Whether consumed on its own or to accompany an appetizer or meal, the pair up with a glass of good, quality wine is important. When the wine is good, sometimes it may be liked more than the nibble that went with it. However, when the sip of a bad wine comes into play, your taste buds are going to let you know about it in the most unpleasant manner possible. It’s even worse when somebody recommended their favorite wine to you, only for you to learn the hard way what may be great for them is not the case with you. While it is true everything does boil down to a person’s taste preferences, there are the common denominators of quality levels. The discerning consumer relies on ratings and reviews put forth by people who are supposed to be experts in the realm of wine judging. Again, it’s all subject to taste, but when most of the reviews are in agreement about something, that’s a pretty good indication there is a common enough ground to go on. Is the wine worth your money or not? If the wine has received many positive reviews, there’s a good bet it is. However, if the wine has received more thumbs-down responses than any other, this should serve as a big red flag to avoid it.
Boxed Wine vs. Bottled Wine
Due to the lack of popularity boxed wine due to stigmas placed against them, there are not nearly as many wineries who invest the effort to bring to the market the same amount of bottled wines. While boxed wines may not appear as attractive on the outside as their bottled counterparts do, they’re far more environmentally friendly. According to Sommelier Business, the pros and cons between boxed wines and bottled wines definitely give boxed wines a big edge in being a more economical and environmentally friendlier option.
10. Vin Vault Chardonnay
Normally, Vin Vault does quite well with wines, including boxed wines. However, when it comes to a good chardonnay, this isn’t always so easy to come by. When in boxed form, it can be even more challenging. For chardonnay fans that are really specific about the quality of this type of wine, Vin Vault has yet to bring forth a boxed chardonnay that gives a wine expert like Vivino anything higher than a 2.9 rating. Fruity cardboard is the description sometimes given regarding the taste of this wine, which is somewhat all too common among chardonnay wines that seem to miscalculate how much oak content should be going into whatever form of containment the winery wishes to use. Usually, Vin Vault is good at what they do, but not so much with the chardonnay. The best bet, go with another flavor or find a boxed chardonnay brand that has a better reputation.
9. Block White Pinot Grigio
It’s not a bad bottled wine, but Block’s White Pinot Grigio doesn’t exactly win praise, either. Easy enough to find, but too boring for words, it’s an easily forgettable wine that may work for inexperienced wine drinkers, but among those that prefer good, quality wines that have a mix of excitement and flavor, it simply won’t do. As a neutral wine for functions on a budget, at $20.00 USD per three-liter box, it’s not that bad of a deal. However, if you can do better than this with the same budget, it would be in your best interest to do so.
8. Vella Delicious Red
While the Vella Delicious Red wine isn’t exactly horrible, it’s not great either. Calling this red wine delicious is an overstatement. More accurately, it is a mediocre wine at best. It’ll do as a backup wine once all the good stuff is gone, which at that point hopefully nobody will be able to notice.
7. Franzia Refreshing White
Franzia Refreshing White wine is anything but refreshing. It, at best may be acceptable enough to bring to a frat party, but don’t drink it straight. The best bet, drown it as an ingredient to make a cocktail that will take advantage of the fizz without having to contend with the taste. Most judges who taste wines, have a difficult time enduring anything beyond a sip of this stuff.
6. Franzia Sunset Brush
Franzia Brothers Winery is known for having syrupy sweet wine in a box concoction that has consistently placed the name and their wine products at the bottom of the barrel as far as quality wine production goes. Often, when comparing brands of who has the worst boxed wines on the market, Franzia’s name consistently comes up. Among the types Franzia offers, Sunset Brush takes the cake for being the worst possible choice to make from this winery’s boxed lineup.
5. Provisions Merlot
In a three-liter box, Provisions has a merlot wine that is often described as something that came out of a musty old closet. Between a less than appealing aroma and a taste that has some wine drinkers looking for something to brush the tongue off with anything to forget the experience, this should serve as a warning to avoid it. It’s not worth the money, nor the nightmare.
4. Peter Vella Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
It comes in a five-liter box and it smells much better than it tastes. Peter Vella Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon as a boxed wine just isn’t worth the money as it’s often regarded as too sweet to serve, especially with a meal. Cabernet Sauvignon is not the easiest wine to box for some reason, something of which companies like Peter Vella haven’t quite figured out yet how to fix this little problem. Save the $13.50 US for something better.
3. Our Daily Red Blend
Unless you want food thrown at you by a group of angry wine drinkers, it would be recommended to avoid bringing Our Daily Red Blend to the party. This is that one wine mentioned among critics and consumers who’ve mutually shared opinions that it lacks character. While it’s not necessarily a bad-tasting wine, it’s too basic, despite the full body of high tannins. Where Our Daily Red Blend gets the failing grade is the lack of understanding of what’s involved in quality wine making. Even if it’s medium-quality, anything is better than what this brand has to offer. If bland is your kick, then this wine may work for you, but wine is supposed to have class and character. This one has neither. What’s worse, is if for some reason this wine is served and there are leftovers, unless it’s consumed within a matter of a few short days, it’s done. Normally, boxed wines should have no trouble lasting thirty days once opened. Not this stuff, which should also serve as another red flag the quality simply isn’t there.
2. Barefoot Wines Moscato
Barefoot Wines tends to focus its marketing schemes on parents, especially moms. The logo featured on the labels of their wine bottles and boxes shows exactly as the name says, barefoot. While some of Barefoot’s wines are okay, for some reason the boxed Moscato has one wonder if the “feet” used in making the wine first did some dancing in pools of sugar before getting to work on the Moscato grapes to make the wine product. Moscato is a sweet enough grape as it is, which is why it is often paired with flavors to tone down that sweetness. While it is common knowledge that wines are typically made from grapes, the one thing it should not taste like is something that has too much in common with Kool-Aid’s grape juice. If you want wine that tastes like dessert, maybe this would work, but if you try to pair this up with a meal, you may ruin the dining experience altogether. In addition to being too grape-like for its own good, it’s also too peachy. The best bet, pass it up for something better.
1. Carlo Rossi Founder’s Blend Cabernet Sauvignon
Consistently ranked as among the worst boxed wines on the market by a number of bartenders, reviewers, and restaurants, Carlo Rossi Founder’s Blend Cabernet Sauvignon has demonstrated that this type of wine is not as easily packaged into the plastic of a box as it seems. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of those wines where if it isn’t packaged right, it’s going to be awful. Apparently, Carlo Rossi didn’t get that memo. The number one complaint among critics is how artificial the flavoring behind the wine seems to be. At $13.50 per five-liter box, your money would be best spent on a product that has an established track record of high quality instead of something often referred to as a honeydew-flavored version of sewer water.
More About Boxed Wine
According to Chatelaine Magazine, boxed wine is now at a tipping point where the popularity of the product is expected to rise sharply. Now with the big push for people and producers to become more environmentally responsible, this means bottlers of wine may feel the pressure to join the world of boxed wine production as a means to appease environmentalists who also happen to be wine drinkers.