11 of the Best Boxed Wines to Serve a Crowd
Forget what you drank in your college days. Environmentally-friendly, easily portable, and increasingly delicious, wine in a box is great option for your summer drinking plans.
Savvy wine enthusiasts know that there's a time and place for boxed wine, and it's not just because of the seemingly limitless pours. They're also extremely eco-friendly, and will last at least three weeks in the fridge, where a standard bottle lasts only four to five days. But about that volume... most boxed wines contain three-liter bags, which is the equivalent of four bottles, making it perfect for those barbecues, house-parties, or family reunions.
Roger Scommegna, a co-founder of Bandit Wines, sums it up perfectly: “[Winemaker] Charles Bieler likes to say this ‘is wine for that not-so-special occasion,’ and we truly feel that way—the best wine in the world is not put in a box. Why? It’s not going to age in a box and the best wines need to age in a bottle.”
They’re not so complex as to require a Riedel wine glass, but that's also why they can be great to have around. “I highly recommend drinking it from a coffee mug (insert smiley face emoji),” to quote one Facebook boxed wine enthusiast. Or do as the Italians do in piazzas all over Italy: pull out a small glass tumbler alongside your box, and if you feel like you’re being judged, just channel your inner Godfather and make those skeptics an offer they can't refuse: a glass of any one of these tasty boxed wines.
This wine is rich and creamy, with tart apple and pear flavors, and subtle caramel and toasty toffee notes on the finish. Also look out for the Cabernet Sauvignon here, which is a deep ruby-purple color, with really sumptuous black fruit aromas, along with graphite and sweet oak spice. It's round, plush and soft with chocolate-covered black cherry notes, vanilla bean, chewy tannins and a subtle smoky herbaceous note on a blueberry compote-tinged finish.
Blackberry and black plum notes meet dark chocolate and sweet spice on this ruby-purple, rich and mouth-filling Merlot.
A ruby-purple color in the glass, this wine gives way to soft and warm flavors redolent of black cherry and black currant, and leads to a vanilla-bean, toast and cocoa-tinged finish. If you don't want a full box, it also comes in 500 mL Go-Packs.
Worth the hunt, this blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon is bright and clean, with pure citrus notes, crisp minerality and vibrant acidity. Imagine near-limitless pours with oysters and shellfish!
This Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan blend, medium-ruby/garnet red in color, is plush and layered with rich dark-berry fruits, cassis, silky tannins, dark chocolate, and a smoky, peppery finish.
This wine has wild strawberry notes, with a good mineral through-line and refreshingly crisp acidity.
Charles Bieler, Joel Gott and Roger Scommegna, vintners and founders of Bandit, have partnered with the National Park Foundation, donating a large sum of money in honor of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, so look for the National Park themed tetra paks. Expect a bright and crisp tropical fruit flavors with a creamy mouthfeel and generous mouth-coating profile.
A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, this wine has a vibrant pink hue that gives way to a mix of citrus and wild-berry fruit with pops of jasmine.
My favorite of the three La Vieille Ferme box wines I sampled, the white wine has a pale gold color, a tropical fruit nose, notes of underripe banana and hints of pineapple, and a chalky kind of mineral character, with good acid on a mouth-coating finish. Also look out for the boxed rosé, which has a pale salmon pink color, and is quite simple and clean with strawberry, white peach, and prickly pear notes, and subtle Mediterranean herb notes. And the red boxed wine is worth trying, too. Deep ruby-purple color, this wine is quite soft, with mouthcoating tannins, subtle red berry and earthy aromas, and a spicy finish.
With a luscious mouthfeel, and lychee, candied peach and prickly pear notes, this is great served over ice with pieces of ripe pear, pineapple and Granny Smith apple. Also try the pink sangria, which has notes of rich candied watermelon, jolly rancher green apple and overripe peach. Serve it over ice with cut up pieces of peach, pear, and green apple. Finally, the red sangria is good too, with its notes of tangy, candied red berry fruit and brown spices. Serve it over ice with cut pieces of peach, plum, pear, and apple.
Dark cherry and blueberry compote mingle with hints of milk chocolate on a round and plush mouthfeel in this medium ruby colored wine. When was the last time you had a box wine from Spain? Seek it out!