A riddle: What's pink, red or white, and comes in a box? Answer: Better wine than you might expect. You can't deny their convenience, but the box wine category has been dominated by inexpensive, mostly solid (if uninteresting) varietals. That's changing. For a few dollars more you can open the door to some really good juice. Here are three 3-liter boxed wines that are perfect for discriminating, everyday consumption:
From France's Coteaux de Languedoc, this wine is 100% Picpoul (pronounced peek-pool) from hillside vineyards planted in the coastal region of the Mediterranean. It is a delightfully crisp and dry white with bright grapefruit and lime aromas. The flavors are round and ripe with smooth citrus and melon fruit, and a long, refreshing finish. Definitely worth the price: The glass bottle version sells for around $14.
2018 Shania Rose, $22
This Spanish charmer is a lively blend of Syrah and Tempranillo. It opens with floral aromas of rose petal, citrus and melon. The flavors are bright and fresh, offering creamy strawberry, crisp lime, cherry, ruby red grapefruit and watermelon. The crisp finish lingers nicely. Format aside, this rose is currently one of my favorites.
An easy-drinking, light-bodied Portuguese red, the blend is dominated by Aragones (aka Tempranillo). The nose is a mix of red fruit aromas, while the palate is silky smooth. It's filled with creamy berry-fruit flavors with a delicate touch of spice on the finish—a great barbecue red to serve slightly chilled as the weather heats up.