The Best Boxed Wines

My DOC in a box

 


It’s time to party! You have to ask yourself, do you feel lucky? Do you, punk?

Just like Inspector Harry Callahan, boxed wines are a bit outside of the mainstream, are unorthodox, fresh, and get the job done. Sometimes it’s messy and the results are less than entirely satisfactory. Other times, they are just fine, leaving you to smile with a satisfied smirk!

So what is the deal with boxed wines and, more largely, wines in bags (the box is just extra structural framework for the bags)? Unfortunately, the deal has generally been that producers put crappy wine into boxes, so the several attempts to put better wine in bags and boxes has been met with stiff resistance from consumer.

Wake up folks, there’s no reason to shun wine in bags. In fact, we should all be supportive of this movement towards less wasteful containers that prevent a wine’s degradation both in storage, albeit for a limited period of time, and once opened. Having a box of wine in the fridge, ready to go and remaining fresh for weeks, is a hugely appealing prospect.

Now if only the wine was worth drinking. It is the producers' turn to keep plugging away and filling your bags with better wines. Some producers are already doing a great job. Find out who in my round up of bag-in-box wines. Some of these are actually delicious!

Cuboid

I'm not in love with the cutesy name of Cuboid, but the wines here are really good values, true to type, and eminently drinkable!

$20/ 3 Liter box

2010 California Chardonnay 12.5%

Some smoky oak on the nose over a bit of wood spice. Low but clean notes of buttered toast and pineapple with a touch of herbal floral tones. A little round and soft with RS on entry...

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2010 California Cabernet Sauvignon 12.5%

This smells of smoke and ash with some black currant fruit, a bit of roasted bell pepper, and a hint of mint. Rather light on the palate for Cabernet, but fresh and balanced with a lovely texture...

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The Climber

A mixed bag of wines. One is great, the other ho-hum bug!

$20/1.5 liter bag

NV California Cabernet Sauvignon 14.1%

Lots of caramel, woodsmoke, moist earth and cocoa here, accenting jammy blackberry, plum and prune aromas. This is pretty dense and rich with a broad base of tannins and good acids...

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NV California Chardonnay 14.1%

Somewhat butterscotch driven on the nose, with ginger crème brulee and some tropical fruit tones. This is rather soft and shapeless in the mouth with a creamy texture, creamy flavors...

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Jack Tone

An odd-ball couple of interesting wines- a simple white and fun red!

$20/ 3-liter box

NV California White Wine 12.5%

A blend of Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Muscat.

Fresh and floral on the nose, with crisp, slightly sweet apple fruit. Accented with some honeycomb and honeysuckle, with some green apple and saline undertones. A little soft in the mouth...

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NV California Red Wine 13.5%

A blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah.

Spice and earth on the nose with noticeable wood influence, but at the same time this has some attractive, low key wild berry, blueberry and grape skin notes. Moderately rich and nicely...

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Bodegas Osborne Seven

Seven Red Table Wine Spanish 13.5%

$20/3-liter Octovin box

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Grenache, Petit Verdot and Graciano.

This is quite perfumed if a bit crazy on the nose, with notes of black tea, orange oil, Red Hots, and rust accenting the spicy and floral strawberry fruit. A bit flat and broad in the mouth, though this does deliver some nice, slightly jammy, orange pith toned, strawberry and blackberry fruit...

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Gran Verano

Decent wines, but we're getting close to a cut-off here!

$22/3-liter box

2011 Sauvignon Blanc Central Valley Chile 13.5%

Nicely intense with pineapple, passion fruit and jalapeno aromas. In the mouth, this is a touch soft, round and easy, though with decent intensity to the light pineapple fruit that...

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2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Central Valley Chile 14%

Ripe but weedy on the nose in the way a simple Bordeaux can be fruity yet weedy, with a similar dose of raw but integrated wood. A bit flat in the mouth with some charry wood tones and...

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Comments

  • Snooth User: benhuynh
    234022 0

    Great informative. Thank you!

    Dec 06, 2011 at 12:36 PM


  • Snooth User: getwine
    73436 3

    Great post, however, you missed one of my favorite boxed wines, La Vieille Ferme Rouge. You should give it a try.

    Dec 06, 2011 at 1:11 PM


  • Snooth User: Gin257
    719885 167

    I am actually a big fan of Targets Wine Cube - Chardonnay.

    Dec 06, 2011 at 2:19 PM


  • Snooth User: Kate Statton
    Hand of Snooth
    853836 1,079

    That Jack Tone red was a little *too* drinkable. Dangerous when it's in a 3L box!!

    Dec 06, 2011 at 2:46 PM


  • Snooth User: pasopablo
    925075 27

    Try Le Vigne's 5-liter boxed NV Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon. True value, consistent quality.

    Dec 06, 2011 at 3:54 PM


  • These wines could make for a fun wine tasting and interesting conversation.

    Dec 06, 2011 at 9:58 PM


  • Wine in a box?

    Is that like cigars in a bottle?

    http://www.sedimentblog.com

    Dec 07, 2011 at 3:41 AM


  • Thanks for doing this. I am always looking for good box wines. I like the price, and the fact that the wine lasts longer, since I'm the only wine drinker in the house. I like the Target Wine Cube and Black Box. I also drink the cheaper Oak Leaf cabernet sauvignon sold at Wal-Mart and "Barrel Box" cabernet sauvignon that was available at Sam's Club for a few months this summer. They are not as good as the Target and Black Box, but still acceptable. The Oak Leaf was a big hit at Thanksgiving and I will have to bring two boxes next year!

    Dec 07, 2011 at 9:59 AM


  • Snooth User: DSRule
    989116 0

    Malbec from Bota Box is a very enjoyable wine and an excellent value for that daily glass of red for my "health".

    Dec 07, 2011 at 9:32 PM


  • Snooth User: cctravers
    392150 2

    Interesting that 'Black Box' was not in the top bunch. That is the one that we have had and found very drinkable. I look forward to trying some of the ones that you listed... especially if they are even better.

    Dec 07, 2011 at 10:52 PM


  • Snooth User: moreypope
    631181 7

    Does anyone know if Cuboid is sold on the west coast and if it is, who is it?

    Dec 08, 2011 at 12:01 PM


  • Snooth User: ashclark
    991002 0

    The ONLY boxed wine I've come across that's worthwhile comes from a company called Prestige Selections (luxury high end wines only). I got a box of Les Vig. d'Estezargues Cotes du Rhone my birthday last year and it was great!

    Dec 10, 2011 at 2:25 AM


  • I've been drinking the boxes from the getgo. And even had one that was oxidized and returned. But overall, good beyond quaffing. The Bota Redvolution blend is as gem.

    Dec 12, 2011 at 10:08 AM


  • Snooth User: Tim Dirks
    994339 0

    Ash- I agree- just got a box of Malbec from http://www.prestigeselections.com and it was the best boxed wine I've ever had.

    Dec 14, 2011 at 9:26 AM


  • Bota Box Old Vine Zin is worth a try as well. I usually have to buy two boxes at a time the day the store gets them or wait a week until a new shipment arrives. My little town is hooked on this nectar. Give it a try!

    Jan 06, 2012 at 12:28 PM


  • I once put a box of white wine in an ice chest to take to a weekend gathering. The cardboard disintegrated and then we were drinking yellow wine from a bladder. Not particularly attractive!!

    Feb 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM


  • beautiful

    Sep 24, 2013 at 9:20 AM


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