Not all boxed wines are created equal. Take your next sip from one of these affordable, reputation-defying producers.

By Chris Hughes
February 28, 2017
These boxed wines stand up to their bottled competition—and are so convenient for the beach.
Photo: Stephen DeVries

Unfolding the corkscrew from the hilt of a wine key. Slicing away the foil like the rind of a clementine. And oh, that resplendent THWUMP! as the cork gives from the neck of a bottle. There's just something special about the ritual of opening a good bottle of wine. But there's also something to be said for convenience—say, pressing down on a plastic plunger and filling a glass with a compelling wine from France's historic Rhône valley. Or lifting a cooler lid and taking a nip from a chilled box of juicy Spanish garnacha.

Boxed wines have suffered from a déclassé stigma for decades—most of which has been justified. Yet that's all changing, as better producers are seeing the potential in the bag-in-a-box format: Boxes often hold 3 liters of wine (the equivalent of four bottles), and the bags inside prevent the wine from oxidizing, meaning they can stay fresh for weeks. Even better, their portability makes them perfect for picnics and beach outings.

9 Best Boxed Wines

Ready to take the plunge? Opt for the box and save the glass for the toast, with these nine great options. Here's to new traditions.

Arrumaco Garnacha Rosé, $23: Fresh and lean, this single-varietal sipper offers an alluring bouquet of peach and strawberry.

Bota Box Nighthawk Black, $23: A dense, full-bodied California blend of Zinfandel, syrah, and petite sirah, perfect for summer grilling.

Cantina Valpantena Garganega, $29: Best known for its role in soave, Garganega wines are always one of Italy’s top under-the-radar white values. Cantina Valpantena’s is lively and minerally with flavors of almond and apricot.

Jenny & François From the Tank Rosé, $37: This organic Rhone blend (Grenache and syrah) proves that natural wines don’t have to carry a hefty price tag. Fans of tart Provencal roses will want this is their fridge year-round.

La Nevera Tinto, $20: Say hello to your new pizza wine! Organically grown Tempranillo, Grenache, and Graciano grapes from Spain’s Rioja region sync up to form a fun, easygoing red.

Related: How to Make Frosé

La Petite Frog Picpoul de Pinet, $30: An ideal seafood companion out of the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. Aromas of zesty lime and grapefruit just beg for some seared scallops or freshly shucked oysters.

La Vieille Ferme Blanc, $28: Consistently a great, inexpensive aperitif, this Rhone white (Grenache blanc, Roussanne, Vermentino, more) is brimming with bright, floral notes.

Sette Finestre Fossalupara, $30: An herbal-tinged Montelpuciano from the Marche region of central Italy. It has just enough acid and tannic grip to do battle with beef Bolognese and other meaty dishes.

Viña Borgia Garnacha, $18: Not only is this wine vinified under the direction of famed Spanish winemaker, Jose Luis Chueca Sancho, it hails from Aragon, the home of the Grenache grape. Juicy blueberry, black cherry, and raspberry notes leads to a light, peppery finish.