PRODUCT: Best Wine Box Chardonnay | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures PRODUCT: Best Wine Box Chardonnay | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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PRODUCT: Best Wine Box Chardonnay


Don’t give this boxed wine the fish eye—it’s good stuff!

Think inside the box, says Consumer Reports magazine, evaluating boxed chardonnays in its July 2009 issue. While our own wine collection includes cases of DRC and Yquem (don’t even think of breaking into our place—they’re not stored here), we love a good boxed wine. They’re great for parties and picnics and they’re hands-down environmentally superior to recycling (or landfilling) glass and using cork or metal caps. You can keep an open box of wine in the refrigerator for four to six weeks, enjoying a glass whenever you want one, with wine on hand for cooking.

And when you can pay $4 per 750 ml (the size of a regular bottle of wine), you’d be foolish not to declare to everyone you know that wine boxes are cool, wine boxes are green, never whine about a good wine box. So, speaking of good, here’s what Consumer Reports recommends.

  • Fish Eye Chardonnay 2007, $16 (about $4 per 750 ml). A nice mix of fruit and oak: Juicy fruit and apple flavors balanced by hints of butterscotch and vanilla.
  • Banrock Station Chardonnay 2007, $19 (about $4.75 per 750 ml). Full, rich and slightly sweet; apple, pear and honey flavors accompanied by vanilla and buttery notes.
  • Black Box Monterey County Chardonnay 2008, $25 (about $6.25 per 750 ml). Understated, clean and balanced, with crisp acidity and light citrus and apple flavors.


If you can’t find the vintage tested, try another. Manufacturers strive to achieve consistency from one vintage to another.

Merlots tested by the CR team didn’t fare as well. The 2008 Banrock Station merlot, $19, and the 2007 Black Box California, $25 were deemed to be lower in quality: not very complex with overripe fruit. But, the tasters concluded, “if you’re having a big party and not a wine tasting, they could fill the bill. ”

So here’s your summer entertaining idea: A boxed wine tasting party. Let the group vote, and then let everyone pick numbers from a hat. In order, the guests get to take what’s left of their favorite boxed wine home. If your guests are big drinkers, can the prize drawing or buy extra boxes.

See THE NIBBLE’s Wine Section for more tips and entertaining ideas, including wine and cheese pairings, wine and chocolate pairings and wine and dessert pairings.

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