Product Review: Boxed Wines

A couple years ago, I had read an article in Fine Cooking on boxed wines. Back then, I wasn’t a big wine drinker, but I knew that boxed wine didn’t have a great reputation. I decided to try it anyway – Fine Cooking had never steered me wrong; I didn’t drink or cook with wine often enough so wanted something that would keep for a while; and you can’t beat the price (most are under $20 for the equivalent of 4 regular 750 ml bottles).

I’ve only tried one of boxed wines recommended in FC and in a later issue of Food Network Magazine, not because I don’t want to, but because I haven’t been able to find all the brands or I forgot which ones were recommended. However, I wanted to share this list with you anyway.

If you’ve tried any of these, please leave a comment – both myself and future readers will thank you for your input! =)

Recommended White Wines:

Banrock Station Chardonnay, from Australia

Black Box Chardonnay, from Napa Valley

I have tried the chardonnay, pinot grigio, and shiraz and have enjoyed them all, although the pinot grigio is my favorite, with a nice light flavor.

DTour Chardonnay

Wine Block Chardonnay

Angel Juice Pinot Grigio

Also tried Bota Box Pinot Grigio (Dec. 2009) – it’s a sweeter pinot but still very good.

Recommended Red Wines:

Hardys Stamp of Australia Merlot

Delicator Shiraz, from California

Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon, from Paso Robles

I have tried the chardonnay, pinot grigio, and shiraz and have enjoyed them all, so I would recommend giving the cabernet sauvigon a shot (sadly shiraz is the only red wine I drink!)

Wine Block Cabernet Sauvignon

Banrock Station Merlot, from Australia

Boho Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Pinot Evil

Oct. 2010 Update: Since wring this, I have also tried various wines from Bota Box and Fish Eye Wine. Would recommend both.

Sources: Fine Cooking No. 79 (July 2006, p. 34-35)

Food Network Magazine (Nov/Dec 2008)

Photos compliments of Black Box and the Block Wines.

Cardamom White Hot Cocoa

I saw a recipe for a Cardamon-Clove White Cocoa in a new cookbook I was given, Williams Sonoma’s Cooking for Friends (p. 235).¬† I have only had cardamom once, in a cranberry pear tart, and really enjoyed the flavoring and wanted to try it out again.

This recipe was inspired by that in the WS cookbook, but has been simplified so that it could be a quick afternoon snack on a cold day. It’s got a great, light flavor of the cardamon and white chocolate. Enjoy!

Cardamom White Hot Cocoa

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. good quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • a heaping 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom, plus some for sprinkling

In a small saucepan, heat milk and cardamon until hot and almost simmering. Remove from heat. Add white chocolate  and whisk until chocolate has melted.

Pour into a mug.  Serve hot with a sprinkle of cardamon on top.