Coco thought it would be a great idea to up our “street cred” by taking a WSET Level 2 course. While driving to the first class it occurred to me that I probably shouldn’t bring up the box that often graces the top shelf of our refrigerator. The Black Box Shiraz, a staple in our home, might be seen as less-than-credible on “the street.”
As I sat in class listening to the teacher rattle off terms such as “terr Loire” and “malolactic fermentation,” I began to wonder if I might be found an imposter. I’ve enjoyed wine from a box since the early 90’s. I discovered my secret pleasure while living in southern Italy where a carton of very palatable, decent table wine could be purchased for the equivalent of less than $1.50. This information might not fly here with this crowd. I kept my secret.
“HYPOCRITE!” Screamed my brain as the evening wore on. Until I heard the teacher say, “bottles are heavy and expensive to ship.” I assumed she was going to continue with “but wine from a bottle is the only way.” But, NO! she continued with, “Only Americans are consumed by the notion that wine can only come from a bottle. In Europe, boxed wine is common and very drinkable. It just makes so much sense.” According to our teacher not only is boxed wine less expensive to ship, it is also far more sustainable than glass bottles (which apparently almost NEVER get recycled).
Sweet liberty! My secret could come out—-of the refrigerator. As previously mentioned, our latest boxed staple is The Black Box brand especially the Shiraz varietal. Moderately tannic with red fruit and light chocolate notes. We have also enjoyed using it for the base of several lovely sangria recipes. Inexpensive? Well yes! The money saved shipping cardboard instead of glass, are you kidding? It’s spent on the wine itself! Also, the wine stores for up to 4 weeks AFTER it has been opened, which is a good idea since the volume contained inside can equal up to up to 4 bottles. Eco-friendly AND economy friendly! Wise up Americans! Think outside the box; Drink from inside the box!