Boxed wines have come of age. A number of wineries are now boxing some of their higher end wines in boxes. According to April Schlanger, owner of Sip...A Wine Store in Cary, North Carolina, boxes can have a smaller carbon footprint. They are often made from recycled material, use no toxic glues and can be printed with soy inks. Your wine is guaranteed to remain fresher longer and you often get more wine for your money. No need to pack a wine key on your next outdoor adventure; just don't forget cups. Recyclable cups are even better. This is a win-win for you and the environment.

April's picks:

1.  Yellow+Blue Winery. Created by Matthew Cain, formerly with Kermit Lynch Imports, each carton of Yellow+Blue has a carbon footprint half that of the average bottle. Cain sources high-quality, certified organic wine from around the world and ships it in bulk in Tetra Pak containers. The wines are delicious and are bound to change the image of boxed wine. Spanish Rose, Argentina Malbec and Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. $10.50 for a liter.

2. Bota Box. Box sources their juice from some sustainable vineyards in California and then boxes it. The boxes are printed directly on 100% recycled kraft paper (containing 100% post-consumer fiber), which is not bleached like white paper, and paper layers are bonded together with cornstarch instead of glue. The inks are soy-based instead of petroleum-based and the bag inside does not contain phthalate plasticizers or BPA. The box is 100% recyclable. The juice is yummy, too. Try a 3-liter of Pinot Grigio or Shiraz for $21.50. That's equal to 4 bottles at $5.38 each. 

3. 2009 VJ Riesling Q.b.A. trocken, Pfalz, Germany. Farmed sustainable. A well-balanced dry and harmonious white, with an abundance of mineral, pear and honeydew notes. A great food wine that will pair well with spicy cuisine, shellfish and port. $36 for a 3-liter.

4. 2009 Montirius, "Le Cadet" VDP de Vaucluse, France. Certified biodynamic and vegan. A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, this blend is velvety and rich. Aromas of red and black berries with some spicy pepper, leather and earthy characteristics on the palate. A perfect complement for grilled meats, salmon and grilled vegetables. $40 for a 3-liter.

5. Govina Wine Glasses. Shatterproof and recyclable, the ultimate go-anywhere wine glass. Made from a proprietary, food/pharmaceutical-safe polymer that reflects the wine's color and aromatics much like crystal. It is recyclable and reusable. The perfect glass for outdoor events, boats and by the pool $10 a 4 pack.

All of these descriptions certainly change my perception about boxed wines, and I can't wait to try them.  How about you; are you game?  If you already have some favorites, I'd love to hear them. 

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