Boxed wine gets a bad rap. Most often packaged in a rubber bladder that’s neatly packed into a user-friendly cardboard box, the wine inside is often underestimated with the assumption that it’s all mass-produced, low-quality juice.
And sometimes, that is the case. Many of the big boxed wine brands on the market are sipped with quantity over quality in mind — rarely savored like fine wine. But this doesn’t mean all delicious vino comes in a bottle. The boxed category has recently experienced a resurgence, with more and more small and high-end brands releasing boxed wines that are delicious, balanced, and convenient — all without breaking the bank.
Plus, boxed wine offers another enticing advantage: It’s environmentally friendly. Not only does it have a lower production cost; it’s also much more sustainable than its glass sibling. Glass is difficult to source, environmentally costly to create, and difficult to recycle. Plus, its weight makes transporting glass bottles emit significantly more carbon. Compare this to the lightweight, recyclable, and sometimes compostable bag-in-box treasures below, and one thing is clear as a slapped bag: Boxed wine is here to stay.
To help you discover the best of the boxed, VinePair tasted dozens of boxed wines and narrowed them down to 12 of our favorites ranked below. These are the best boxed wines available on the market today.
12. Le Petite Frog Picpoul de Pinet ($34)
You heard it here first: Picpoul is the new Pinot Grigio. Light, simple, and somewhat neutral in flavor, this style is exemplified by Le Petite Frog’s refreshing French white wine — ideal for poolside sipping on the hottest of days, yet a worthy 5 o’clock pour at the end of a work day in winter. What this wine lacks in character, it makes up for in crushability — which is another way of saying, it’s super drinkable and relatively low in alcohol (12.5 percent ABV) — ideal, considering each box contains the equivalent of four standard 750-milliliter wine bottles.
11. La Vieille Ferme Red Wine ($21)
The aromas of this wine are overwhelmed by a balsamic vinegar sourness at first, but once this scent blows off quickly, it reveals an appealing bright fruitiness that translates well from the nose to the palate. In the end, it is a very solid boxed wine from a brand that’s available in almost every wine shop in the country. Pair it with pizza, and thank us later.
10. Vrac Rosé ($26)
In the humble opinion of VinePair tastings director Keith Beavers, Mediterranean rosé on today’s market is sub-par. Vrac rosé — a light, pleasantly pink wine packaged in a simple pouch — is an exception. “Summer water” at its finest, this wine has an inviting floral aroma and enticing grip on the palate. It’s fruity, sessionable, and light enough to be the star of any pool party.
9. Provisions Sauvignon Blanc ($17)
Without looking at its label, it would be easy to confuse this Chilean Sauvignon Blanc for one from Marlborough, with aromas of green bell pepper, zesty citrus, and creamy melon. It has all the easy-drinking appeal wine drinkers seek in this style, along with an affordable price point that makes it a staple for seafood pairings and sipping on its own.
8. Volpina Toscana Rosso ($37)
With jammy aromas punctuated by a note of savory herbs, this red blend comes from the central eastern coast of Italy and is an ideal house wine. Its high acidity and drying tannins make this wine perfect for Italian food — especially pasta with pomodoro sauce. It will surprise your box-averse friends and please a variety of palates.
7. House Wine Cabernet Sauvignon ($19)
A brand that consistently impressed our tasting panel, House Wines’ Cab is better than most inexpensive bottles of the varietal on today’s market, and deserves the same mass appeal. It’s soft on the palate, has great tannin structure, and is rich with dark fruit, vanilla, coconut, and peppery spice notes.
6. Hérisson Vin Rouge ($30)
Hailing from Burgundy, this red blend is bright with high acidity and ripe berry fruit notes. This is a wine that doesn’t need food. Just chill it down, grab a glass, turn on Netflix, and enjoy. It may not be the most complex wine on the shelf, but it’s widely available, endlessly sessionable, and is a step above many others at this price point.
5. Wineberry Château Tassin Bordeaux Blanc 2020 ($40)
This Bordeaux Blanc, composed of 85 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 15 percent Sémillon, smells like wet rocks and a ripe, juicy pear drizzled with honey. It has pronounced minerality, with a clean, bright palate, and a puckering acidity that’s filled out by melony fruit. All in all, this is an easy-drinking, crowd-pleasing white wine that would be just as at home alongside light, seafood pastas as it would with sushi.
4. Boxt Profile 5 ($89)
A membership-based boxed wine brand, Boxt is an Austin, Texas-based company that offers eight different boxed blends — all of which are packaged in chic wooden boxes that taste as great as they’ll look on your bar cart. Profile 5 is a deep, rich California red blend that offers layers of rich, dark fruit flavors and tannins that are balanced by a refreshing fruit core. This is a food wine that can hold up to heavy dishes like lamb chops, yet is light enough to pair with cheeses.
3. House Wine Chardonnay ($18)
A sleeper hit under $20, this solid, inexpensive Chardonnay from Washington State has everything we seek in an unoaked, easy-drinking Chardonnay: It is crisp and refreshing, light enough to drink on its own at parties, and full-flavored despite the lack of buttery oak of many other Chardonnays. Its price point is the equivalent of less than $5 per 750-milliliter bottle, so snag a few for your next big gathering.
2. Schplink Grüner Veltliner ($33)
Lemony crisp and refreshing, this Grüner is for “serious” wine drinkers — yet is simple white wine at its best. Its high acidity is offset by concentrated fruit flavors, and it is definitely a wine to enjoy with food — pair it with a loaded charcuterie plate with plenty of salty cheeses, smoked meats, and briny pickles and olives. It would be the star at any dinner party or beach picnic.
1. Sandy Giovese Vino Rosso ($34)
With a clever name and package design, it would be easy to discount the wine inside this bag-in-box as merely eye-catching. But don’t underestimate this classic Sangiovese. It hits all the notes we look for in an everyday sipper: It’s easy-drinking, with good acidity that balances the bitter sweetness of cranberry and cherry fruit flavors. This is the perfect pasta night wine, and can be enjoyed on its own while cooking and entertaining.