Wine from a Box

When our friends, Nick and Marcy, invited us to a dinner party/box wine tasting earlier this week, I was skeptical. I pictured cardboard boxes with liters of chardonnay and sangria. Because that’s the extent of my experience with box wine.

But I should have known better. Nick is quite a connoisseur, after all. (Other Nick, not my Nick. Though we all agreed that they both have equally sizable noses that are well-suited for sniffing libations.)

Box wine has certainly come a long way since the Franzia from my college days.

Appetizer Course

  • We brought brie bites, which are so simple to make. Cut rounds of puff pastry, and place the pieces into a mini muffin tin. (You can also use phyllo cups.) Top with chunks of brie and a dollop of apple butter. Bake at 375°F for 12-15 minutes until cheese has melted. (Also very delicious topped with pepper jelly or cranberry sauce.)
  • Wine: Vendage Pinot Grigio from California (acidic, but not dry), NV

Salad Course

  • Anna and Ryan brought a big decorative bowl of autumn salad — including radicchio, Granny Smith apples, fennel, mint, and walnuts — with an orange vinaigrette. (Recipe here.)
  • Wine: Bandit Pinot Grigio from California (extra dry and luscious), NV

Main Course

  • Marcy served a fantastic lasagna from the Barefoot Contessa. The Gorgonzola was sharp and rich, and we all cleaned our plates.
  • Wine before the entrée: Blue and Yellow 2008 Organic Malbec from Argentina (dark, inky, viscous), 2008
  • Wine with the entrée: Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel from California (smelled like sweet blackberries with a hint of spice), NV

Dessert Course

  • Rachael and Casey played off the layered lasagna and brought ingredients to make our own apple pies: small round pie crusts, warm sautéed apples, and whipped cream.
  • Wine: A treat! Nick pulled out a bottle of 2006 Robertson Old Almond Grove Late Harvest from South Africa. It was similar to ice wine and fitting for the end of our delicious meal.

What’s your perception of box wine?

6 thoughts on “Wine from a Box

  1. I actually have enjoyed bandits on quite a few occasions 🙂 There are a lot of decent boxed wine options out there these days – a great trend I say!

  2. My perception of boxed wine is wild and totally ridiculous college nights, so I’d love to do something like this.

    I love how you organized this post! So simple and easy to read!

  3. I discovered how delicious Bandit is kinda-sorta by accident. Someone told me they loved it for cooking (bonus points for keeping fresh longer in the box) so I started buying it for that purpose… After a particularly rough day, I got a little desperate and poured myself a tall glass – thinking I’d have to water it down with some ice cubes… Nope! So yummy!

    My friend Carrie also raves about Yellow + Blue!

    Cheers for fancy boxed wine!

  4. HAHA Franzia. Oh how I sometimes miss the night when you would get to the bottom of the box, pull out the bag of wine, and continue to squeeze every last bit. We were very poor college students. Actually- I’m with you on the box o wine thing – I didn’t know they could be nice until a couple years ago when JK’s dad brought over this AWESOME and gorgeous small box with DELICIOUS wine. YUM. I miss wine. I’m going to go cry in the corner now.

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