Monday, September 17, 2007

Boxed Wine is Fine

From the Charleston Daily Mail

The fact that I'm following up last week's wine column with this week's on wine and beer should in no way suggest that I've lost my mind and/or fallen off the wagon. With three young boys to raise, however, it does often feel like I've fallen off the deep end.

Since I started down a slippery slope last week - proclaiming thou shalt not discriminate against screw-cap wines - then why not jump in headfirst and extol the benefits of another receptacle of the grape? That's right, I drank box wine this week. And fairly enjoyed it.

Before you boo, let me explain.

If a screw cap has become more socially acceptable because of its ability to better preserve a wine's integrity, then consider the vacuum-packed box. Its heavy plastic lining and dispense-as-you-go spout keep the wine inside virtually airtight (and thus, preserved and untainted) for literally weeks. Any wine remaining in an opened bottle is lucky to make it a few days before it starts to lose its charm.

And while the practice has been mostly limited to less-distinguished "bargain" brands in the past, more reputable winemakers are now starting to embrace the concept as well.

The cardboard carafe 'o wine I sampled this weekend was not one of those pricier labels, but the Carlo Rossi Reserve Merlot (there, I said it) was not a bad table wine for Sunday dinner.

And weighing in at 5 liters, it should get me through the better part of the week. If the boys behave.

Boxed wine is fine and keeps well - Daily Mail - Charleston

The Sutherlands on Boxed Wine for Tailgaiting

We all know that boxed wine comes into it's own for outdoor activities, and I think it's just great for tailgating! Frank and Kate Sutherland tasted two boxed Aussie Chards, two boxed French wines, and a five liter California sangria. For authenticity, they actually tasted them tailgating in a parking lot.

Wine: For tailgating, break out the box

Gannett News Service

Football season is upon us again, as is one of the game's most revered traditions - tailgating.

Now that boxed wines are improving in quality, we thought wine should join in on the tailgating festivities. With no glass to break and plenty of wine to go around (all the wines we tried were in 3-liter boxes equivalent to four bottles, except one that held 5 liters, about six and a half bottles), boxed wines are perfect for a mobile party.

Our wine-tasting group tried five boxed white wines to see which would keep us cool in a parking lot with 60,000 of our closest friends. The results follow.

- 2006 Banrock Station chardonnay. $17.99/ 3 liters. We smelled dusty lemon, dry earth and dried honeysuckle in the nose. On the palate, we tasted bright lemon that was juicy yet crisp with a slightly bitter finish. This Aussie chard was easy to drink and would be refreshing on a hot afternoon. It was our favorite.

- 2006 Box Star chardonnay. $15.99/3 liters. The aroma offered hay and grass. In the mouth, we tasted apples and green bananas with a full body and a long finish. Our second favorite was another Australian chardonnay in a bigger, more textural style than the first wine.

- 2006 La Petite Frog Picpoul de Pinet. $24.99/3 liters. The aroma suggested scents of melon, limestone, citrus and a touch of grass. The wine was dry, light-bodied and squeaky clean with bright acids. This wine was from the Languedoc coast of southern France and was made from a traditional grape in the region. We thought it would appeal to pinot grigio drinkers.

- Non-vintage Almaden white sangria. $17.49/5 liters. This wine-fruit juice blend was very aromatic, with scents of peach candy, orange soda and mandarin oranges. It tasted like it smelled - sweet-tart candy flavors, light-bodied and sugary, but with enough acids to keep it from being cloying. This wine had fruit juice added, which made it considerably sweeter, but it wasn't cloying. We agreed that if you like sweet wine, this would be easy to drink in the hot sun.

- 2005 Free Range white Bordeaux. $29.99/3 liters. The aroma reminded us of dried apricots, with a hint of peach and a hint of honey. In the mouth, it had relatively very little flavor -mostly alcohol. This French blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon had a muted aroma, and the only sensation we had on the palate was the burn of alcohol.
Journal and Courier Online - Food & Drink