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View Full Version : Do you use box wine


UnConundrum
02-26-2009, 07:57 PM
Cooks Illustrated recently suggested that box wine is probably best for cooking as it has a good shelf life.... wine not being exposed to air, etc. So, I stopped by our local state store (I'm in PA) and found a whole aisle lined with box wines (I never noticed before). Unfortunately, I never heard of any of the brands/wineries. Does anyone have a favorite for cooking? I use wine mostly for pan sauces for steaks and when I make stocks...

PieSusan
02-26-2009, 08:01 PM
The best advice that I can offer is to buy a few and taste them for yourself. They aren't that expensive either and you can do a flight and see what you prefer.

High Cheese
02-26-2009, 08:02 PM
My Mom used to keep a "box" in the fridge back in the day. I used to put my yap under the spout and hit the button. LMAO

Maybe that explains it?:alc:

FryBoy
02-26-2009, 08:14 PM
The best advice that I can offer is to buy a few and taste them for yourself. They aren't that expensive either and you can do a flight and see what you prefer.
Except you have to buy like a gallon of the plonk. Most of it is barely recognizable as wine, although it won't kill you. Usually.

Two better alternatives that work with many dishes are Dry Sherry (Paul Mason is decent for cooking) and Vermouth (try Martini & Rossi). They are higher alcohol than table wines and consequently will keep well in the refrigerator for months after being opened.

These wines have a lot more flavor than regular run-of-the-mill cheap white wine, and they aren't overloaded with oak like some cheap Chardonnays. And as a bonus, you can actually nip at the cooking sherry without gagging or make a nice martini while you cook.

UnConundrum
02-26-2009, 08:19 PM
Susan, for all I love to cook, I've never developed a taste for wine. My son is working on one, and dragging my wife with him, but I just don't get it... go figure. So I could buy one of each and after tasting them, I'd just try to figure out which one gave me the headache....

Doug, I do use vermouth and sherry a lot... But I like a red too, and wanted to check out Cooks idea.

joec
02-26-2009, 08:29 PM
I read that same article Warren but we get wines here to cook with that is pretty cheap. I've found the cheaper ones don't tend to have subtle flavors so when cooking it does impart the flavor a bit better than the more expensive or better wines. Based on that article I figured next time around I might pick up a couple of them and give them a try. I now buy my beef, chicken and vegetable stocks that way, in boxes with them being easy to seal and keep in the refrigerator unlike the can versions.

buzzard767
02-26-2009, 08:39 PM
Here are some ideas thanks to google.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/12/30/WIGQRAI8FM1.DTL&type=wine

joec
02-26-2009, 08:45 PM
Thanks for that Buzz.

Keltin
02-26-2009, 09:06 PM
Box wines are great and keep for a LONG time due to the airless environment. Get a Chardonay and Merlot. That covers all your bases (white and red).

PanchoHambre
02-26-2009, 09:24 PM
Some of it is vile some of it is OK... certainly not for the wine connoisseur but the same as a cheap bottle. They have a lot more options now than they used to.

I usually like to mix it up with wine so I really don't buy them but some friends are really big on them. Very convenient and affordable.

seems like it would come in handy for cooking especially if you are not a bit wine drinker.

babe
02-26-2009, 10:09 PM
i really don't drink much wine. not to good for diabetics. but when i go i buy it by the bottle. barefoot is a new brand here that i like a lot. they also make a decent champ. priced to be affordable. is hard to find though. my daughter in law drinks a lot and i mean a lot of boxed wine. tastes like vingar to me. don't cook with it much unless i have guests then i use the one i drink.

joec
02-26-2009, 10:10 PM
I don't drink wine either but it is great to cook with.

Keltin
02-26-2009, 10:11 PM
It's definitely on the "cheap" side, but does well for cooking, and after a glass or two, it tastes pretty darn good. :yum:

It certainly beats those "cooking wines" hands down!

UnConundrum
02-26-2009, 10:13 PM
Keltin, do you have a brand/winery suggestion?

PieSusan
02-26-2009, 10:24 PM
Susan, for all I love to cook, I've never developed a taste for wine. My son is working on one, and dragging my wife with him, but I just don't get it... go figure. So I could buy one of each and after tasting them, I'd just try to figure out which one gave me the headache....

Doug, I do use vermouth and sherry a lot... But I like a red too, and wanted to check out Cooks idea.

My grocery stores sells the little 4 packs of different kinds of wine, too. Often, they sell odds and ends when someone breaks apart a carton and they put them in a basket. These are sold rather quickly for the very purpose of which you speak. People want to use a little table wine in a dish.

Also, some of the wines in boxes have their bottle counterparts. That would be cheaper.

When I think of the wine in the box, it reminds me of high school and going to rock and classical concerts.

UnConundrum
02-26-2009, 10:27 PM
I don't think single bottles would be any cheaper. At least, it's hard for me to imagine. I think all the boxes are 3 liter. There were quite a few offerings in the $14.95 range.... That's like a $5 bottle! Problem is that I have no familiarity with the brands and was hoping someone would give some advice.

Maverick2272
02-26-2009, 10:50 PM
I am not a huge fan of wine, but DW likes it. However, she does not drink very much of it. As a result, we often end up wasting some because I don't use it all up and she doesn't drink all of the rest.
As a result, I have been contemplating getting some of the boxed wines as I have heard they last much longer.

Fisher's Mom
02-26-2009, 11:10 PM
i really don't drink much wine. not to good for diabetics. but when i go i buy it by the bottle. barefoot is a new brand here that i like a lot. they also make a decent champ. priced to be affordable. is hard to find though. my daughter in law drinks a lot and i mean a lot of boxed wine. tastes like vingar to me. don't cook with it much unless i have guests then i use the one i drink.I love Barefoot sparkling wine and also I've had some great Barefoot white wine. It's very popular here now so I find it at every grocery store and even WalMart!

I use box wine for cooking and it's great for that. I usually get Franzia because that's what's available at WalMart. But I'm going to check out the Target Wine Box after reading the reviews at the link Buzz posted. Thanks, Buzz!

Keltin
02-26-2009, 11:11 PM
I don't think single bottles would be any cheaper. At least, it's hard for me to imagine. I think all the boxes are 3 liter. There were quite a few offerings in the $14.95 range.... That's like a $5 bottle! Problem is that I have no familiarity with the brands and was hoping someone would give some advice.


Box is definitely cheaper. We can get the 5 Liter boxes here...at Wal-Mart........so you should be able to find them. Franzia and Almaden are both good for whites. Almaden is the better choice for reds. You can get a Chardonnay, 5 Liters, for 14.95...that's right at $3 per liter bottle (typical wine bottles are only 750mL). It keeps forever and is great for cooking. Just stick it in your pantry and use it when you need it - no need to refrigerate. If you want to drink it, get a carafe and fill it, chill it, then drink.

Rob Babcock
02-27-2009, 12:25 AM
I buy box wine for cooking and drinking. Wait, wait...don't everyone :puke1:at once!:yum: Obviously most box wine isn't as good as most bottled wine, but there's no inherent reason that one must be better. For marketing reasons we make a distinction but there are several boxes that are pretty good and plenty of undrinakable crap in bottles.

A few I buy:

Black Box Cab- In Robin Goldstein's book The Wine Trials Black Box trounced most of the competition ranking 14th out of 135 in the New World Reds catagory. Not much nose to it and it's a bit simple but a very drinkable Cab for the equivalent of $6.25 per bottle.

Hardey's Cab- This is a pretty drinkable Aussie Cab available here for about $12 per box (about $3 per bottle!). Not fantastic but also serviceable with food or in recipes, decent enough to unwind with after work. Surprisingly enough their box Chard is actually much better than most $10 Chards I've had. I would rather drink the Hardy's Chardonnay than the Kendall Jackson (some of the most overrated wines on the planet, IMOHO).

Pinot Evil Pinot Noir- A French boxed Pinot that's really great for cooking, and you can get several batches of Coq au Vin out of one box! About $17 for a 3 litre box.

Before the more serious oenophiles string me up I'll say I tend to favor conventionally packaged wines but I do supplement them with boxed. I have wine with most meals I cook at home and like most pro cooks, I'm a lush!:yum: You're not going to drink a $50 bottle for dinner every night.

joec
02-27-2009, 12:36 AM
I have actually found the better drinking wines don't add much to a dish when used in the cooking. Over the last year I've actually gotten more taste for the inexpensive wines for cooking but if wine is served with the meal I try to keep it the same type as drank with the dinner. I personally don't like wine for drinking but love it used in some recipes. I've not tried the boxed but the fact that it stores longer is really great for me since as I said I don't drink the stuff.

RNE228
02-27-2009, 11:29 AM
Cooks Illustrated recently suggested that box wine is probably best for cooking as it has a good shelf life.....

No. We live in the middle of the Sierra foothills, right in the middle os the Gold Country wineries. There are about 70 small local wineries within an hour of our house. Eldorado and Amador counties have some amazing wineries. Napa is less than two hours away. But it is packed and snobby compared to the foothills. We always have something on hand to drink or cook with.

sattie
02-27-2009, 02:19 PM
I have found this box wine that I like from World Market, Wine for Grilling (red), and Wine for Chillin (white). I like to drink them but never really thought about cooking with it. That is a good idea though!

joec
02-27-2009, 02:27 PM
I'm looking for two reds and a single white wine. I use a sweet red for some things and a dry red for others. White wine I don't use often as they go bad with in a couple of days of opening them so I tend to use vermouth in place of them for most things calling for white wines.

bigjim
02-27-2009, 02:54 PM
My grocery stores sells the little 4 packs of different kinds of wine, too. Often, they sell odds and ends when someone breaks apart a carton and they put them in a basket. These are sold rather quickly for the very purpose of which you speak. People want to use a little table wine in a dish.

Also, some of the wines in boxes have their bottle counterparts. That would be cheaper.

When I think of the wine in the box, it reminds me of high school and going to rock and classical concerts.
This same trick works well for other alcohols. Even in Virginia, the ABC stores carry a wide variety of liquor in single serving bottles.

I have never had a problem with wine goiing bad in my kitchen. I do not cook with wine I would not serve or drink, and no wine ever last over a couple of days.

joec
02-27-2009, 03:01 PM
I rarely but bourbon, whiskey, brandy etc in anything other than shorts for cooking unless the recipe calls for a bit more like some brandy dishes. In that case a pint will usually handle it but they don't go bad as a rule. I do use a lot of wines in my cooking but white wines seem to be my biggest problem though the reds if re-corked and placed stored on their sides hold up a little longer. I don't drink much more than a beer or two any more and never was a heavy drinker even when I was young and really stupid.

UnConundrum
02-27-2009, 05:23 PM
Thanks a bunch Rob. That's what I was looking for. Black Box was one of the brands offered, so I now have a starting point :)