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I have a confession to make: When I asked Kitchn’s resident wine expert, Diane McMartin, to do a massive taste test in order to uncover the best boxed wines out there, it was purely for selfish reasons. Sure, I figured it’d be helpful for our readers (hey, that’s you!), but, really, I just wanted to know for my own personal enjoyment.
You see, I run a Boxed Wine Household in the summer. I like to have a box in the fridge at all times — either so that I can have a glass now and then, without worrying about the leftovers going bad, or so that I don’t run out when I have my (vaccinated) friends over. And I’ve ended up with plenty of less-than-great boxes. (Which is a bummer because these boxes are big and that’s a lot of less-than-great wine to get through before I can open something else!)
So Diane did the work. (Thanks, Diane!) And she ended up with lots of love for Bota Box. The brand emerged as the winner in three different categories: chardonnay, pinot grigio, and cabernet sauvignon. I happen to love chardonnay, but I know that some of my most-frequent visitors do not, so I’ve been buying the pinot grigio and, let me tell you, it is a crowd-pleaser. And you get the equivalent of four bottles of wine for around $20.
Diane called it a simply great-tasting, inexpensive pinot grigio: “It has some nice flavors of ripe pear and crisp apple, bright, refreshing acidity, and a clean finish. The best part is that it isn’t ‘sticky’ in the slightest, a side effect that I often get from cheaper wines. Overall, it was a perfectly pleasant pinot.”
I’m not a wine professional, but I definitely get those ripe pear and crisp apple notes she mentioned. And I agree that it’s bright and has a clean finish. My guests have all loved it, too. In fact, I poured a glass for someone into one of these insulated cups and my friend refused to believe it was from a box. (I had to show her and do a pour in front of her in order for her to believe me!)
Do you have a boxed wine that you’re loving this summer? Tell us about it in the comments below.