I have to admit that I am scared of boxed wines. Really, quite terrified. It simply resurrects the image of pink Franzia, or Dr. Franz as we used to call it. Sickeningly sweet, disgusting plonk. So it was with great trepidation that I opened my box for the theme of WBW #31, Wines in Alternative Packaging.
My local wine shop didn’t have any boxed wines at all. So I turned to our discount supermarket, Shopper’s, which had about 15 different varieties of boxed wine. Now, I’m trying to be budget conscious these days, but I also wanted to get something that wasn’t reminiscent of sugar water with cough syrup mixed in.
With that in mind, I chose a 2005 Delicato Shiraz. On its package it proclaimed that it had won gold medals in the early 2000s, so I figured I’d give it a shot. The 3L (so 4 bottles or about 20 glasses) box cost $17.89 and is 13.5% alcohol. It has a little tap as you can see where the wine comes out, which is actually pretty sturdily constructed. And I have to say, that it’s much harder to judge how much you are drinking out of a box than it is out of a bottle.
On the nose, I get an overwhelming sweet, dark fruit scent. So blackberries, but more in their candied forms. And sugar plums, rather than fresh plums. My first impression is that this is going to be a sweet wine. As it sits in my glass I get an underlying chocolate aroma. In the mouth, there is dark fruit and a little bit of spice. It’s not as sweet as I expected it to be, which is a relief. I can’t seem to distinguish which dark fruits are coming through. It’s smooth and easy to drink and I have to keep in mind that averaging it out, it costs less than $5 a bottle. The wine is not complex, but I wouldn’t really expect that at the price point.
It certainly is better than Dr. Franz. And it’s probably equivalent to an $7-$8 a bottle Shiraz. I’m glad I tried a box wine, and many thanks to Box Wines for hosting and getting me to step out of the box (or, I guess into it in this case). I don’t know that this is something I would seek out again. Maybe if I could get it in a smaller box and I really did only drink a glass a night. But 4 bottles is a lot of one wine. I know it will last for many weeks, but at the same time, I open a new and different bottle of wine almost every night. I wouldn’t wrinkle up my nose if I saw this at a party and I could definitely see how the concept of boxed wines would be economical and efficient for a party situation.
I served the wine with homemade pepperoni pizza with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. It worked fairly well, though was a little sweet to be a pizza wine in my opinion.