Grocery Stores & Box Wines – Part 1
Don’t blame me. Blame Davis. That is, the University of California at Davis. Unfortunately, their “research” into keeping box wines fresh and drinkable had an allegedly negative effect on me. It made me crazy (“Someone could tell?!?”). So crazy, in fact, that members of the Vegas Wineaux Wine Club and even The Wineaux Guy™ himself think that I’ve lost my grip. I really haven’t. It’s just that some things trigger my latent OCD, and this is one of them.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, UCD found that keeping box wines at a lower temperatures makes it last longer and remain drinkable for a longer period of time. (This is assuming, of course, that it’s even drinkable in the first place. But I digress.)
This makes sense, of course. If you have an open container of milk that’s refrigerated, it’s going to “keep” longer than if you leave it on the kitchen counter. Same thing with wine, although many people don’t quite understand the connection. Wine is almost as sensitive as milk in that it will go bad if left out rather than capped and kept cold. Wine in boxes have even more of a problem in that regard. While they aren’t sensitive to oxidation because of the protective “bladder,” (sounds yummy) the temperature can kill them pretty quickly. After all, cardboard and plastic – in spite of all of the “green” claims by the pro-boxers – aren’t as protective as a glass bottle in safeguarding wine. This is something that I’ve felt in my gut, but I’m glad to see that it’s been confirmed by the wine peeps at UCD. My head may never unswell.
However, I’m more than willing to give anyone benefit of the doubt. After all, the idea of a container of wine being able to stay drinkable for more than a couple of days is very tempting. So I bought a box of wine. A “good” box. It wasn’t easy.
I hadn’t realized that box wine was so popular. Even with an ex who thought that White Zin from a box over a tumbler of ice and sipped through a straw was acceptable wine etiquette, I figured that was an aberration on the drinking of wine. I was only slightly wrong.
Fortunately, there are “good” box wines out there. Allegedly. All of the brands that I found on the ‘Net are almost completely absent in the Las Vegas market. The box of Pinot Noir that I purchased in California a couple or so weeks ago (and now resting in my “good wines” cooler) is nonexistent here. It seems that the only good box wine that is in some of the better stores is Black Box. I searched everywhere for some of the other brands, all to no avail. Other than the ominipresent swill of Franzia, Vella, Carlo Rossi, and Almaden, finding the higher end box wines has turned into something like the search for Atlantis – I’ve heard it’s out there, but I can’t find it.
But I’ve had a lot of fun in the quest. More on that next time. And as for my own personal box wine experience…actually, not bad. Who’da thunk.