's all but impossible to know which is which -- so I just stick with bottles that I know"

          Since there are thousands of bottles of wine in the market and perhaps a dozen boxes, perhaps you could apply the same principle you use for bottles to boxes.

          1. re: FrankJBN

            That's a nice thought, but the reality is that even though there are a LOT more bottles than boxes out there -- most of the boxes are private labeled, or labeled with a brand name not obviously connected to a given producer, so the actual producer is unknown. Some box wines are AOC, but can range anywhere from "I'm not sure how they got this one past the AOC board" to "yeah, this is pretty good". But the obfuscation on the labels makes it nearly impossible to sort out which is which -- and cost is not a reliable factor.

            We've had good box wine purchased directly from the producer...but a jaunt out to the countryside to go buy it isn't always in the cards.

            I am quite confident of my ability to pick a good wine in a bottle, so that's what I do, and will do tomorrow. YMMV.

          2. re: sunshine842

            I quite sure my wife and I had tried the really awful ones in France years ago.

            So our rule from that moment on was " Never, ever, ever, again. "

            Bottles only, glass not plastic cups, and real cork. Picnics included.

            1. re: SWISSAIRE

              the exception is buying them direct from the producer, or the "vin en vrac", where they pump the wine right into a plastic or glass bottle for you to take with you.

              THEN I trust the wine.

          3. ok we have a great start here

            now, the box I drank out of was all black - and was on the plus side of decent

            remember - I am not looking for a connoisseur item - something to easily bring to an outing

            2 Replies
              1. re: goldangl95

                ha - that would be it !!!
                thanks goldang
                now I just have to figure out what red it was
                I want to say it was a shiraz - but will go to this companys website and see what they carry
                whatever it was - it went down just fine with burgers, steaks and salad

            1. Banrock station: Australian- Sauvignon Blanc is good for a " grown up juice box" or French Rabbit Chardonnay...Sorry- I do not and cannot imbibe red...

              They are nice for picnics...no worries.

              1 Reply
              1. re: designergirl

                thanks for the suggestions
                I rarely do white myself - but all my friends seek out the white -
                so when its my turn for adult libation - I am always seeking out suggestions!

              2. I have had Bota Box, both the Shiraz and the Chardonnay. I liked them both, but I am from a wine connoisseur!


                1 Reply
                1. re: shannonstl

                  Will admit, I have bought these before and liked them as well.

                2. La Vielle Ferme has a really good red. I haven't tried the white but would based on the red quality. One of the better box wines available and it's sold in bottles if you don't want to commit.

                  Brown Box puts out Washington wines in a box that are very good merlot is good, cabernet is better. Haven't tried the chardonnay but the reds are at least for my palette are better than the Black Box.

                  Powers Winery Cabernet is another top pick for me.

                  For a white in a box that I accidentally bought... thinking it was the red. Vi Zorro has a nice white wine. The red is pretty good too but I think the white is better overall. If you want a decent white that even a red drinker can love I think Vi Zorro would be a good bet.

                  Folonari pinot grigio would be a good one in the white department.

                  A compromise would be to chill Pinot Evil or the Folonari pinot noir. Both are wines that would probably appeal to white drinkers and red alike though maybe not the diehard cab, merlot drinkers.

                  As far as pretty good wines you probably buy anywhere Bota Box and Black Box are good bets. The Green Box is pretty good it's the box version of Pepperwood Grove so if you like that it would fit the bill.

                  I tried the Badger Mountain Organic with high hopes but I would never buy it again. Just had an off taste and not much character. The Climber was another one I would never buy again. High priced and about Charles Shaw in taste. I was not a fan of Boho wine either.

                  In the better than is should be department Corbett Canyon Merlot would be a good chiller for a picnic. Not great but it's one of those wines that tastes good and doesn't have glaring flaws to make it suck. Obviously not the first choice but better than some at higher price points... like Badger, Climber, Boho.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: knowspicker

                    Update to the La Vielle Ferme... Instead of Cote de Ventoux they now have just a vin rouge label and it's no where near as good as if used to be.

                    1. re: knowspicker

                      I noticed the last bottle wasn't as good as it used to be, but hadn't checked the label. Alas.

                  2. This isn't a box wine but a bag wine, but Clif Family Winery (makers of the Clif bar) offers The Climber Pouch - Chardonnay as well as Cabernet Sauvignon. I've had the Chardonnay and it's pretty decent. It's unoaked and is fruity and is a good wine to drink outdoors.

                    They told us last summer that it would be sold at Whole Foods, but I haven't seen it there yet. We bought ours at Beltramo's in Menlo Park as well as at the tasting room.

                    1. I thought that this was worth sharing: It's no longer "box wine". The classy term is "Cardborardeaux".

                      1. I'm late to the party, but I thought I'd throw in anyway on my new favorite topic!

                        Bota Box's chardonnay is a smash hit among my friends. It's very drinkable and even my wine-fan friends are shocked to learn that it came out of a box. Have not been fond of their other wines.

                        Chateau Margene in Paso Robles has their own boxed wine called El Pistolero and it is divine. Tastes like a $30 bottle of wine and it's $54 for 3 liters! I need to find more like that.

                        1. Okay, this seems like a good thread in which to pose this question...

                          My grocery store keeps discontinuing my favorite boxes (because apparently I'm the only one in town that knows they are better), and experimenting with others to find new ones is quite an undertaking 3L at a time. After reading this Serious Eats article:
                          I grabbed a Bota Box Zin on my last trip. But I am confused - my box says Zinfandel, and is imported from Puglia, and every reference I can find to the Bota Boxes refers to Old Vine Zin from CA.
                          Anybody know the story here? Is this a permanent change, or a temporary solution to a lack of CA supply in 2011? I am incredibly curious, as even the Bota website still lists only the Old Vine Zin.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Wahooty

                            Interesting. I've taken to Bota Box Old Vine Zin as my everyday tipple. I just checked my current box and it also says Puglia. I know it used to say California. I think I detect a slight change in taste from the last box I bought (not quite as good). Maybe demand is so high that some of their boxes need to be imported