Boxed Wine: The Naked Grape

Note: You know The Man and I jaunt all around this country (and world) on the lookout for food and libations, right? Well, he’s actually an incredible chef (he’s in the kitchen more than me) and drops serious knowledge when it comes to wine. He was also the inspiration behind this blog, so it’s only right that he finally writes something here (he’s a longtime blogger too, it’s how we originally met). Here is James!

Guest Post by James Moreau:

Boxed wine no longer deserves its place in the world of high snobbery taboos held by wine enthusiasts. Many people my age get sucked into the allure of joining wine clubs and making friends with our local wine merchants, buying the latest and greatest bottles of wine as we stop in for our weekly (or daily, depending on the workweek) wine shopping adventure. While we’re able to navigate both new world and old world wine gems, we often don’t sit to contemplate the cost and environmental impact of our wine hobby(habit).

Have you ever considered that the unimpressive sized box of wine typically contains 3.5 to 4 bottles of wine? Yes, that’s actually the amount of wine that is sitting as fresh as a daisy inside of that box (and the plastic polymer bag inside). Imagine how much energy and fossil fuels go into making and shipping 4 glass bottles compared to one wine-filled bag surrounded by a cardboard box? I’m no shipping logistics genius, but I’ll say that it’s a hell of a lot better for the environment, but a lot.

Not to mention, some boxed wines taste really good. Yeah, I know a lot of you will cringe at the thought of boxed wines. Maybe it’s clouded memories of college parties or your evil aunt who’d get blasted off of boxed white zinfandel when you were a kid. Well rest assured, many of the newer boxed wines available today are not what you’d expect. Many wineries are making wines that are suitable for boxing or kegging (probably needing an entirely other blog post just about wine from kegs) so the characteristics are optimized and preserved through shipping and storing.
Whether white wine is your go-to drink or if you’re a red-wine drinker (or real rose), there’s a boxed wine out there for you.
Take The Naked Grape’s (new) 3L box of California Chardonnay. Clean and crisp, not unduly sweet and a good hit of acid on the tip of your tongue. Good apple and mineral scents remind you that this Chardonnay is more liked the un-oaked versions of you’d find from Oregon or Washington state, rather than Napa Valley.
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Pair it with: This would go best with a buttery white sauce pasta or a citrus laced plate of fresh fish, shrimp, scallops or lobster.
Drink it: Serve this wine lightly chilled. Too cold and you won’t pick up the subtle aromas and tastes on your palette.
Price: It retails for under $20 and in this case, equals four 750mL bottles. I think you’re probably saving $10-$15 by buying this quality of wine in a box. I don’t think you’re getting a wine this good at this price per volume (3L). Seriously, think inside of the box when it comes to your next wine shopping adventure. Ask your local wine associate what boxes of wine you should try. Look for about $20-$25 dollars as a price range and you’ll likely find an exciting new world of value and good taste to broaden your wine palette in.
TNG Box Chardonnay
Thanks to The Naked Grape for supplying us with this beautifully designed box o’ wine. Opinions as always, are our own.