If you’ve ever heard one of the innumerable jokes about boxed wine, your connotation of grapes in cardboard probably isn’t great. But box wines have come a long way in the last few years, and, with more and more wineries going green, it’s easier than ever to find a delicious, quality wine that isn’t packed in glass.
Plus, by forgoing the bottle, you are saving money on packaging and shipping and saving the planet. Paper is, after all, a renewable resource. And, the even better news is that this stuff can keep in the refrigerator for up to six weeks, so throwing away half-full containers will be a thing of the past. Next time you hit the wine store, think outside the bottle and inside the box. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you taste.
Three Thieves Bandit Pinot Grigio
If you’re looking for a wine that takes you back to being a kid, Three Thieves Bandit Pinot Grigio juice boxes will do the trick. If you prefer a larger gulp, 500ml and 1 Liter Tetra Paks with resealable lids are also available. Whatever size you choose, you can pat yourself on the back knowing that the container you are drinking from is comprised of 70% renewable resources and fully recyclable.
Three Thieves’ grapes come from California and create a wine that is “clear and light straw in color with aromas of citrus, apple and pear,” according to the wine makers. Apparently, this description is not an oversell, as Epicurious ranked Three Thieves Pinot Grigio as a Top 5 Box Wine, saying it “starts out as Granny Smith apple and green Jolly Rancher candy with hints of banana, giving way to papaya and crenshaw melon.” Yum. Juice box, Jolly Rancher and banana. Sounds like a winner to me.
You can get you own liter of Three Thieves at The San Francisco Wine Trading Company for $6.95.
La Petite Frog Picpoul De Pinet 2007
La Petite Frog Picpoul De Pinet, is available online at Cecile’s Wine Cellar, where $24.99 will buy you 3 liters, that, according to Cecile’s reviewers, deliver a “round mouthful of spicy, clean, fruit.”
Tara Q. Thomas, a self-described wine writer, wine educator and wine lover, reports that La Petite Frog is as “light and tangy as limeade” and says that “it’s a no-brainer for the first glass of wine when you get home from work.” Sounds good to me!
K&L Wines reports that this box “impresses novices and hardened geeks equally” and describes it as “refreshing” and “snappy.” Wine Spectator gives it an 87.
As boxed wines go, this one gets rave reviews all around from drinkers who enjoy a light, refreshing glass of wine.
Black Box Merlot
If you’re looking for a box wine that even a true wine connoisseur can get excited about, Black Box Merlot is the one for you. Black Box claims that “The quality will surprise you. And so will the price.” After winning 15 Gold Medals and 14 Best Buys, they just might be right. Marketview Liquor sells this box online, and, at $19.99 for 750ml, this wine, which stays fresh for four weeks, is certainly worth a try.
Milt, on Wine Reviews You Can Understand, gives Black Box four corks, saying that it is “a very smooth wine with no bite whatsoever.” In fact, Milt was so pleased with this pick, that it is on his “Top 5” list for favorite wines.
Bald Wine Geek is a fan too, reporting that Black Box Merlot has a “nose of cherries, cedar and spice” and “a smooth, medium length finish.”
Wine Spectator also enjoys Black Box’s 87 point Monterey County Chardonnay 2008 and 85 point California Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.
Green Path Shiraz: Organic and Eco-Friendly
This Whole Foods Market find, hailing from Australia, made from organically grown grapes, and packaged in a Tetra Pak made from paper, is easy on the palate and the pocket book. Port City Foodies blogger Liz Biro reports that this wine “offers juicy-jammy berry fruit flavors combined with a little spice and subtle oaky vanilla notes.”
Its one liter size and cardboard packaging make it the perfect wine to carry on the beach, the boat or to a picnic. And, for seven bucks a box, you can afford to share.
The Dead Grapes Society reported that, at first sip, this Tetra Pak was “harsh, and sourish.” Upon further tasting, however, the reviewers position was swayed, and he found it it to be “jammy, plumy fruit with a pleasant sweet finish.” And, while the reviewer was disappointed that the wine didn’t have “much of a nose,” my overall take is that for an organic grape for seven dollars, one could probably do worse.
Green Path also offers a Tetra Pak Chardonnay.