Think Inside the Box
Wine in boxes? Early versions of boxed wine suffered from fledgling technology, but the future is here. Boxed wine is aimed at the “drink now” market, as opposed to wines for cellaring, while also offering environmental benefits, quality, and value.
Not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a well-set table. But is that really its purpose?
Don’t assume that boxed wines are less expensive because of lower quality. The fact is that there is less overhead. Bottling wine is an archaic process with glass, corks and foils making bottles costly. And packaging materials to prevent breakage, make bottles heavy to ship. With glass being a victim of the current supply chain snafu, becoming less available and more expensive, there is no time like now to buy the box!
How is the wine “boxed?” The wine is contained, like most foods you buy, in a food-grade plastic bag. This safe, non-toxic bag does not influence the flavor of the wine. In fact, this method may actually insure quality. Leak proof, air tight packaging instead of a cork avoids a bottle becoming “corked’’, a problem that affects 10% of all bottles. And, you don’t need a corkscrew!
The convenient, unbreakable box is perfect for hiking, travel, parties or single servings. And, once opened, the wine has a longer lifespan than a bottle. In most cases, a bottle, even with a screw top to avoid the effects of air, lasts about 5 days in the refrigerator. A boxed wine can last a good six weeks.
At Metro Wines, while we have many boxed wines, one of my favorite bottled wines, Chateau Coupe Roses from Minervois, just hit the shelf – in a box!
Minervois, located in Languedoc, France, takes its name from Minerve, a village
25 miles from the Mediterranean. The village is named after the Greek goddess Minerva. Local cave paintings tell us the area was inhabited more than 8000 years ago and archaeological evidence shows that wine making here dates back to early Roman times.
The vineyards are sited in a climate zone similar to the Mediterranean. The main varietals grown are Carignan, Grenache Noir, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. Minervois produces red wines with good aging potential generally defined by a soft and velvety palate with silky tannins and ripe fruit aromas.
Chateau Coupe Roses has been in the Le Calvez family since 1614. Situated on the high plateau around Minerve, the estate is managed by Francoise Le Calvez and her husband, oenologist Pascal Fissant. They farm their 16 acres according to ecological principles and all vineyards are hand-harvested.
This wine is 60% Carignan and 40% Grenache from high-altitude sites rich in limestone and garrigue, low growing herbal vegetation including juniper, thyme, rosemary and lavender. These flavors are captured in the glass together with blueberry notes underpinned by Carignan’s tarry black fruit.
So many reasons to buy the box but my favorite is that swinging pet tails can do no harm.
By Gina Trippi
Metro Wines Asheville
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