Why Black Box Wine Warrants a Tasty Glass or Two


Photo by Valory Reed

I’ve seen boxed wine in the grocery stores for years, but always shrugged it off, assuming it was cheap swill. I’m all for cheap, but not a fan of swill. Begrudgingly, I decided to give it a roll, considering it has been around for well over a decade. Clearly, someone is buying it.
My choice was a 2015 chardonnay from Black Box, heralding grapes from Monterey County. I typically enjoy Monterey wines, but more the likes of Hahn. However, I had done my homework and discovered that I appreciated many aspects of the product before even getting to the wine:

  • The three-liter box holds four bottles of wine, yet it’s small and convenient.
  • The box is environmentally friendly, with the company claiming it generates less than half the carbon footprint of bottled counterparts.
  • 10 boxed wines are available, with grapes acquired from specific appellations from across the globe: cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, merlot, red blend, shiraz, riesling, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, and of course, chardonnay.
  • The wine stays fresh for at least four weeks after opening, and it’s marked with a “freshness” drink-by date.
  • It retails for $20 to $25 for 3L in most supermarkets.

So, with a curious palate, and an attitude not at all in check, I pushed the spout to give my chardonnay a taste. HEY! This wine isn’t half bad! In fact, I’ve definitely had more expensive whites that were much less enjoyable. I plated some crackers and cheese and poured myself a second glass. My mind started racing as to how this wine was much easier to travel with than bottles, and perfect to celebrate with, given the luxury of its quantity.

In a few weeks, I have a camping trip with my mom and girls, and would much rather trek this boxed wine then worry about clinking bottles in the hot car. Over the Fourth of July, my sister hosts an annual beach soiree in Newport Beach, and I’d gladly take this chardonnay for the multitudes of my nephew’s college friends instead of my carefully chosen gruner veltliner, picpoul, or riesling. So, with snooty attitude now in check, I can say that I’ve finally found a chardonnay that solves my priorities of ease and quantity and that I find good enough to warrant a tasty glass—or two!

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