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Here’s proof boxed wine can be downright delicious for the equivalent of $5 a bottle

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I’m always on the lookout for high-quality wine — not just drinkable, but delicious — in the box format. The bag-in-the-box keeps the wine fresh for several days and even weeks in the refrigerator, always available for a glass while cooking dinner, a splash for deglazing a pan, or a final sip while cleaning up. It is also more Earth-friendly, as producing and shipping glass bottles (full or empty) accounts for 60 percent of wine’s carbon footprint, and much of it is not recyclable.

This week, I’m happy to introduce boxed wines that offer terrific value and quality: a variety of wines from Argentina’s Domaine Bousquet, made from organic grapes in Mendoza’s Uco Valley, and a crisp, refreshing pinot grigio from Romania. They are each$20 for a three-liter box, the equivalent of $5 a bottle. Enjoy — and save a little money. And remember: When you finally drain the last of these wines, tear open the cardboard box and discard the plastic liner. Then, add the box to your paper recycling. If you toss both together, the whole thing will end up in the landfill.

To complete the weekly five wine picks, we also have some worthwhile bottles: an excellent red blend from southern France, a young, vibrant rioja from Spain and a delicious sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.

Te Awanga Estate, Wildsong Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Wildflower Vineyard

Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, $19

“Savvie” from New Zealand can be aggressive and grassy, or tropical and exotic. It is never boring. This beauty from Hawke’s Bay on the eastern side of New Zealand’s north island seems to hit the alchemy just right: It tastes of wild herbs and tropical fruit, with a bright acidity that lingers on my palate while directing my thoughts to the next sip. Irresistible, that is. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent.

Imported by Hendry Premium Imports, distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Rodman’s, Rosebud Liquor, Wagshal’s Deli. Available in Maryland at Aria Beer Wine & Deli, Beer Wine & Co., Georgetown Square Wine and Beer, Lance’s Beer and Wine and Shuvam Beer and Wine in Bethesda; Crescent Wine and Beer in Bowie; Gallery Market & Cafe in Rockville; Glenmont Beer & Wine and Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring; Village Beer & Wine in Poolesville. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese and Pentagon City Wine in Arlington; Cheesetique (Del Ray), Department of Beer and Wine and Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview) in Alexandria; Lokl Gourmet in McLean; Wine Cabinet in Reston.


Palacios Remondo La Vendimia 2018

Rioja, Spain, $14

La Vendimia is a “joven,” or young rioja — that means it is aged only a few months in oak before bottling and is meant to be consumed young. This sprightly wine is a blend of garnacha (grenache) and tempranillo, with hints of spice and herbs to flavor its berry fruit. This wine brought a smile at our table. ABV: 14.5 percent.

Imported by Folio, distributed in the District and Maryland by M. Touton Selection, in Virginia by RNDC: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Bacchus Wine Cellar, Bloomingdale Liquor, the Bottle Shop, Calvert Woodley, Downtown Liquors, Open Door Market, Modern Wine & Spirits, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Bay Wine & Spirits in North Beach, Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John, the Breadery in Catonsville, Cindy’s Spirits in Elkridge, Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, Greenbelt Co-Op in Greenbelt, Grosvenor Market in Rockville, Franklin Liquors in Ijamsville, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Port of Call Liquors in Solomons, Village Pump Liquors in College Park. Available in Virginia at Barcelona Wine Bar in Reston; Earls Kitchen & Bar in Tysons; Oakton Wine Shop & Bistro in Oakton; Total Wine & More (Alexandria, McLean).


Chateau Fontarèche Vieilles Vignes 2019

Corbieres, Languedoc, France, $14

Classic aromas of southern France rise from the glass: lavender, wild sage and thyme, blackberries and cherries. This blend of mourvedre, syrah and carignan delivers good depth and a long finish, too. ABV: 14.1 percent.

Imported and distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Hill Spirits Unlimited, Jefferson Liquor, Metro Supermarket, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, Tenley Market, Uptown Market, Wine & Butter. Available in Maryland at Cheese Galore & More in Baltimore, Edgewater Liquors in Edgewater, Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold, Lance’s Beer & Wine in Bethesda, Pine Orchard Liquors and the Wine Bin in Ellicott City, Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese and the Brew Shop in Arlington; Basic Necessities in Nellysford; Branch & Vine, Libbie Market, Oxford Cellars and Strawberry Street Vineyard in Richmond; Lee’s Market in Alexandria.


Domaine Bousquet Natural Origins Malbec

Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina, $20 for a three-liter box

Wow. In addition to this tasty, gulpable malbec, Domaine Bousquet’s line of Natural Origins box wine includes a cabernet sauvignon and a chardonnay. I’ve tried both reds, and they are outstanding. Do I really need to describe how they taste, at this price? They are freaking delicious. If you have been cutting your wine budget during this weird summer, these are wines for you. These are new to the market, and the Virginia distributor is in the early stages of marketing them, so the wines are not in stores yet but keep an eye out. ABV: 14.1 percent.

Imported by WISD, distributed in the District and Maryland by Opici, in Virginia by Virginia Imports. Available in the District at Yes! Organic Markets (various locations). Available in Maryland at Canton Crossing Wine + Spirits and Quarry Wine & Spirits in Baltimore, Kenilworth Wine & Spirits in Towson, King’s Craft Beer Wine & Deli and On the Vine Craft Beer & Wine in Rockville, Magothy Wine & Spirits in Severna Park.


I Am Pinot Grigio 2019

Romania, $20 for a three-liter box

Simple, crisp and refreshing — just what you want from a casual summer wine. Serve it well chilled. ABV: 12 percent.

Imported by Tri-Vin, distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at 6-Twelve Convenience Mart in Darnestown, Beer Wine & Co. in Bethesda, Cambridge Farmers Market in Cambridge, Chesapeake Wine Co. in Baltimore, Columbia Fine Wine & Spirits in Columbia, Country Boy Market in Wheaton, Eastport Liquors in Annapolis, Grape and Grain in Gaithersburg, House of Liquors in Westminster, Leonardtown Wine & Spirits in Leonardtown, Maple Lawn Wine & Spirits in Fulton, North Ridge Wine & Spirits in Ellicott City, Plaza Liquors in Pasadena, Thirsty’s in Salisbury, Tubby’s Diner & Liquors in Laurel, Whiskey River and Wine in Essex.

Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be sold at additional stores. Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

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