In Praise of Boxed Wine

Did ya’ll see the Slate article this week? This one: Drink Cheap Wine. It was so refreshingly honest. Good, decent, everyday wine DOES NOT HAVE TO COST A BUNDLE. But you knew that already. I mean, if you read this blog, you have to appreciate saving money on a bottle of wine.

You probably also know that I’m a big fan of boxed wine. It’s inexpensive (see above), you don’t have to worry about spoilage, and it’s inexpensive. Wait, I said that twice. Because it bears repeating: boxed wine is the epitome of affordability.

And you’d be surprised at the quality wine you can find wrapped up in these cardboard miracles. You can find everything from Napa Chardonnay to French Cotes du Ventoux to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to Spanish Red in these convenient containers.

A few of my favorites:

La Vieille Ferme Rouge Cotes du Ventoux (France)
3L for $21 at Spec’s (equivalent of 4 standard bottles for  $5.25 each)
We served this one with Thanksgiving dinner last year, and it was damn near perfect. I don’t think there was a drop left by the end of the meal. Win!

Silver Birch Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)
3L for $19 at Spec’s (equivalent of 4 standard bottles for $4.75 each)
This is my go-to white boxed wine, and I’ve yet to have a guest who didn’t rave about it. It’s as good as just about any $15+ New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It is THAT GOOD. (Previously reviewed here.)

Monthaven Cabernet Sauvignon (California)
3L for $23 at HEB (equivalent of 4 standard bottles for $5.75 each)
I can get this one at my local grocer, and sometimes for only $18 when it goes on sale. It’s earthy and fruity, and my husband loves it. We serve it with steak and meatloaf and burgers. It’s an all-around solid red. You can’t go wrong.

Wine Cube Chardonnay (California)
3L for $16 at Target (equivalent of 4 standard bottles for $4.00 each)
I reviewed the Wine Cube Sauvignon Blanc in the past, but found the Chardonnay to be superior. Imagine that! This is a solid California Chardonnay full of cream and butter with a floral fragrance. It’s just lovely. And it fits perfectly on narrow refrigerator shelves. Try it and see if it doesn’t.

And my big secret:

Franzia Cabernet Sauvignon
5L for $12 at HEB & Walmart (equivalent of 6.67 bottles for about $1.80 each)
There is nothing at all complex about this box of wine. It’s all fruit and ridiculously cheap (under $2 a bottle!!!), and I almost always have a box hiding in the pantry. (True story.) I use it in marinades and sauces for cooking, and I drink it, too. There’s something homey and comforting about the simplicity of this Cab, especially when you pour a glass to go with meatloaf or spaghetti.

So there you have it: five fine boxed wine alternatives to enjoy. Have I missed any? Do you have a favorite boxed wine you’ve been embarrassed to share?

Tell me about it; it’ll be our little secret. ;-)

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13 Responses to In Praise of Boxed Wine

  1. Alison says:

    We absolutely love Black Box wines. I think their Riesling is tasty. Not too sweet but not too bitter. My husband loves their Malbec. The boxes are around $15/box. We give them four thumbs up!

    • Knighton says:

      Hi Alison!

      I haven’t tried Black Box yet, but I’ll grab some when I run out of Franzia. Thanks for the recommendation!

      -Jennifer

  2. J. Wilson says:

    OK. Wouldn’t admit this to just anybody (wait, what? oh well!) but Summer is just not Summer at casa Wilson without a box of FishEye Chardonnay in the fridge. Certainly not a great Chard, but a glass of cold sunshine on the deck after work.

  3. Knighton says:

    Oh! I haven’t tried the boxed Fish Eye yet. I’ll definitely give it a try. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. Ken says:

    I have searched retailers all over Texas (including multiple Spec’s) and none have (or have heard of) La Vieille Ferme in a 3L box. Any suggestions ?

    • Knighton says:

      Hey Ken,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble finding it. Surprisingly, it’s on Spec’s website, listed for $20.99. I think you can even order it online:

      http://specsonline.com/

      Hope that helps!
      Jennifer

      • Ken says:

        The importer sent me to the new Spec’s in Dallas (45,000 Sq. Ft. !! Awesome!) and they are able to order it from Glazer’s. He said no retailer in Texas has it in stock…only by ordering.
        Thanks

        • Knighton says:

          Hey Ken! Glad to hear they can order it for you. My Spec’s in Austin keeps it on the shelf, so this is kinda blowing my mind. Thanks for the udate!

  5. Ken says:

    FYI…I did find it in stock at Spec’s in San Antonio last week…bought the last two they had. Thanks for your help.

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