Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Box Wines

Bag-in-a-Box

French Rabbit wines come in a recyclable Tetra Prisma container

Best Boxed Wines

Box wines are a lot cheaper than their bottled and corked counterparts, and are, as we have discovered, quite fine and drinkable. Since they're stored in bags inside cartons, these wines are also practical since they are easily portable and tend to stay fresh longer, ideal for picnics or parties. The same holds true for wines in a bag that are missing the box. One limitation, however, is that there is not a lot of range in the varietals offered; you're more likely to find Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay as opposed to Grenache or Viognier. Yet if packaging or selection is no object, then box wines can be a real value.

Bota Box Pinot Grigio is equivalent to four bottles of wine

BOTA BOX


California Pinot Grigio; $20 (3 L)

Bota Box wines come in eco-friendly packaging made from recycled materials. The 2012 California Pinot Grigio offers fragrant floral and stone fruit aromas. Peach and nectarine flavors predominate on the palate.

Tasting Notes on Bota Box Pinot Grigio

TURNING LEAF


California Chardonnay; $17 (3 L)

This 3-liter box version of Turning Leaf's California Chardonnay represents even greater value than the Modesto winery's bottled offerings. Light and fruity, it offers peach and pear flavors in the mouth with a hint of oak on the finish.

Tasting Notes on Turning Leaf Chardonnay
Turning Leaf 2009 California Chardonnay in a 3-liter box

Pinot Evil Pinot Noir from Corsica

PINOT EVIL


Pinot Noir; $23 (3 L)

This offering from Octavin Home Wine Bar hails from the Ile de Beauté, otherwise known as Corsica. Winemakers Julian Halasz and Mario Pulido combine Old World and California winemaking techniques with a playful brand name to create a light-bodied Pinot Noir with ripe cherry flavors and a smooth finish.

Tasting Notes on Pinot Evil Pinot Noir

R. MÜLLER


Medium Sweet Riesling; $24 (3 L)

The Landwein Rhein region of Germany is known for its impressive, full-bodied Rieslings, and this one is a great example. A nose of peaches and pears is echoed on the palate, finishing with a nice crispness. Try it with pasta in cream sauce, light seafood dishes or Asian cuisine.

Tasting Notes on R. Müller Riesling
The R. Müller 2009  Riesling Octavin from Landwein Rhein, Germany

The Climber Pouch California Cabernet Sauvignon

CLIF FAMILY WINERY


The Climber Pouch California Cabernet Sauvignon; $16 (1.5 L)

Clif Family Winery, who released the Climber Pouch on Earth Day 2011, will donate 1 per cent of all Climber Pouch sales to Trees for the Future. The portable and unbreakable packaging will ensure that you can enjoy this lush and plummy wine anywhere you go. Make sure to also try the Climber Pouch Chardonnay, which features intense white fruit aromas and a juicy palate of grapefruit, apple and melon.

Tasting Notes on Climber Pouch Cabernet Sauvignon

DUCA DEL FRASSINO


Cabernet Corvina; $20 (3 L)

Produced by Cantina di Soave from grapes grown in the Veneto region, Duca del Frassino has emerged as the first Italian boxed wine. Red cherry aromas and dark fruit flavors make this wine work well on its own or paired with meats, pastas and cheeses.

Tasting Notes on Duca del Frassino Cabernet Corvina
The Duca Cabernet Corvina is a dry robust red blend

Bodegas Osborne Seven Red Wine

BODEGAS OSBORNE


Seven Red Wine; $21 (3 L)

This boxed blend of seven red wine varietals is housed in Octavin's unique packaging, which can stay fresh for up to six weeks after opening. Made from primarily Spanish grapes, this blend has soft fruit flavors and a gentle acidity.

Tasting Notes on Seven Red Wine

MONTHAVEN WINERY


Central Coast Chardonnay; $24 (3 L)

The Monthaven Winery Chardonnay is full-bodied with a buttery mid-palate, and offers balanced acidity and a clean finish. Stored in Octavin Home Wine Bar's unique, patent-pending octagonal packaging (which prevents oxidation), this boxed wine is sure to be a conversation starter.

Tasting Notes on Monthaven Chardonnay
Octavin Home Wine Bar's Monthaven Winery 2008 Central Coast Chardonnay boxed wine

Black Box Wines' 2005 Chardonnay

BLACK BOX WINES


Chardonnay; $22 (3 L)

This premium brand, which produces vintage Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinot Grigio, claims that once opened, their wines will remain fresh for more than a month. Their Chardonnay shows off aromas of pineapple, citrus blossoms and sugar cookies, mixing with crisp flavors of juicy lemon, apple and sweet oak.

Tasting Notes on Black Box Chardonnay

FRENCH RABBIT


Pinot Noir; $9 (1 L)

This red-fruit-driven Pinot from the Languedoc-Roussillonregion of France is packaged in a lightweight, completely recyclable Tetra Prisma container which features a twist-off cap and collapsible design.

Tasting Notes on French Rabbit Pinot Noir
French Rabbit 2007 Pinot Noir

Top 10 Wine Lists
Top 10 Value Wines

PET040710
(Updated: 10/07/13 BH)

Celebrate the arrival of spring with the season's finest special releases, including a grapefruit DIPA, a smoked beer and a sour saison ale.

Enjoy the recent rye Renaissance by downing these fine whiskeys straight or hearken back to their heyday and mix them in an Old-Fashioned.