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Boxed Up

Boxed French wine is nothing to joke about


Would You Drink It from a Box? The French Invasion

I'm not sure what wine goes with green eggs and ham, but I do know that the quality of box wines has vastly improved over the past couple of years. Actually, it's the availability of quality box wines that's improved. Worthy versions have been sold in countries like Australia, Spain and France for quite a long time. Though we're still playing catch-up, some of these box wines are finally making their way to Boise. Each 3-liter box is the equivalent of four regular bottles, but priced significantly less, and it stays fresh for about six weeks after opening. Here are three favorites: one rose, one red and one white.

2014 Commanderie de la Bargemone Rose, $42

A Provencal blend of grenache, syrah, cinsault, cabernet sauvignon and carignan, with a dollop of white varieties, including sauvignon blanc and ugni blanc, this wine displays just a whisper of pink shading. Offering aromas and flavors of grapefruit, strawberry and bright cherry, it's very food friendly, but is also great for sippin' while chillin' on the deck. And you save a whopping $22 over the four-bottle price.

La Vieille Ferme Rouge, $26

Produced by the Perrin family of Beaucastel fame, this blend of grenache, syrah, carignan and cinsault is an easy-drinking, medium-bodied red. A fruit-forward wine, it's filled with smooth berry and dark currant flavors with a touch of licorice. The perfect match for barbecue, this box is priced $10 less than the glass bottle alternative.

2013 Picpoul de Pinet La Petit Frog, $37

From the south of France, picpoul (aka folle blanche) is often compared to muscadet, and like that wine, it goes well with all seafood, especially oysters. A crisp and refreshing white with bright citrus aromas, this wine boasts flavors of lime and ripe grapefruit on the palate. It's a refreshing spring and summer sipper, and you'll save $16 over the per-bottle price.