Whether you’re just a weekend drinker or you like to have a glass of the good stuff at night with dinner, it always pays to have some wine around the house. However, the age of the supremacy of the wine bottle is past us. These days, it’s easier than ever to find wine that doesn’t come in a bottle at all. There are, of course, plenty of canned wines, and we love that those often offer just a single serving. But one thing is for sure: You definitely shouldn’t overlook boxed wine.
Boxed wine has often been the butt of the joke in the beverage world, derided by everyone who knew better. But now, there are some boxed wines on the market that are absolutely delicious. Plus, many of these wines will keep for longer than wine would in a bottle. And the best part? Because you’re buying a box of the stuff, you’re generally getting a better bang for your buck.
Still, that doesn’t mean you should just go out and buy any boxed wine on the shelf. Some of them actually aren’t good at all, and the last thing you want to do is buy the equivalent of four bottles of wine and then hate every sip as it goes down. That’s why we’ve decided to rank some of the most popular boxed wines, starting with the worst of the bunch and making our way down to the best of the best. Ready to get started?
12. Barefoot Wines Moscato
Barefoot is a wine company that seems to advertise primarily to moms, if you were to judge by their labels alone. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, and some of their wines are pretty solid. But if you think you’re going to get something amazing when you buy Barefoot Wines Moscato, you’re fooling yourself. First of all, many moscatos are generally way too sweet for most people. Unless you’re looking for something that essentially tastes like grape juice, you may want to pass up on these mass-produced, well-known moscatos.
But Barefoot’s version is even worse than we could have imagined. Take one sip, and you’ll immediately realize how cloyingly sweet this wine is. It’s definitely not something you’re going to want to drink with a meal, as it will completely overpower the taste of whatever you’re eating. At the same time, we wouldn’t want to drink it on its own either because then we would be forced to really taste each and every sip as it went down.
The notes of peach and apricot are rather strong, but not in an especially pleasant way — don’t expect any subtlety here. Basically, if you see a box of this one at your local wine shop, you should just pass it up entirely.
11. Our Daily Red Blend
If you want to take wine to a party but don’t want to share any at all, we suggest you bring Our Daily Red Blend. Why? Because people will take one sip and immediately realize that they’re going to save the rest for you. Basically, this wine just has no character. It tastes like the most basic version of a red wine ever. While it is more on the full-bodied side with high tannins, there’s nothing particularly exciting about Our Daily Red Blend.
We’re not surprised that it didn’t get amazing ratings on popular wine review site Vivino, where it locked in a sub-par 2.9 rating. Honestly, we would have rated it even lower. One reviewer said it was "plain, acidic, hint of berry, pretty boring." Another commented, "Lacking in personality. This wine would never insult anyone but is utterly forgettable. At half the price I would give it a second star."
Drinking wine is about having fun and enjoying yourself. And how can you have fun if you’re drinking something that’s bland, boring, and "utterly forgettable"? You deserve better from your wine — you owe it to yourself to look for something with a little more character.
10. Vin Vault Chardonnay
Chardonnay is a top choice among those who love white wine. However, you should note that not all chardonnay tastes the same. If you’re looking for something delicious, you absolutely don’t want to get Vin Vault Chardonnay. You may look at this stuff and decide that you want to try it because it’s offered at an amazing price compared to many other wines out there. But if you’re a true chardonnay lover, we don’t think you’re going to like this stuff.
For example, just take the fact that this wine received a rating of only 2.9 on Vivino. That’s how you know you’re not off to the best start. One drinker described this wine as "fruity with a side of cardboard." As hilarious as that may be, it doesn’t exactly inspire you to go out and buy a box of the stuff.
Oftentimes, chardonnay can be too oaky, which is exactly what’s happening here. It gives the wine a bitter, unappealing taste. Plus, if you’re trying to cook with your wine, something that’s this intense is certainly not the way to go. Luckily for you, though, there are plenty of other boxed chardonnays on the market, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a better one.
9. Peter Vella Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
When you first take a sip of the Peter Vella Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, you may think that you’ve struck gold. It has a lovely aroma with a nice bouquet to it. Even better, you’re not likely to spend much money on a box and it’s widely available. In fact, you may even be able to find it at your local grocery store. However, let’s not get too excited yet. Because after that favorable first impression, you’re going to realize that this cabernet isn’t as delicious as you may have originally thought.
Some cabs can be on the sweeter side, but they’re usually not overwhelmingly sweet. But unfortunately, that’s not the case with the Peter Vella Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Oregon Live warns, "A trick. Another one that smells good then tastes bad, this ended up being cloyingly sweet."
Since you may be interested in pairing this wine with a meal, "cloyingly sweet" is the last thing you want from it. This stuff may be inexpensive and easy to find, but that doesn’t mean that it should be a staple in your home. There are certainly better options out there! That being said, we’ve definitely had worse reds in our time.
8. Block White Wine Pinot Grigio
Are you looking for an average white wine? Something you might keep around the house for whenever you need a drink, but nothing special enough that you would bring to a friend’s house? Then do we have the perfect wine for you. It’s Block White Wine Pinot Grigio, and there’s an excellent chance you’ve seen it before. This wine brand is readily available all over the country, so if you’re looking for this stuff, it shouldn’t be difficult to find.
Do we dislike Block White Wine Pinot Grigio? No. But is it worth stocking up on the stuff? That’s also a no from us. This tastes like your most basic white wine imaginable. It’s a bit fruity, with notes of apple and pear, and it even has a hint of citrus. However, don’t worry about it being too sweet — it’s not. It’s an ideal beach wine: easily sippable and perfect for sunny days.
But if you’re looking for something interesting, this is not the wine to opt for. You’ve had wine that tastes like this probably a thousand times before. Considering that you can get three liters of this wine (which adds up to four bottles) for around $20, though, it’s clear that Block is a fantastic budget option if you’re attempting to keep your finances in check.
7. From the Tank Vin Rosé
Calling all rosé lovers! Everyone loves a glass of pink wine, and most rosés do taste good, even if they’re not the best on the market. And that’s exactly what you should expect when you opt for From the Tank Vin Rosé. Is this rosé anything special? Not really. But is it a great drink to bring to the cookout or to a big party? Absolutely.
It’s on the lighter side, but it’s still quite a dry wine, which we love from a rosé. There’s also a hint of acidity there. There are strong red fruit notes — you may notice strawberry or cherry — despite the lack of sweetness. It received a rating of 3.7 from Vivino, which we think is pretty accurate. It’s not amazing, but it is slightly better than average.
We think that this refreshing wine is perfect for warm, sunny days when you want to drink outdoors with friends. However, it is quite a tart wine, so if that’s not what you’re into, then you may want to look for something else.
6. Bandit Wines Merlot
Red wine lovers are going to find a lot to love about Bandit Wines Merlot. You may be surprised that this stuff actually isn’t that bad. That’s because the one-liter version comes in a small box that’s typical of boxed wines from back in the day — not exactly that appealing (unless you’re going to the beach or on a hike, of course — in that case, it’s fantastic). But the wine itself is a solid merlot.
It features strong notes of stone fruit, most notably, plum. It’s medium-bodied, which means it won’t clash with a variety of different dishes (one reason we like it for a get-together with a lot of friends, like a potluck). PopSugar notes, "The portable single serving is perfect for a picnic, beach day, or evening in the backyard. The merlot is not superoaky, which will appeal to a wide variety of wine drinkers."
For those who want a red wine that doesn’t offer a super-strong taste, this is a really good option. We love it for beginner wine drinkers and more seasoned sippers alike.
5. Franzia Dark Red Blend
Franzia … if there’s one brand that epitomizes boxed wine, this has got to be it. The winery has developed a bit of a reputation for itself, but we don’t think that you should write it off just yet. While some of their offerings absolutely belong down the drain, we don’t think that’s the case when it comes to the Franzia Dark Red Blend. The company describes this wine as having "Rich, juicy flavors of dark fruit with aromas of red cherry and ripe plum." They also suggest that you’re going to taste a hint of vanilla and spice.
Wondering what to pair this with wine? Your best bet is probably going to be red meat, but it’s also a great option for dessert. Let’s be honest, though: This stuff is just as good from the nozzle as it is in a glass. We’re not here to encourage you to slap the bag, but hey … it’s Franzia. We won’t judge you either way.
4. House Wine Chardonnay
We didn’t love the chardonnay from Vin Vault, but how about House Wine Chardonnay? We definitely have a different opinion here. While this wine is on the oakier side, we actually think it’s really nice in this case. You’re going to find notes of apple and citrus, and it finishes off with just a touch of Asian pear flavor. Butter and vanilla are also quite perceptible, meaning that this wine pairs well with a variety of foods. Though white wine may seem like more of a summer thing, we think House Wine Chardonnay makes for lovely sipping throughout the winter as well.
A reviewer on Vivino had this to say about the wine: "This chardonnay is smooth, easy to drink, subtle pear and apple notes, and medium bodied. Delicious." What’s even better is the fact that this wine is a bargain — you’re looking at spending about $20 for the equivalent of four bottles. And if you don’t want that much? No big deal. You can also buy this stuff in a can instead.
3. Bota Box Pinot Grigio
One of the most recognizable boxed wine brands out there is Bota Box. You’ve almost definitely seen this stuff before if you’ve ever walked down a wine aisle at the grocery store. Overall, this is a solid brand to choose from if you’re looking for simple, easily drinkable, and shareable wine. Add in the fact that it’s one of the more affordable options out there for you, and it’s clear why it places in the top three. Our favorite of Bota Box’s wines? Probably the pinot grigio.
This is the ultimate summer sipper. Stone fruit and citrus reign, with noticeable hints of peach. It’s slightly floral, and it finishes with pineapple notes that make any warm-weather day more enjoyable. It’s a very middle-of-the-road wine, which means that most people are going to like it, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring by any stretch.
One Vivino reviewer summed it up well when they called this a "great utility wine!" They went on to say, "Tastes smooth as a standalone or with an evening meal. I love this wine, and you can’t beat the box for freshness day after day." We couldn’t have said it better.
2. Black Box Red Blend
Now, if Bota Box isn’t your go-to boxed brand, then perhaps you’re a bigger fan of Black Box. This is another incredibly common label that you’ll find at most grocery stores that carry wine. And if you’re looking for a solid red, you can’t go wrong with the Black Box Red Blend. Bold, dry, and acidic, this is not a wine for the faint of heart. However, even if you’re not used to drinking reds, you shouldn’t find the flavor of this wine off-putting in the least.
The company’s website notes that "Black Box Wines Red Blend is a juicy fusion that enters with a rich, full palate, leading to a long, round and velvety finish" and boasts "ripe plum and blueberry notes with sweet chocolate, spice and vanilla flavors." This wine makes for excellent sipping if you’re looking for something simple, and we love pairing it with some chocolate for a rich after-dinner treat.
1. Provisions Rosé Wine
Finally, we have our favorite of them all: Provisions Rosé Wine. Looking at the box, you may not assume that this is going to be a fantastic wine. There’s no specificity about where the grapes come from — instead, it just says that they’re American. Despite not knowing much about how this wine is produced, though, we have to admit that the taste is excellent. This wine is reminiscent of strawberry lemonade. Sounds delicious, right? That’s why we think this rosé is so perfect for sunny summer days when you want something light, refreshing, and fun to drink.
While some other rosés taste artificially sweetened, that’s not what you’re going to get with Provisions. Instead, you’re going to get a much crisper flavor with this variety. Though it’s on the slightly sweet side, it shouldn’t bother most drinkers too much.
Sure, this wine may not taste like it comes from the fanciest bottle you’ve ever enjoyed. But for a boxed wine? We think it’s fantastic. The next time you’re the hunt for a portable wine that everyone will love, Provisions Rosé might be what you’re looking for.