Can wine in a box actually compete with wine in a bottle? Surprisingly, there are some boxed wines that are quite tasty. See what six boxed wines we recommend and find out why the box might be a good alternative to the bottle.
What Is Boxed Wine?
Boxed wines haven’t been around for very long. Credit for their invention goes to an Australian winemaker, Thomas Angove, who claimed the patent for bag-in-box wine 50 years ago.
Initially, boxed wine was cumbersome and difficult to handle. The bag (or bladder) of wine inside the box had to be removed, a corner of the bag snipped, the wine dispensed, the bag resealed with a paper clip or rubber band, and placed back inside the box. Not ideal. Eventually, an integral tap was added to the bag, which made serving the wine a much easier process.
Early boxed wines had a reputation for being pretty undrinkable. Packaging lacked the information wine labels typically contain, such as the year produced, grapes used, country of origin, etc. In fact, many labels featured generic varietal names such as “White” or “Red Blend.” Definitely lacking in charm and nuance.
Around the early 2000s, several new brands of higher quality boxed wines were introduced to the marketplace. These were premium wines that were appellation specific (indicating they met certain production requirements) and vintage dated. Boxed wine’s reputation pivoted from being the red-headed stepchild of the wine world to respectability. In fact, there are some boxed wine brands that have even produced award-winning varietals.
What Are the Advantages of Buying Boxed Wine?
The improved quality of boxed wines makes them very appealing. Additionally, there are several other advantages to purchasing boxed wine instead of bottled:
- Affordability. Because box wine packaging costs less to produce and ship, the cost savings are passed on to the consumer.
- Value. A box of wine is equivalent to four bottles of vino. When you factor in the lower price, you’re getting quite a bit of value with a boxed wine.
- Freshness factor. Exposure to oxygen is like kryptonite to wine. If you’ve ever uncorked a bottle only to have to dump it out days later when it’s gone bad, you know the value of wine that is dispensed with a spigot and stored in a sealed bag. Boxed wine can easily last up to six weeks.
- Eco-friendly. Boxed wines are actually eco-friendly since the packaging is recyclable. What’s more, producing a box requires less energy than producing a bottle.
- Portable. Transporting a box of wine is much easier than carrying a bottle and worrying about dropping it or breaking it.
- Deliciousness. Boxed wine just isn't what it used to be. Once you try it, you might never buy a bottle again.
Best Box Wines
Taste is always subjective, but we do have our favorites. If you’re interested in trying boxed wine, we give any of the following six wines an enthusiastic thumbs up.
Boxed Red Wine
Some of our favorite boxed red wines include:
- Bota Box Nighthawk Black Rich Red Wine Blend. This California red blend will enchant you with its dark fruit-forward flavors of blackberry and its notes of bittersweet chocolate. The medium bodied vintage pairs beautifully with dishes that offer up some heat, like a spicy beef curry or a spicy jalapeño and bacon flatbread.
- Black Box Wines Malbec. An Argentinian Malbec that scores high in blind taste tests and reviews. Notice flavors of red berry, plum, and raisin coupled with grassy, peppery aromas. Serve this wine with steak, pork, lamb, or salmon.
- Black Box Wines Merlot. This is a hearty Merlot with plum, vanilla, and cinnamon aromas coupled with flavors of black cherry and red berries. It’s the ideal wine to serve with grilled duck, pork roast, or any dish with a rich tomato-based sauce.
Boxed White Wine
Of course, for white wine lovers, there are excellent choices as well:
- House Wine Chardonnay. A crisp, juicy Chardonnay with flavors of ripe peach and pear and the perfume of toasted vanilla. Served perfectly chilled with grilled seafood, chicken, or any buttery or creamy dishes.
- House Wine Riesling. One of the best boxed Rieslings on the shelf, House Wine Riesling is refreshing with flavors of pear, apple, and tropical fruit and notes of honey and nutmeg. This is an ideal accompaniment to Chinese food, Cajun cuisine, sushi, and even pizza.
- Black Box Wines Pinot Grigio. A lovely expression of citrus and apples preceded by aromas of pear and honeydew. A wonderfully versatile wine that pairs well with chicken, white fish, oysters, grilled vegetables, and salad.