Monday, April 26, 2010

Boxed In

Do you avoid boxed wines because you think they are cheap, inferior plonk? I would have been with you if I hadn’t had the opportunity to taste so many over the past few years and discover that most all of them are drinkable, enjoyable wines. Not to mention great bargains.

The most recent I’ve tasted is from the Octavin Home Wine Bar. The 2009 Silver Birch Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand, was outrageously good for $24 for the equivalent of four bottles! If you, too, have a taste for tart, you will be very pleased with this wine.

I probably would not serve it to guests, but only because the bag-in-box presentation still has a stigma attached to it – although the octagonal box it comes in is the most attractive container I’ve seen yet. (Yet for casual drinking at home, the box with the spigot is actually preferable to selecting, opening and storing four bottles). I think younger wine fans will get over this stigma quicker than older ones -- or may not acknowledge it to begin with -- and as wine producers compete for that younger generation of drinkers, we will be seeing more and more of them. After all, even in the fortress of wine tradition that is France, the bag-in-box wine category is the fastest growing today.

Octavin also makes Monthaven Winery 2008 Chardonnay from California’s central coast at $24 and 2008 Big House Red for $22. Both octagonal boxes contain the equivalent of four bottles.