We try to keep it classy here on The Stir, but today I'm here to tell you: Box wine is HOT.
Sure wine in a box is traditionally associated with trailer parks and Steve Miller concerts (or perhaps I'm just remembering my youth), but those Europeans have been boxing and bagging it up for quite some time now.
Boxing wine makes sense for many reasons; most importantly, it helps maintain freshness while being eco-friendly. The other benefit is size. You can buy a 3-liter box for around the same price as a 750-ml bottle, making it the perfect go-to for social occasions. That is, if you can take the embarrassment of bringing a box to a party instead of a bottle.
It's only in the past few years that Americans are coming back to the box. And it's still a slow adaptation, one you won't see at your local five-star restaurant anytime soon.
However, these five box wines found in wine stores across the U.S.A. just in time for Thanksgiving all get high marks for quality, body, and nose.
Le Bord'Eaux Merlot, 2005
This is what we're plopping in the middle of our Thanksgiving table this year, and it gets props from Epicurious as well. But the real selling point was when I asked K & L Wine Merchants (known for their quality picks) which box wine was the best. They guided me to this lovely purple box. Sold!
Three Thieves, Pinot Grigio, Bandit
I have a friend who rarely travels to a social event without her Bandit. You can pick up a liter for under $10, so why not? It's also clean, light, and finds its way onto favorite wine lists from time to time. You'll want to grab a Bandit on your next camping trip, tailgating adventure, or perhaps your flight home for the holidays.
Domain De L'estel, 2008 Vin Du Pays Du Gard Rosé
I tried this little cube of rosé last holiday season and it was refreshing, light, and again -- not the rosé you drank behind the high school bleachers. This one even made the list of Gourmet's eight great rosé wines. Perhaps a first for a box wine?
Bota Box Shiraz, 2008
The Bota Box pops up on many people's picks. While I haven't yet tried it, I'm trusting the critics when they call this red wine juicy and full. The descriptions of distinctive berry flavors have my mouth watering a bit as well. The Cabernet from Bota Box also gets complimented on its peppery flavor.
Black Box, Cabernet Sauvignon
Black Box is another one that pops up on the "best lists" quite frequently. I'll never argue with a central coast Cabernet (yes, I think it's better than the Pinot Noir), and when you can buy 3 liters for the same price as one bottle, it seems like a perfect holiday fit.
Would you drink wine out of a box?
Image via Epicurious