On a recent trip to the market, I somehow got it into my head that I wanted to buy wine in a box. Now when I say wine in a box – I am not referring to a case of bottled wine neatly packed into a wooden box. Nope. I am talking Ghetto (with a capital G) real life wine in a box. The kind of thing that makes wine purists shudder even more than a synthetic cork. The kind that comes in cardboard at cheap prices and packs a punch. The kind that Uncle Tim (Bob’s gun wielding psychopathic drunken friend) used to make “Ice Tea” out of in old Mason jars with ice cubes and God knows what else.
Why did I have this sudden hankering to cheapen my drinking experience like in the days when Andrea Starkel and I used to steal Benson and Hedges cigarettes and drink all her mom’s boxed wine? And does boxed wine still have the same bad quality that its reputation implies?
posh box of wine?
When I finally located the semi-half aisle of the boxed wine selection at Sainsbury, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t just Franzia or Ernest Gallo that were dominating the boxed wine trade these days. There seemed to be a good selection of semi-well known brands from California to Austraila – Chardonnay to Shiraz. The prices varied from low low discount (£4.99) to what I would consider a pretty decent high of £19.99 (for Hardy – Australia). Sizes ranged from 2 liters to 3 liters (roughly equivalent to 4 bottles). I made my selection of a mid-range Shiraz from Austrailia and happily (if not a slight bit ashamed) carried my box through the shop to checkout.
Upon arrival a la casa de Stephanie n Arlie I promptly busted out one of the two normal wine glasses that we have, assembled the case and pushed the little button to dispense my newfound juice. And guess what? It was pretty good! Not the same super bad quality, headache inducing, near-vinegar stuff that I was expecting. And it is more than fine for my need of having a glass of wine when I arrive home from work. Plus added bonuses include the fact that it stays good for 2 months, I don’t have to keep throwing out bottles (or lugging them home from the shop on the corner) and I save a little bit of change (in 2006 economy is the new black).
My recommendation: Don’t be such a pretentious wine snob (save this for the assholes in Sideways) and think INSIDE the box for a change. You can still have the occasional nice bottle, but give boxed wine another shot. You may even enjoy it!