Most wines come in glass bottles, but Americans are more open to drinking their wine from a box than ever before.

When people talk about box wine, they’re usually thinking of the large bag-in-box formats that contain three or five liters of wine. These make terrific choices for those who want their nightly tipple in an “economy size” they can keep on the kitchen counter or in the fridge door. But boxes also have the advantage of making wine more portable because they are considerably lighter than glass bottles and produce less bulky waste.

Three-liter boxes are great for big outdoor celebrations, such as family reunions or holiday barbecues, as well as for summer travels by RV or sailboat. But they can be too bulky for many outdoor activities that involve fewer people or shorter trips, such as a day at the beach or a wilderness hike. However, a different type of box — known as the Tetra-Pak — has made it possible to protect wine quality in the same types of cartons used for juices and soups, which are insulated with a micro-thin layer of aluminum and coated with a food-safe polymer lining.

As boxes have gained wider acceptance, we have seen higher-quality wines moving into these practical and cost-effective containers, as with this “adventure-ready” Chardonnay from California, which offers pristine flavors of golden apples and cantaloupe melons. Its 1L Tetra-Pak takes up roughly the same amount of space as a traditional 750 ml bottle, but is both lighter in weight and contains 33 percent more wine, or 6½ glasses.

Bandit Chardonnay
Courtesy of Rebel Wine Co.
Bandit Chardonnay

Bandit Chardonnay, Calif. $7.99 (regularly $9.99; sale price through June 23). PLCB Item #8613