We’ll start this week off with a little bit of a rant about snobbery, specifically my wine snobbery. The past few days we stayed with Mary, a family friend of Paul’s, in Lake Havasu City, AZ. (Her husband, Mike, was elk hunting in New Mexico.) Mary spoiled us rotten. She even went out of her way to pick up a bottle of Zinfandel for me — “I went to a few stores but couldn’t find your Zinfandel, so hopefully this one will be OK.” I was so touched, then I thought, god, I hope people don’t think I’m a wine snob. But then I realized that of course they do — I said myself, in no uncertain terms, that I’m a wine snob! How awful! So to repair my carefully crafted public image (I’ve already deleted my Twitter account), I would like to clarify that I’m not a wine snob per se…I’d say I’m more of a flavor snob.
A bottle of wine (or beverage of your choice) that someone picks out especially for you is never going to be bad. I’m not saying that you’re going to lie and say that it’s great, even if it isn’t. I’m saying it’s like that meal you had on vacation that you can never recreate at home, because there’s more going into it than just raw ingredients. And the bottle Mary picked was great, so that helped. As long as it tastes good, I don’t care what it costs.
But let’s get this post back on track. I need to update you on our boxed wine search, which suddenly is going quite well. In order to speed up our quest to find the best boxed wine, we’ve currently got two boxes going at once, and they both are quite good.
Bota Box Shiraz (unit cost about $19/box / $1.19/glass)
Why did I pick up another Bota Box? I didn’t like the Zin, the Cab, or the Malbec. So why try another? Here’s the thing. There were two different Bota Shirazes on the shelf — one claiming the grapes originated in Southern Australia, the other in California. Typically, Australian Shiraz is a safe bet for a tasty, cheap wine, so I grabbed that one. And the risk paid off — this box is not bad! To me, it falls between the Fish Eye and the Hardys from my previous post. However, the Australian-ness may have been an anomaly (or, horror of horrors, a misprint?!) as the website only lists a Californian Shiraz. Either way, this was a good risk.
Target Wine Cube, Vintner’s Red Blend (unit cost about $17/box / $1.06/glass)
This blend of Zin, Cab, and Merlot hits the mark for me. It’s just a general, easy drinking, tasty wine. It’s got tons of flavor — jam, fruit, and oak are the first that hit you. It’s a bit sweet — it tastes like something that’s bad for me (which I suppose it is) — but it goes well with everything from peanut butter sandwiches (for dinner) to fresh air. The Target wines are produced by the Trinchero Family Estates of Napa and I’m hoping this blend isn’t discontinued, as it also isn’t listed on the website. Next we’ll probably try the Cab/Shiraz blend, just in case.
And this may be all she writes on the subject of boxed wine. I’ll keep experimenting, but now I’ve got a few good fall back options, which was the point of this grand experiment.