And happy day-before-Thanksgiving to all of us in the US!
Today we’re chatting about our “house” red – the Block Red Shiraz sold at Trader Joe’s. We’ve been drinking box wine as a staple for a while now, having (figuratively) stumbled upon it one Christmas in Mammoth, CA. The grocery stores up there can be very expensive, so we normally haul food and drinks up there with us. A couple of years ago, we forgot to make a list and consequently, forgot almost everything, including wine. Being ever-thrifty, we thought we’d take a chance on a box…and it was surprisingly serviceable. And extremely convenient.
So when Trader Joe’s came out with a box, we were all over it. And with good reason. While the two buck chuck had been our go-to wine for years, the box Shiraz is slightly better for only about 50 cents more per “bottle.” For lack of a better description, it tastes more like “grown up” wine, having a few more fruit overtones and less of the “bubblegum and watermelon” my colleague so colorfully described when talking about Charles Shaw.
For me, though, this wine is as much about convenience as it is about taste. It’s a good table wine, perfectly serviceable for drinking, but the box is fantastic. It takes up far less space than bottles, so storing it in a small apartment is no problem. It sits on top of the fridge and is easy to dispense.
But the thing I like most about the boxed wine has to do with preservation. Economical wines do not keep well. If you open a bottle of two buck chuck, you have to either drink the whole thing or toss what you don’t drink. With the box, this isn’t a problem. You drink exactly what you want and the rest will be fine.
I alluded to some changes in the header of this post – without taking up too much more space, here is the first:
I’ve added a rating system for the wines we taste. Because the boxed Shiraz is our standard, all the wines reviewed here will be compared against the box (even more reason to try it if you’re really interested in these reviews!). The scale is 1-5, with one being the lowest and 5 being the highest.
A wine that is on par with the box will be a three – Rating:
Anything higher than that, and it’s worth giving a shot. Anything lower than that, you might as well stick with the box (at least in our humble opinions).
That’s all for now. There will be another significant change next week as well, but anticipation is good for your appetite, so drink, eat, be merry and have an amazing Thanksgiving!
Until next week.