Photos by Seth Stevenson; Prop Styling by Ryan Louis.

While a corked bottle may be the best vessel for the musty corners of a creepy old cellar, the much-maligned box with its plastic bladder is actually the best vessel for the other 99.8% of wine consumed. Not only is the packaging much more environmentally friendly, it also keeps the wine fresher, longer, by keeping O2 at bay. And its high portability and rough-and-tumble nature means it’s your perfect companion for a day at the beach. Here are three options that don’t sacrifice on the quality that’s inside these ingenious packages.

Cape Fynbos Chenin Blanc, $30

South African chenin blanc is already one of the world’s great values, but this is next-level appealing. Unlike the many producers that dumb down their box-packaged wine, Cape Fynbos has channelled all of the lovely acidity, quince and crisp pear notes in this chenin to make it the perfect partner for, truthfully, all of the recipes listed here and almost anything else someone might bring to the shindig.

La Vieille Ferme Rosé, $42

Rosé is a must at the beach, but most box wines dial up the sweetness, which is the kiss of death with food and exhausts the palate early especially in the heat. This offering from France’s Ventoux region treads the perfect line between dry enough to pair with a jackfruit sandwich but featuring enough ripe cherry notes to make it crowd pleasing if you’re sipping it between Spikeball matches.

Hester Creek Cabernet Merlot, $56

One of the chief problems with box wine is that wineries often fill it with their less-than-premium offerings, but if you love the juicy, lush fruit and soft tannins of Hester Creek’s cab-merlot, then here you go—four bottles’ worth of the exact same juice with some savings thrown in to boot. This is the future of box wines.


This story was originally published in the July/August 2023 print issue of Western Livingfind the digital issue here.