11 Boxed Wines You Should Always Buy

Gone are the days when the only way to drink wine was from a corked, glass bottle imported from Italy, France, or Spain. Modern bottling (and canning and bagging) techniques have made it completely possible to enjoy a glass of your favorite wine that just so happens to be poured (or otherwise decanted) from a box. Not to mention, there are real benefits to buying and enjoying boxed wine. For one thing, most of the standard boxes contain the equivalent of around four bottles of wine. Plus, the way the wine is bagged and released keeps oxygen from entering, which keeps the wine fresh for several months without going bad. And because you're paying for the packaging for a single box and bag, rather than separate bottles, corks, and labels, buying boxed tends to be more cost-effective. So whether you're buying to imbibe on your own, or you're stocking up for a big event, enjoying boxed wine just makes sense.

And to put the icing on the cake, boxed wines aren't a thing to be scoffed at — many boxes win awards for their high-quality taste, and as more people accept the trend, options continue to grow. So if you're in the market to pick up a box (or three, no one's judging), keep your eyes peeled for these delicious options. 

1. Franzia Sauvignon Blanc

Maybe you've avoided buying Franzia boxed wine because way back in the day, it was the only boxed wine variety available, and it didn't exactly have the best reputation (all those bottle snobs turning up their noses at the lone box on the shelves). But there's no reason to be ashamed of loving the OG of boxed wines! In fact, according to a Mashed survey of readers' favorite boxed wines, Franzia came out on top, racking up 25 percent of the total vote. They even edged out other typical favorites like Black Box and Bota Box. 

So if you're ready to give your mom's favorite box a try, go ahead and pick up the brand's cool sauvignon blanc. This is a full-bodied, somewhat drier wine that's perfect for warm summer nights, featuring notes of lemon zest and grapefruit. A 5-liter box (yes, 5 liters — larger than the more typical 3-liter boxes) offers the equivalent of 34 glasses of wine, so really, if you stick to a single glass per night, a box can last all month. Throw it in your fridge to keep it chilled and sip with your favorite seafood, salads, or crudités for light evening meals. 

2. Franzia Chillable Red

If you haven't traditionally been a red wine drinker, Franzia's Chillable Red might be the box that helps make you a believer. Having won more than 150 awards since its inception, this light, somewhat sweeter wine is designed to be served cold (hence, its name) and offers a pleasant flavor for sipping on warm days when you want something a little bolder than a white wine or rosé, but you don't want the heavier notes of merlot or malbec. 

Believe it or not, the Chillable Red is actually a great fit for summer barbecues — the sweeter flavors balance with chicken served fresh off the grill and a side of potato salad. Or if you're whipping up a Margherita pizza at home, the tomatoes, garlic, and basil paired with the sweet notes of this wine will feel like a real treat (even if you're just chowing down while binge-watching Netflix). 

3. House Wine Rosé

House Wine is one of those wines that started as a popular bottled brand and branched out into selling by the box. And as rosé wines boomed in popularity, with sales growing by a whopping 40-percent in the U.S. in 2018 alone, House Wine quickly offered up its own version of the sweet, pink drink. And if you're a fan of rosés (or if you're trying to find a wine that you can drink with everything), you need to grab this box the next time you see it. House WIne's Rosé offers a very fruity flavor with notes of watermelon, strawberry, and raspberry, which makes it perfect as a "poolside drink" and paired with light snacks like crackers, cheese, and other charcuterie favorites. And here's an idea for kicks — keep your rosé cold by dropping frozen grapes, strawberries, or raspberries in your glass. You could even turn it into a slushy by blending frozen fruit with your rose before drinking. Who doesn't want to enjoy an adult-themed slushy this summer? 

4. House Wine Dark Cabernet Sauvignon

Not everyone likes a light, crisp wine. If you're more the, "give me something full-bodied, dark, and dry" type, then it's time to pick up House Wine's Dark Cabernet Sauvignon. The brand developed this cab specifically for people looking for a more complex red wine offered at a reasonable price. As such, the notes of this blend (85 percent cabernet sauvignon, 15 percent merlot) include dark fruits like plum and Bing cherry, along with toast (yes, toast!) and cocoa. 

Because the flavors are bold and rich, the dark cab is best served with other bold and rich foods, like red meats, hard cheeses, and even portobello mushrooms. You could even use the wine as a way to balance out sweet, rich desserts if you're hosting a party with a dessert bar. For instance, try it with a cherry pie, or offer a gourmet s'mores bar with toppings like dark chocolate, salted caramels, or even maple bacon slices. The sweet, rich desserts served next to the dry wine will be a decadent treat.

5. Bota Box Cabernet Sauvignon

Bota Box is another boxed wine you can find in most major grocery stores, and it's for good reason — the wines are good! In fact, the brand is regularly included in Wine Enthusiast's annual list of best buys, and they've accumulated more than 50 gold medals for taste. So when you're looking for a solid, crowd-pleasing cabernet sauvignon, you can't go wrong with Bota's version. 

The flavor profile is fruity with a hint of spice, including notes of blackberry and black currant, with an aroma that includes peppercorn, making it a bold and robust wine with a touch of sweetness. As such, it goes nicely with hearty meals, like stews and pastas. Try serving it with your favorite beef bourguignon on a cold winter night, or keep things more casual with a basic spaghetti with marinara sauce. And who says you have to pair it with a meal? When you're looking to wind down at the end of a long day, make some stovetop popcorn and pour yourself a glass — you'd be surprised how well they go together. 

6. Bota Box Chardonnay

Bota Box's Chardonnay is one of the brand's top-selling wines, so when you want a dry, white wine to enjoy with dinner, keeping a box in your fridge is a quick and easy solution. As a white wine, it's best paired with chicken and fish dishes, but don't shy away from trying it with salads or lighter pasta dishes. 

One other good way to enjoy this chardonnay is as a pre-dinner aperitif. If you're unfamiliar with the concept, it's a light, cold, alcoholic beverage served before a meal to help "open up" the palate and get your gastric juices flowing. So when you have guests coming over for dinner, and you don't want to spend a lot of time thinking about cocktails and appetizers, serving up a fruit plate with glasses of Bota Box Chardonnay is a simple, tasty, and cost-effective way to get the party started.

7. Black Box Merlot

Think of the little Black Box of merlot as you would your little black dress — it's a dinnertime staple when you want a people-pleasing, smooth red wine that pairs with popular tomato-based dishes, pork loin, pot roast, mushrooms, and strong cheeses, just to name a few of the many options. But hey, even when you're kicking back for a casual dinner alone, there's no reason you can't pair your merlot with a homemade grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup — merlot goes well with cheese and tomatoes, after all.

Specifically, the Black Box merlot is a nice, medium-bodied red with aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, and plum, and a flavor profile including red berries. It's practically the wine version of sitting in front of a fireplace wrapped in a warm blanket on a chilly night. So obviously, you'll want to stock up around the holidays to help set the mood before, during, and after big family gatherings. 

8. Radio Boka Tempranillo

When you're looking for a great Spanish wine, you don't have to buy a bottle, just keep your eyes peeled (the box shouldn't be hard to spot) for Radio Boka Tempranillo. The box is produced by Hammeken Cellars in Spain, and uses 100-percent Tempranillo grapes. In 2020 the box was named Editor's Pick by Food & Wine, and was rated 92 points by the Toronto Star. In other words, its got the credentials to back up its high-quality claims. 

Radio Boka wants its wines to carry you to a different world, where good friends, good memories, and good music surround you. So grab a box before you head to the park or to another outdoor gathering with your favorite people. The medium-body and cherry and spice flavors pair nicely with grilled meats, so it's the perfect accompaniment for picnic favorites, whether you pack a simple charcuterie, or you fire up the grill to make burgers and brats on the beach. You can even turn this wine into a sweet and sparkly cocktail (if you're looking to mix things up) — it would be the perfect summertime option when you want a red wine on a warm night. 

9. Folonari Pinot Grigio

A relative newcomer to the boxed wine industry is Folonari, a delicious Italian wine whose varietals have been around since 1825, but only more recently branched out into boxed and canned options for its classic drinks. The 3-liter box of pinot grigio is perfect for spring, summer, and warm fall nights when you want something cool, dry, and crisp to enjoy outside. In fact, it's the perfect beach buddy, pairing nicely with seafood and antipasti (we vote for crab cakes or bacon-wrapped asparagus as the perfect snacky sides). 

The fragrance includes wildflowers and a hint of honey and banana, with flavor notes of green apple and ripe pear. And as with most pinot grigios, the wine makes for a nice "easy" introduction to wine for those who are working on making the switch from beer, ciders, or sweeter mixed cocktails. The wine also pairs nicely with mozzarella, pesto, and salads, so it makes sense to whip up a Caprese salad or fresh bruschetta to get the most out of every sip.  

10. Vina Borgia Grenache

The Vina Borgia Grenache is an excellent option when you're looking to break away from your "typical" wine varietals, like cabs or pinots, and try something new. This boxed wine comes from the VIneyards of Garnacha in Spain, and offers a fresh, fruity flavor that's a soft and smooth, but full-bodied sip. The beauty of this box is that it pairs great with comfort foods — stews, classic English pub favorites, like shepherd's pie, or even a Thanksgiving turkey. In fact, all game animals make for a good pairing, so if your family is into hunting, consider this the box you should take with you when you head out to the deer property. 

But don't worry, if you're not into hunting (or game animals, in general), that doesn't mean you should skip Vina Borgia's Grenache. It also makes a good fit with pizza (and who doesn't love pizza) — so go ahead and order your favorite pie and decant a glass (or two) of this soft, easy red. 

11. Pure Red Organic Red Wine

If you're especially conscious about eating (and drinking) organic, an excellent boxed wine to add to your list of favorites is the Pure Red Organic Red Wine blend from Badger Mountain Vineyard in Washington's Columbia Valley. The wine is made from 100 percent USDA organic grapes, including 71 percent cabernet sauvignon, 13 percent syrah, 5 percent each of malbec and merlot, and 3 percent each of pinot noir and cabernet franc. 

The result is a wine that has dark fruit flavors, medium tannins, and a well-balanced finish. And given that it's a blend, you can pair it with practically anything you'd pair with other red wines, whether you prefer steak, pizza, or a pasta dish. In fact, even if it's a bit unexpected, we suggest pairing this red with heavier Mexican food dishes, like beef fajitas, or a chicken mole. The rich flavors and spices in classic Mexican food are a good match for the strong, but clean, flavor of this organic red.