The best wines in everything from boxes to cans

January 9, 2009 1:07:21 PM PST
While boxed wines and bottles with twist-off closures have earned the negative reputation in the past as being cheap and poor quality, some brands of wine are crushing this stereotype with amazing wines that rival the traditional cork competition. Efrain Madrigal, Wine Director from Sam's Wines and Spirits, shares his picks for the best wines with unconventional closures.

Twist-Off Closures

Twist-off wines are no longer associated with the cheap wines of the past. Many wines are actually switching to twist-off closures to prevent wine from cork taint.

Efrain's Suggestion: Arona Sauvignon Blanc 2007 750 ml , $15.99- A gorgeous, New Zealand white with big aromas of citrus, especially grapefruit on a lush, rich palate. This wine pairs well with intensely flavored foods like Indian, Mexican or Thai dishes.

Boxed Wine

Boxed wines are a great alternative packaging of wine both for the price and convenience. Due to the large volume (boxed wine is usually three liters or the equivalent to 4 bottles of wine), you get more wine for your dollar, and a box of wine keeps fresh for over 30 days. Wine is also being seen offered in recyclable aseptic boxes in either 1 liter boxes or individual servings, just like your lunchtime juice box!

Efrain's Suggestion: Giacomo Sangiovese Toscana 2006, $23.99- This is a terrific Tuscan red, with plenty of red cherry, spice and fragrant earth notes. Soft to medium-bodied, this wine is perfect with all sorts of meat and pasta dishes.

Efrain's Suggestion: French Rabbit Pinot Noir 2006 1 L $9.99- A convenient package, filled with a fine Pinot from France! The convenient liter box packaging makes this wine easy to tote along to picnics and tailgates.

Aluminum Cans

The can is no longer just for beer! The newest offering seen in Sparkling Wines is packaging in Aluminum Cans.

Efrain's Suggestion: Coppola "Sofia" NV 187 ml, $4.99 each or $16.99 per 4-pack- The Sofia, named for Francis Ford Coppola's daughter, is a delicious sparkling wine, reminiscent of a fine Champagne. These beautiful pink cans even come with mini-straws included.

Plastic Bottles

Another eco-friendly and cost-efficient packaging being seen is the use of plastic bottles. Many of the Beaujolais Nouveaus at Sam's this season were in plastic bottles. The plastic bottles were a way for the producer to save money on shipping and packaging costs, but also an eco-friendly way to use a recyclable material and save on energy transportation costs.

Efrain's Suggestion: Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau 2008 750 ml $9.99- A fun, fruit-bomb of wine packaged in a light, recyclable plastic (PET) bottle.