It’s time to dig out your camping gear, air out the tent, and start planning the backcountry adventures you will embark upon as our fine state is released from winter’s grasp.  Spring is upon us and soon we will be in the heart of summer, and the best way to enjoy it is to pack up and head out for a camping trip.

In an effort to take one thing off your checklist before you head out, we embarked on the enviable task of finding just the right box of wine to toss into your pack before you head out. Why box wine you ask? Simple, it weighs less than bottled vino, packs down to nothing, and you can toss it into a stream to chill without fear of it breaking. Plus vintners are putting better liquid into boxes these days and advancements in technology keep it fresher. After several days of cracking open plastic casks of vino, here are four to bring along on your next adventure.

Bota Box
Using grapes from Napa, Lodi, Monterey, and Sonoma, Bota Box wines will satisfy your wine craving. Their Merlot and Old Vine Zinfandel are award winners, and the Chardonnay was excellent. Since they are packaged in 100% recycled paper, the box is held together with cornstarch not glue, the ink is soy based, and there are no BPAs in the bag, you can feel good about yourself while you sip. Spend a day hiking in the San Juan Mountains and then break this wine out.

Bota Box 500ml - 3L Cabernet

 

French Rabbit
You know that boxed wines are becoming more mainstream when you can find a French box wine next to an American box wine on the shelf. With grapes sourced from the Vin de Pays d’Oc region in Southern France—home to the Mediterranean coast and the Pyrenees Mountains—we were excited to pour ourselves a glass. We were not disappointed.  The Pinot Noir was tasty and the Cabernet full-bodied. The packaging is eco-friendly and for every four sold, the company will plant a tree in collaboration with Americanforests.org so you are actually helping rebuild our forests by drinking it.

French Rabbit

 

Yellow+Blue
This company is the only one that is 100% carbon neutral in the wine business. Their organic wines were one of the best we tasted and their affordable price makes it painless on your wallet. With grapes from Spain, Argentina, and California, this is not your run-of-the-mill box wine, but rather a mid-level wine that will brighten the mood around any campfire. Their Monastrell wine is a full-bodied red that will take the chill of any chilly night.

Y+B

 

Black Box
This was the best overall box we cracked open. With 48 gold medals and 27 “Best Buys” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Black Box Wines set the standard for the grab-and-go set. And they should, owned by Constellation Brands one of the largest wine makers in the world, they have access to outstanding grapes from across the globe. Advertised with the tagline “Award-Winning Wines at 40% Less” they are easy on the wallet yet pretty damn good after a day packing into the wilderness. Their Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc are well made with great flavor and quite tasty.

20111216-black-box-primary
So class up your campsite the next time you head out and sip on some vino while your amigos dig into the whiskey bottle. That’s sophisticated camping, and your friends will thank you.