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Friday, February 03, 2006

Drinking inside the box

A few nights ago, something that hardly ever happens at our house did. I opened a nice Italian white, only to discover that it was corked. That was the only bottle of white we had, so I opened a fresh bottle of a Spanish red we had served for guests a few nights before. Lightning struck twice -- it was corked, too.

Then I remembered: I had a box of Cabernet sitting on the shelf over the sink. I had purchased it a few days earlier and absentmindedly had a glass while I made dinner. Time to give it another try!

And you know what? It's not bad at all. It's a perfectly drinkable California Cab, packaged in a bladder inside a cardboard box about 4.75" square and 5.5" tall. Amazingly, this diminutive package contains the equivalent of two 750ml bottles of wine. Best of all, it's priced at $9.99.

Wine Block, as it's called, comes as a Chardonnay and a Merlot, as well as the Cabernet. It's better than average -- Wine Enthusiast gave the reds both 86 points, and the white a still-respectable 84. Not bad for five bucks a bottle!

Another advantage, according to the producer -- none other than Kendall Jackson -- is that the bag inside the box preserves the wine for up to six weeks after opening. That makes it a great choice as a daily drinker, for people who only have a glass occasionally -- or as an emergency backup when good wine goes bad.
M. Zane Grey, 2:17 PM