Not Just Some Junk in a Box
There are some things you just don't do: you don't wear white to a wedding. You don't talk on the phone during the movie. And you never bring box wine to the party. You just don't. It's gauche.
Except, now you do. Of course, it's a completely different box. And a completely different wine.
The guys at Three Thieves Wineries are bringing new life to boxed wine. You will not find anything named Sunset Blush among their offerings. Instead they've got Cabernet, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, and more, all available in TetraPak boxes. It's not traditional, but it's certainly practical: These wine boxes are great to carry to a picnic or casual dinner, and they've even got some varieties in 4-packs for those who drink alone (I'm not judging, I'm just saying), or for when you need a small bit of wine for a recipe -- it's like a juice box all grownsed up. The thieves also tout the boxes' practical advantages: they create less waste, prevent the possibility of 'corked' wine, and are cheaper to manufacture and to recycle than glass. Which is to say, you can get quality wine in a box for a lower price than you'd get the same wine in a bottle. Of course, if you're still partial to pouring your wine from glass, you can choose one of their chunky 1-liter jugs, complete with slinging handle and twist-off cap, and still pretty affordable. In fact, on their website, you can buy any of their wines -- in tetrapak, jug, or juicebox -- for between $9.99 and $10.99.
But what attracts me is the attitude they're cultivating. I drink a lot of wine, although I know very little about wine -- other than that it's tasty, good for you (you know, red wine, antioxidants, all that jazz), makes board games night a little more fun, and just might take the edge off a first date. What I'm saying is, I don't believe I need a 1600 on the vino SAT to count as real wine drinker. Neither do these guys. Their website includes their tongue-in-cheek 'True Hollywood Story', as well as the shoot-em-up 'legends' behind the box and the jug. The company owner sums it up in Matthew Latkiewics' very unsnooty account of the Boston Wine Convention, "Why can't good wine be in jugs or boxes and treated like an everyday item?"
Really. Why can't it? Perhaps this attitude is what led them to take the ultimate step in the quest to bring their wine to the masses: they have a myspace. Maybe if you become their friend, they'll give you one of their sweet, sweet I Heart Jugs stickers.
[And incidentally, some wise souls are taking ownership of the box wine stigma with boxwines.org, a blog of reviews of affordable wines. It's quite the resource for drinking large on a small budget.]