Boxed Wine: Bad Reputation or Just Bad?

The Daily Meal staff tests sustainable, structured (literally), boxed-in wines

Boxed Wine: Bad Reputation or Just Bad?
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It’s no secret that boxed wine has a bad reputation. The stereotypical beverage of choice of college kids and underpaid assistants alike, it has remained unscathed as the end-all-be-all inexpensive solution to entertaining. Just because it's cheap, though, doesn’t mean it’s awful. Sure, there are terrible tasting boxes — you do pay for what you get in some cases — but the bag-in-a-box has gotten a bit of a makeover.

Click here for the Boxed Wine: Bad Reputation or Just Bad? Slideshow.

Here's what you need to consider before passing up the square on your way to a bottle in the liquor store:

No oxidation here: The number one plus to boxed wine is that, thanks to its easy dispensing method, no air gets into the bag/box, making it much less prone to spoilage than an opened bottle. 

The environment: No glass is wasted here. With recyclable cardboard boxes housing sustainable bags, this method is super green and very friendly to the Earth.

Shelf-life: Since it’s not corked, but sealed, the life span of a bag is somewhat shorter than that of a bottle, but the boxes have printed "best-before" dates to ensure that you are enjoying the wine at its peak.

Value: The average price of boxed wine is about $25 for 3 liters, (four bottles of wine) which is a huge money-saver.

Chardonnay Boxed Wine Results

Black Box Chardonnay 76.1%
Bota Box Chardonnay 75.7%
Big House Chardonnay 69.75%
The Big Green Box Chardonnay 66.8%
CalNaturale Chardonnay 63.75%
Cuboid Chardonnay 62.1%

 

Cabernet Sauvignon Boxed Wine Results

The Big Green Box Cabernet Sauvignon 81%
CalNaturale Cabernet Sauvignon 76.6%
Bota Box Cabernet Sauvignon 75%
Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon 74.1%
Clif, the Climber Cabernet Sauvignon 66.2%
Cuboid Cabernet Sauvignon 64%

 

For this blind taste test, the staff at The Daily Meal decided that it would be best to taste one red and one white variety from the same producer (with the exception of Big House and Clif) to give each brand a fair shot at proving itself. Maybe where one slacked, the other would triumph. Red wines already have the upper hand in the boxed wine world, but it has been said that white wines have gotten increasingly better over the past few years. 

After deciding to sample chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon we assembled a selection of 12 — six red and six white — based on ratings, region, and popularity. Sipping and smelling the wines produced an underwhelming response. While the cabernet sauvignons were fairly solid across the board, the chardonnays were a complete disappointment. Some editors commented that it simply didn’t taste anything like its usual lean, buttery self, and others were stumped by the smell, stating it "smelled off" or didn’t have an aroma at all. 

The results of this taste test should read as a guide of sorts for what to choose when shopping for a go-to box. Our thoughts are pretty loud and clear, so if you agree or beg to differ, let us know in the comments below. Otherwise, cheers!


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