When you’re on a budget, bag-in-the-box wines like this serviceable red blend make a great choice. This is especially true if you shop for the 3-liter size, which consistently offers better wine than the larger 5-liter boxes.

The 3-liter size has been adopted by vintners for a better class of bargain wines in recent years, and those that retail for $18 and up in Pennsylvania typically contain wine of a similar style and quality level that you might find at retail priced $8 to $12 for a standard 750 ml bottle.

Packaging wine in lightweight, square containers is far more efficient than using heavier round bottles that take up more space and are heavier to ship. These economies of scale mean that wine drinkers can save at least 25% — and up to 50% — off the cost by choosing the box.

The 3-liter boxes contain the equivalent of four standard bottles and can keep the wine tasting fresh for up to 60 days after it’s opened. That makes them ideal for all sorts of purposes, whether you’re entertaining large groups or just looking for a reliable house wine that doesn’t break the bank.

Big House wine company makes some of the most reliable wines in the 3-liter size. Originally founded by Randall Graham, one of the legends of California’s fine-wine revolution, it takes its name from its proximity to Soledad State Prison in Monterey County.

This red blend is among their most popular cuvées nationally, dedicated to the most famous bootlegger of the Prohibition era — Al Capone. It offers a soft, rich mouthfeel and robust taste, with dark, spiced fruit flavors of peppered black cherries and gooey blueberry jam. Sadly, it is being discontinued in Pennsylvania stores, so snap it up at this discounted rate while you can, and keep an eye out for other Big House bargains moving forward.

Big House “Prohibition Red” California (3-liter box)

$18.99 13.5% alcohol

PLCB Item #5308

Sale price through Nov. 1 – regularly $21.99

Also available at:

Total Wine & More in Wilmington and Claymont, Del. — $17.99

Super Buy Rite in West Deptford and Williamstown, N.J. — $19.99