Top 10 Boxed Wines 2011 available in the US

The Ausin Cronicle did their second Great Boxed-Wine Challenge. Below are the results

        1. Jack Tone Vineyards Red Wine 17.2
        2. Big House Unchained Naked Chardonnay 16.6
        3. Patch Block Merlot 16.3
        4. Jack Tone Vineyards White Wine 15.7
        5. FishEye Shiraz 14.3
        6. Bota Box Chardonnay 14.0
        7. Big House Red 13.5
        8. Bota Box Cabernet Sauvignon 12.4
        9. Pinot Evil Pinot Grigio 11.9
        10. La Vieille Ferme Red 11.1



19-20: A world-famous wine maker is coming to dinner.

16-18.9: This is a candidate for my house wine.

11-15.9: Recommendable as a house wine for the general public

6-10.9: Nice pick for a party of 200 in your backyard

0-5.9: Plonk. Where's the dump bucket?


The Panel

Their panel of judges was about as good as they come. In alphabetical order by last name, they had:

Stan Adams, owner of Siena Ristorante Toscana and three Brick Oven pizzerias

Brenda Audino, corporate wine manager and education director for Twin Liquors, a certified wine specialist and accredited sommelier by the International Sommelier Guild

Devon Broglie, master sommelier and coordinator of all specialty products for Whole Foods Market's Southwest region; Broglie also won the Texas' Best Sommelier Competition in 2006

Crutch Crutchfield, consumer and founding member of one of Austin's oldest and most renowned tasting groups, the Original Zinners  

Lisa Fox, owner of Asti and Fino, both perennial Austin Chronicle Restaurant Poll favorites

Dan Gatlin, owner and winemaker at Inwood Estates Vineyards, widely considered one of Texas' top wineries

Susan Gayle, consumer, self-anointed Queen of Spoons, host of Food Love Austin (Thursdays at 2pm on KOOP 91.7FM), and expert on backyard chicken coops

Wes Marshall, your current writer, a regular contributor to The Austin Chronicle, and author of What's a Wine Lover To Do? (Artisan) and The Wine Roads of Texas (Maverick)

Don Pullum, owner of Akashic Vineyard and winemaker for Sandstone Cellars Winery, Torre di Pietra Winery, Junction Rivers Winery, and Pon­to­toc Vineyard Winery; Edgar Cayce's fifth ­cousin, thrice removed

Dan Redman, wine broker and owner of Mosaic Wine Group and Certified Specialist of Wine

June Rodil, beverage director of Congress (including Second Bar + Kitchen, Bar Congress, and Congress), Texas' Best Sommelier 2009, and a Wine & Spirits magazine Best New Sommelier 2011

Darcy Sacks, manager at the Austin Wine Mer­chant, previously of the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas and Spicewood Vineyards

Mark Sayre, sommelier for TRIO at the Four Seasons, Texas' Best Sommelier 2007, and a Wine & Spir­itsmagazine Best New Sommelier 2010; Mark was also the host of our event

James Tidwell, master sommelier, beverage manager for the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Dallas, co-founder of the Texas Sommelier Conference and Texas Sommelier Association, certified wine educator and James Beard Foun­dation Award semifinalist in 2011 for Outstanding Wine Service

Steve Tipton, consum­er and wine collector; in his spare time, he's a board-certified attorney in personal injury trial law, civil appellate law, and workers' compensation law

Sources: Our 2011 Top 10 Boxed Wines and Sipping From the Spigot, Vol. 2

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