Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Think Inside the Box

In our house, my dad loved his French Colombard and Chablis. His wine preferences ran toward the boxed, those spigoted dinosaurs that lived on the top shelf of the fridge and screamed "cheap" and "sweet."

But these days, I'm here to tell you, there is a plethora of excellent, and I mean fit-for-fancy-dining, box wines. From France and Spain and other countries known for their expertise with the grape, box wines have hit the wine glass running. Even well-known vineyards in Europe are jumping on the cardboard bandwagon, cutting back on their use of glass bottles, labels and corks without sacrificing the quality of their product.

Each box contains three liters or the equivalent of four bottles of wine and can cost less than $30, a real bargain for your budget. And articles and websites from the New York Times to Treehugger are touting its green bona fides. I like the box because I don't have to open a whole bottle in order to have a glass of wine with dinner, and since an open box can stay fresh for weeks, I don't have to worry about the wine going off.

So if your local wine purveyor doesn't carry at least one box wine, ask him to consider it. Then just pop the spigot, pour a glass and toast your new cardboard friend.


Anonymous said...

Ahhh....boxed wines. We first encountered boxes of wine in 1991 during a years stay in Seville. A liter of red a day starting at 2pm dinner and finished with left overs at supper. I can't for the life of me remember what it cost, but it was cheap.

Glassylady...where it topped 70 in VV today.

Kathleen Bauer said...

I heard that the Aussies were all over box wine eons ago, and the Europeans have been doing them for several years, too. Apparently they weren't available here because people associated them with bad wine. And a liter a day of good red sounds lovely! Not to mention appropriate.

(It's 60 here...feels like spring!)

Anonymous said...

Can you recommend the good ones? Takes the pressure off of finishing a whole bottle in a night. Not that I can't do it....

Kathleen Bauer said...

This one, a Domaine La Guintrandy Cotes Du Rhone, fresh and fruity with that lovely Rhone spice and pepper, and the Burle Vin de Pays box are both recommended by my brother at Vino, though he says to beware of some mediocre boxes from Australia. He said your best bet would be to call your local wine merchant and ask for a recommendation.