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What’s so great about glass wine bottles? They’re delicate, clinky, and try as you may, you can’t stack them on top of each other for easy storage. On the flip side, you have boxed wines: perfect for picnicking, easy to store, and if you’ve ever considered constructing a new boyfriend out of boxed wines, well, someone’s got you beat.
Yes, lots of great wines come in the traditional glass bottle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find quality wines in a box. In fact, we already found some for you. In this list, we transcend the box and shift our focus to all the delicious wines inside. Here are the best boxed wines that you'll want to drink right now.
Best Overall: Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel
The boxed wine to reign over all other boxed wines with its enchanting flavor is the Old Vine Zinfandel from Bota Box.
Proudly produced from California grapes, this wine is very agreeable on the palate and proves boxed wine is a force to be reckoned with. Bold with balanced acidity and notes of black cherry, black plum, pepper spice and blueberry. This dark and jammy wine pairs well with barbecue and grilled meats.
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Best Red: Pour Haus Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet sauvignon, the head honcho of red wine grapes, doesn’t always translate well into a box, but the clever folks behind Pour Haus have figured it out. This California blend is bold and mildly acidic with oaky flavor notes of strawberry, raspberry, spice and rhubarb. Luscious and full-bodied, you'll want to pair this with fatty meats and rich cheeses. This wine delivers exceptional quality and value.
Best White: La Petite Frog Picpoul
The picpoul de pinet grape is a delicate varietal (“picpoul” translates as “lip stinger” if that gives you any clues to its texture) that often gets overshadowed by its big sisters chardonnay and sauvignon blanc which are far easier to grow.
This light-bodied southern French wine from La Petite Frog is an excellent showcase for the fruit. A pale yellow-green, this wine features aromas of citrus and tropical fruits such as lime, grapefruit and pineapple. This is a natural to pair with seafood.
Best Rosé: Franzia Sunset Blush Pink Wine
No proper boxed wine list is complete without an appearance by Franzia. Founded in 1906, Franzia is one of the world’s most popular wines. It’s been known to invade your grandmother’s fridge and college dinner parties. The label likes to have a little fun and shouldn’t all wine do that? Their Sunset Blush rosé is as fun as it gets from the perfect pink color to the medium-sweet notes of strawberry, peach and grapefruit. Easily accessible and highly recognizable, this is also one of the most economical selections on our list.
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Best Chardonnay: Black Box Chardonnay
Black Box is known for its focus specifically on making great wine that pairs well with a variety of dishes. Their chardonnay delivers citrus aromas with buttery flavors of oak, apple, pear and mango. Bold, semi-sweet with a lasting toasted finish, this chardonnay pairs well with lighter fare like roast chicken and potatoes, or richer whitefish piccata.
Runner-Up, Best Chardonnay: Almaden Chardonnay
Not many California box wine producers can claim they’ve been in the winemaking business since the 1850s, but Almaden can. Almaden’s generations of winemaking experience are evident in their scrumptious medium-bodied chardonnay with crisp notes of apple, pear, and a hint of butter. This will also go well with poultry, seafood, and lighter soft cheeses.
Best Pinot Grigio: Bandit Pinot Grigio
Founded by vintners Joel Gott, Charles Bieler, and Roger Scommegna, Bandit is committed to making delicious wine while preserving the National Parks system.
Not only does Bandit make a tasty pinot grigio, but their packaging makes it easier to have wine-on-the-go, optimal for camping trips and long mountain hikes. And once you reach the summit, you’ll be hit with creamy aromas of peach, apple, pear and lemon. This is semi-dry with a citrus finish. Bring along an almond-rich trail mix for an out-of-this-world pairing.
Best Cabernet: Vin Vault Cabernet
Award-winning winemaker Chris Willis is the mastermind behind Vin Vault and he keeps innovating new methods to make the box work to improve the wine it holds. His prize cabernet is dry and bold with notes of black cherry, blackberry, and currant underscored by a spicy dark chocolate finish. This bold cabernet can stand up to heavier cream sauces and rich meats.
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Best Red Blend: Black Box Red Blend
Black Box strikes again with this impressive and delicious blend of their pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon varieties sourced from California, Argentina, and Chile. Mildly sweet with notes of cherry, raspberry, earth and blueberry. Looking for a red that can stand on its own? This velvety smooth blend fits the bill.
Best for Sangria: Big Sipper White
Does this white wine taste good on its own? Absolutely! But it’s also an excellent base for a refreshing sangria bolstered with stone fruits and citrus. This tasty medium-bodied white blend from Big Sipper will complement any fruit you throw in there. With a smooth finish and notes of lemon, citrus, tropical fruit and banana, you're on your way to a pitch-perfect pitcher of white wine sangria.
Best Organic: Badger Mountain Red
Out of Washington state’s Columbia Valley comes this organically-produced red blend from Badger Mountain, curated by their head winemaker Jose Mendoza—no relation to the South American city. Blending happens to be Mendoza’s specialty, so dig into this organically farmed red with its aromas of cherry, plum, cranberry and fennel. With flavors of dark fruits and pepper and with sturdy tannins, this wine can be had on its own or paired with a variety of meats and pasta.
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Best TetraPak: Bota Box Pinot Grigio
The hits keep coming from Bota Box with this appetizing, ultra-convenient, eco-friendly packaging, making it easier to take their greatness anywhere. This vibrant medium-bodied white is light and lacy with crisp peach, citrus aromas and flavors of pineapple and white flowers.
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Jonathan Cristaldi has written about wine and spirits for over a decade. Cristaldi was also named a "Wine Prophet" by Time Out New York for his witty and often avant-garde approach to wine education.