Re: For Box Wine Drinkers
I discovered an odd 'secret' regarding box wines. There are two types of 'tap' employed. One has a plastic twist top valve on it that you twist to open and close again, whereupon it drips exactly 3.5 drops of wine onto whatever you have it positioned over. One has a push button, usually red, and covers the opening with a little piece of foil you have to remove before 'decanting'.
While i'm sure an exception will immediately become noted, its been my experience that the twist top valve based wines are sometimes okay but not that great. The push button equipped wines are usually a cut above.
Franzias "vintner select" wines arent horrifying but I wouldnt call them great. For between $1 and $1.50 per equivalent 'bottle' they're quite a bargain. The other franzia wine versions like 'old world classics' are kinda iffy. I use the vintner select as a cooking wine. Before we go down that road, personal experience and several noted taste testings like the one Cooks Magazine did a few months ago suggests that the use of "good" wine in cooking makes no difference in the finished product. In fact, in the Cooks testing, several box wines beat out some well regarded bottled wines for cooking purposes. And it stays good for an awful long time in the box whereas a bottle of wine with a cork stuck in it in the fridge will taste like crap within a couple of days.
Black box is decent but not cheap and unless you get it on sale, I'd go with yellowtail in the bottle. Delicato is decent. Hardys is also okay but their white wines seemed excessively floral...its like drinking a glass of perfume.
Another interesting product qualifier is that I've found few very good boxed wines in a 5l box, but the 3l box ones are usually good.
Also found some decent wines in the 1l box. Inexpensive way to try out some of the brands.
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.