Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tried Box Wine? Didn't Like It?

I saw something sad in a blog a few weeks ago.

I am ashamed to admit it, but this week, I purchased boxed wine. I keep hearing rumors that it's gotten better lately, and sometimes I just like to have one glass of wine, and not worry about what I'm going to do with a whole open bottle before it goes bad. So, I bought a Wine Block which was recommended by the store owner. It's such a great concept, but as I feared, not so great in actual drinking quality. I have now learned my lesson. Just say no to boxed wine.

The Almond Branch: September 2006


So, let's say you hadn't tried boxed wine since drinking Franzia when you were in college. Then you heard there's good wine in boxes now, tried a 3L or 1.5L box, and didn't like it. Here's what you should do:
  1. DO NOT say "I have learned my lesson: Just say no to boxed wine!"
  2. Set it aside for a day and get over it.
  3. Decant some so it can breathe. Reds in boxes are as a rule types that are meant to be consumed young, and so they benefit even more from breathing than cellaring types. If you don't have a decanter with a broad base, then pour with 10-12" of fall, and swirl liberally.
  4. Put it into the fridge. 20 minutes for reds (to about 55-65 degrees). 1-1/2 hours for whites (to about 40 degrees). For chard, take it back out for 20 minutes (to about 50-55 degrees).
  5. Now try it again.
  6. If you still don't like it, try another boxed wine. Wine is an individual taste, and you don't like every bottle you open either.
One more thing, don't store the box of white in the fridge. Too cold a temp can hide all the aromas and encourages formation of bitartrate crystals, which make the wine tase "simple and flat". On the other hand, maybe you can store the plonk in the fridge, it might taste simple and flat anyway. Just don't do it to the good stuff.

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3 comments:

GollyGumDrops said...

Boxed wine does need drinking within weeks of purchase as the processes it goes through means it won't last more than 6 months before opening, so drink up!

Fly By Night Sailor said...

It's true, I've heard more like a year from the packaging date (that's why they have like a "born-on" date). Has less to do with processing than it has to do with the bag being an imperfect oxygen barrier. Glass is superior in that respect. That is why boxed wines are not for cellaring. They are generally either wines that are intended to be consumed young, or they are wines that are sort of pre-cellared in bulk for a period of time before bagging.

By all means, drink up! And buy wine in bottles for cellaring the special stuff.

Stacey said...

This is an old post, but that was my blog that you linked, and I just wish to say that I bought both a merlot and a cabernet Wine Block, and while the merlot was bad, the cabernet was drinkable, and I continue to purchase it to this day. So much for just saying no to boxed wine.