Boxing Club: Putting the cheapest of the cheap bagged wines head-to-head

Spinnaker

You might not recognize the man who passed March 30 by his name, Thomas Agnove, but you would certainly recognize the invention he crafted in 1965 which made him famous and rest of us drunk, for a bargain. Yes, unfortunately folks, Agnove, the Australian (of course) man behind the glory that is boxed wine no longer walks (or stumbles) among us. In this great man’s memory, we decided to put the two least expensive (both $9.99) varieties Total Wine had to offer of these adult juiceboxes to the test. And what did the three different (and totally legal) palates have to say about the low-cost, high-buzz libations? Read on, dear reader, read on.

Inglenook, Classic Burgundy

Beca:

I will openly admit I’m generally a bang-for-your-buck kind of gal when it comes to boozing, so my fridge and liver have seen many boxes of wine. Honestly, besides the fact that it’s an economical choice, the bigger fact is most 20-somethings will not know (or care about) the difference between single vineyard pinot noir and passion fruit-infused Merlot. We know red, white and “hey, dinner goes down a bit more jolly with a glass of that.” In short, I’m usually not terribly picky with wine, so keep that in mind whilst eyeing my opinions.

Although perhaps not the most delicious on its own, I feel like this wine would make a succulent sangria base. It tasted far from dry but a little boring.

I don’t really see where the “classic” fits in here unless it’s the tried-‘n’-true cliche of college kids hunting and guzzling down bargain boozes with minimal wincing involved.

Perhaps if I paired the vino with some nice fruit and outdoor activity rather than week-old crackers and mind-numbing homework, my sentiment’d ring much more positively.

Kim:

Well, the only reference I have to box wine is from watching the Kathy Griffin Show and listening to her unrelenting jokes about how all her mother needs is her box of wine. Because of this, box wine has forever possessed a grandma connotation, and because I aim to keep up a semblance of “badassness” whilst boozing, I never thought twice about bringing this potion-filled quadrilateral to the party.

I do enjoy wine, I’m no expert, but I can definitively say what tastes good to me and what tastes like crap. Test sample number one, the Inglenook Classic Burgundy, was very juicy and not dry at all. I normally prefer my reds to have a bite, go down smooth but still have an amount of dryness which makes you want to pucker after swallowing.

The Burgundy didn’t really do it for me. It certainly smelled like wine, tasted like wine and fuzzed the brain like wine, but I don’t think I would have chosen to drink a second glass. For $9.99, the fun little knob is entertaining, and it does intrigue me that one’s able to pour wine into a glass in the same fashion that one sequesters water from a Culligan tank, but I guarantee you can find a better tasting wine from a good region for the same price — that actually has a cork.

Erik:

Burgundy my dear
teeth kissed bright red stale
go back to your box

Like a gas station hooker, yes, Burgundy, you filled the need, but please don’t expect to see me again for a while. Burgundy, like a gas station hooker, what did you leave me with the morning after, and why does it hurt as it does?

Inglenook’s Classic burgundy, of whom’s (I’m convinced) grapevines run along the same strand as many of the other swanky-sounding yet mediocre-tasting gas station wines — and yes, I’m talking about you, wild Irish rose.

Like Burgundy’s gas station wine brothers and sisters, the onset and tipsy feeling came on faster than expected, followed with a feeling of “what did I just do to myself?”

So let’s break down the positives and negatives. Positive: Because of Burgundy’s ergonomic box packaging, you can probably fit more booze per square foot in the back corner of your garage. Negative: If you have anything else to drink, the dusty, yet efficiently stacked, pile of wine in the corner will remain as such.

Franzia, Chillable Red

Beca:

Franzia, ahh, yes, the real classic in this ballgame. Since it had the ability, I tried the scarlet slosh on ice.

It was really watery and thus went down easily, despite the slightly overwhelmingly sweet overall taste.

Franzia’s Chillable Red’s probably best consumed toward the end of the night, once you’re already sprawled on a couch, so soaked in whiskey it just doesn’t even matter anymore. Also, it might be nice at dinner parties.

Kim:

Oh, my God, gag! This is coming from a girl who barely enjoys the citric sweetness of a good sauvignon blanc, let alone a rose, so I guess I have freak taste buds or something.

The Chillable Red was sweeter than a red gummy bear, and I honestly couldn’t take more than two sips. There is a tasting protocol I think for wine, one taste for palette acclimation, two for judgment and the third is supposed to be for confirmation, but this isn’t something I felt the need to confirm.

This is certainly a wine my aunts would enjoy while listening to Michael Buble on a Sunday evening while talking about babies and God.

I thought, I wonder if the plastic “Mondo Juice Drink” is encompassed in affects the flavor? And then I thought, Am I ingesting plastic-generated toxins and drinking puke-worthy wine at the same time voluntarily? At this point, I immediately put down my glass and switched to water.

Erik:
Out of the three of us, I perhaps have the most feminine perspective out of the bunch when it comes to taste.

I love sweet things! There I said it, the more sugar in my coffee, the better — and hell, throw some in my wine … why not? Not to say I flock to the Smirnoff like the little sisters of yesteryear, but Chillable Red by Franzia certainly didn’t share the bitter sass of its boxy friend — and hey, I’m not complaining.

No, this beverage will not grow a single hair on your chest, and believe me, I checked.

But all masculinity aside, Chillable Red is pretty much an oversized, slightly alcoholic juicebox — but as it stands now, no, I probably wouldn’t buy it again, but did the scraped knee, elementary school playground version of my subconscious who still thoroughly digs sweets finally find a drink besides margaritas he could enjoy? I think so.