The Best Boxed Wines

These aren't like the Franzia of your college years

The increasingly popular three-liter boxes (equivalent to four full bottles of wine) are undeniable party game savers in terms of both cost and cleanup, and yet the very idea still draws shudders from former Franzia drinkers. 

Let me tell you: I'm a boxed-wine convert, and I believe you can—no, correction, you should—be one, too. Whether you need something to tote to a backyard BBQ, a picnick in the park or a baseball tailgate—or even if you're just looking for something to cook with—having a box on hand is a total no-brainer. Boxed wine can keep for a month, it's an environmentally friendly choice and it's really tasty. Below, seven of the best three-liter boxes you can buy right this second.

① Vrac Rosé ($35)

A couple of seasons ago, this medium-bodied rosé was welcomed into the boxed community by fans of the beloved bottled version. With strawberry and raspberry notes and excellent acidity, it deserves a place in your summer wine lineup.

② Le Petite Frog Picpoul de Pinet ($35)

With notes of citrus, including lime, lemon zest and tart grapefruit, this French varietal promises a long, dry finish that practically demands a second glass.

③ Steinschaden Grüner Veltliner ($20 for a 1.5L box)

If you haven't started drinking this Austrian grape yet, now's your chance. The citrus, white pepper, green apple and subtle flint notes make the wine an easy and delicious win at a summer barbecue.  

④ Maison Cubi Sauvignon Blanc ($30)

This gem boasts fine minerality and floral notes, making for easy sipping any day of the week. Best of all, it costs less than $10 a bottle when it comes down to it.

⑤ Cantina Valpantena Garganega ($24)

This above-average medium-bodied white (herbaceous, spicy, good acidity) is a fine choice for cooking with or sipping on year-round.

⑥ Pascal Lambert Chinon ($44)

Boxed reds are a harder sell than whites and rosés, but if you're willing to spend a little more, you'll wind up with this Cabernet Franc: meaty, dark, grassy and good to the last drop.

⑦ Mourres Côtes du Rhône ($60 for a 5L box)

Expect ripe, crushed berries from this tart, tannic, easy-to-drink French wine from the Rhône valley. Your steak game just got a whole lot stronger.

Whether your idea of the perfect picnic is cooking in the wilderness or sipping a summery cocktail at a sidewalk café, we've got everything you need to spend your Summer in the Wild. Let the outdoor entertaining begin.

Stacey Lastoe is a writer, editor, runner and an ambitious cook and eater. Say hi (or share a recipe idea) on Twitter at @stacespeaks.