Don’t pooh-pooh premium box wines—they’re now offering more quality than ever before. As an added bonus, you typically get more for your money when you buy wine in a box instead of a bottle.
Box wines typically consist of a 3-liter (equivalent to 4 bottles) or 5-liter (equivalent to more than 6.5 bottles) bag of wine inside a cardboard box with a tap attached to the bag for dispensing. The bag collapses as you withdraw the wine, reducing exposure to oxygen in the air, and preserving the wine for up to 30 days, especially if kept in the refrigerator.
Vin Vault box wines are produced by E. & J. Gallo Winery specifically for their box wine program and are intended for those who consume a glass or two of wine every day. Besides the wine featured here, the portfolio includes chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot, malbec, and a cabernet sauvignon.
The Red Blend includes tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, merlot, and malbec sourced globally: 63 percent from California, 20 percent from Argentina, 9 percent from Spain and 8 percent from Chile.
I was surprised by the quality of the wine. It offered plenty of juicy blackberry, cassis, herb, spice, and subtle oak flavors in a medium-bodied style, with modest, well-integrated tannins for easy drinking. Pair it with grilled tri-tip and maple-bacon brussels sprouts, hamburgers, or cured meats.
It’s a great value for $23 at Total Wine & More, other wine retailers, and Albertsons supermarkets. Other premium box wines to look for include Bota Box and Black Box.