I was never much of a fan of wine boxes. Many years ago I used to work in the wine trade and although far from being an ‘expert’ (although I do have a diploma…), I have always enjoyed a good bottle of wine. All colours and types and from all countries. Like many others of my generation, the whole idea of putting wine in ‘boxes’ horrified me and I’ve always associated the practice with cheap plonk that you only drink at parties because that’s all there is 😕
I can’t remember the last time I actually bought a wine box before coming to France and it’s possible that maybe I never have. But since I came here, my thinking has changed a bit. My local supermarket stocks some very good wines of all types and many of them for not a lot of money and enjoying them, in moderation, with my meals or even just sitting out in my garden has been one of my great pleasures. But up until recently, I’ve always bought my wine in bottles. Some friends have said that I should start to buy boxes because it’s much cheaper, the wine lasts for four or five weeks and it’s just as good as the stuff in bottles but being a bit of a stubborn SOB, I found it difficult to overcome my ingrained prejudices. And what a twerp I was!
Now, I don’t know what’s been going on with wine boxes in the UK but when I looked on the shelves over here, sure enough I found that the same wines that I’ve been enjoying in bottles are also being stocked in wine boxes. So I started with a couple of reds, a Merlot and a local Bergerac rouge, both beautifully labelled and presented in their boxes, and very good they both turned out to be. Yup, just the same as when I’d bought them in glass bottles! I shared them with some friends and since then, they’ve been standing next to each other on a ledge in my kitchen and I still find it great just to be able to pour myself a glass of whichever of the two I happen to choose with whatever I happen to be eating at the time.
Well, today I came to the end of my first French wine box. It happened to be a 3 litre box of Cabernet d’Anjou which I’ve had for the past few weeks in my fridge, see below.
I’ve enjoyed it with salads, many other light meals and very often just by itself, but today I found one of the best things about wine boxes. I knew that the wine inside was coming to an end when I poured myself out a glass to drink with tonight’s meal but when the glass was full, there was still some left in the box. So I drank a bit and topped up the glass again, but there was still a bit left. So I drank a bit more and filled my glass up again… and again… and again! Before I knew it, I’d drunk a couple of glasses before the box was eventually empty, so there you have it. I don’t need to make excuses because I live alone and don’t have to explain anything to anyone, but to those unfortunates who do, here’s a way to get a few glasses down your neck without anyone noticing – just say that you’re having to finish off the old ‘dregs’ before you open the next box for your friends 🙂
I knew that the moment was approaching, of course, so as you can see in the pic, I’d already prepared myself by buying a 5 litre box of Pays d’Herault, a lovely crisp, semi-dry, 11.5% rose wine. It’s gorgeous and it cost the princely sum of 8.89€. Eat your heart out – that’s only just over £7 for 5 litres. Who said that this isn’t the life 😉