Regular readers of my wine stuff know that I do not much care for boxed wine for boxed wine’s sake. Poorly made wine in a box is still poorly made wine, despite being cheaper and more environmentally friendly. In fact, one could argue that poorly made boxed wine is even more of an environmental waste, since there is no reason for it to exist at all.

So when I find a boxed wine that is well made, I get giggly. Or at least as giggly as I can get. Which brings us to the Bota Box cabernet sauvignon (about $22 for three liters, the equivalent of four bottles, and available at Albertson’s, Kroger, Walmart, Goody Goody, Sigel’s, Majestic, and Quikway). It’s a simple, fruity (think cherry) California wine that is so much better than similar wines at this price that it’s difficult to believe. It doesn’t have any of the raw tannins these wines often have, it’s varietally correct, and it isn’t green – that is, it doesn’t have an unripe fruit flavor also typical of very cheap wines. Which, sadly, some of its Bota compatriots do.

It’s not quite as well done as the Avalon cabernet, but it’s also less than half the price. Which means it’s highly recommended and a candidate for the 2010 $10 Hall of Fame. Serve this with spaghetti and meatballs and burgers on the grill, or to people who only drink red wine.

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