Slander? Not really. My snarky comment in the last post regarding “bad boxed wine” stemmed from my own experience – nothing more or less. But it niggled at me that perhaps I was being unfair. Just because I had made the choice to purchase a 4L box o’ bad Grigio in a fit of self pity didn’t mean that better choices were not available to me. So I did an informal Facebook poll and the results are in… and it seems I need to undertake some more research.
Several friends had takes on boxed wine that echoed the snob factor I had hinted at in my question, i.e. that no boxed wine was good wine. Yet many more made declarations of affection for good grapes and good brands, reminding me that the packaging of wine has indeed been experiencing an ongoing evolution in recent years. Favorite BC wineries Hester Creek, Monster and Summerhill have apparently boarded the cardboard bandwagon. And at the store last night, I paid attention to the new boxed products coming out of France, Italy and New Zealand. These offerings are all on the more expensive side compared to the Boxed In BC types that we are far more accustomed to seeing… working out the value ratio, paying $10 to $15 per litre rather than the under-$10 lure of quant over qual.
Still, the value proposition here can also be freshness over cheapness, and that does have a certain appeal. For those of us who do too much of our drinking alone (sniff, sniff) at the end of busy working days, having a wine source that stays fresh after opening for up to six weeks is definitely a draw. The risk, of course, is not being able to visually judge how much you might have indulged in on a Friday evening in front of the latest movie arrival from Zip!
It seems I have my work cut out for me. Since I have the luxury of time before I next face the exam gauntlet, I can check out some boxes in the name of economy for the time being. Studying wine is not an inexpensive undertaking, especially on my personal “Uber Extendo-Program” (read: 12″ Dance Mix) that I have fashioned for myself. I haven’t formally cranked the numbers but I estimate an investment of somewhere more than $5K and less than $10K to date. And all I have to show for it are hazy memories of beauty, some know-how that lets me make good choices when called upon to do so, and a slightly damaged liver.
Complete justification for breathing for a while with some bargain options, no?