A co-worker of mine has an interesting, daily tradition. Much like the way some people might the start the day with a greeting such as “Top of the morning”, Eric ends each day with a unique parting phrase. He expresses, to each of us in the office, a good evening, with his wish for a bounty of our preferred adult beverage. Ever generous with his blessings, he does not suggest a mere glass of this or that. No, my beer-drinking co-worker Eric shares his good will to Linda with “bottle of vodka”, and to Jennifer with “bottle of rum.” Knowing my penchant for the nectar of the grape, he would always wish me a “bottle of wine.” Until recently, when it came to his attention that wine can also come in a box. Now his evening salutation to me is “box of wine!” to which I respond, “and a case of beer for you, sir.”
Now, truth be told, the only “box of wine” I’ve ever had much interest in is the 6 or 12-bottle cases I have delivered to my office. When ordering from an online merchant, it is much more reliable to receive shipments there, where there is always an adult to sign. I am aware there are some companies which prohibit such practices, having worked for one not too long ago. However, the small company where I now work is much more laid-back. In fact, the owner of the company has his wine club shipments delivered there, too! Goose; gander.
But I digress. Throughout my life, I’ve observed that when it comes to hobbies and interests, I have either time, or money, but rarely both concurrently. Recently, I’ve found myself in a situation in which I have neither in great supply. Yet my passion for wine remains unabated, so I consolidated my search for affordable wine into my weekly sortie to Trader Joe’s. I’ve known TJ’s to be a reliable source of quality wine at reasonable prices. I’ve also known that TJ’s carries a line of boxed wines, suspiciously inexpensive. I’ve even seen some favorable reviews of said boxes of wine. So with some trepidation, I hoisted a 3-liter box of Australian Shiraz into my cart and headed for the checkout. After arriving home and storing the weekly provisions, I dug out the tap and drew my first glass from a box of wine. Here’s my review, posted on Vivino:
After reading a few favorable reviews, I decided to give boxed wine a go. I was pleasantly surprised. This Aussie Shiraz, a Trader Joe’s exclusive, is pretty good. Not overly complex, but what do you expect for $3/bottle? The 3-liter box (equal to 4 bottles) costs just $12.
Ruby/purple color. Aromas of blackberry and black cherry. Flavors of ripe blackberry, red currant, blueberry, fig, and spice, with a little oak on the finish. Soft and smooth, but as I said, not a lot of depth or complexity. Since it keeps up to six weeks (if you’re an amateur) it’s good for a mid-week after-work glass, and maybe for the in-laws. 🙂 The only real challenge is self-regulation. “Was that 5 glasses or 6? Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?”
3.5 Stars (85-87 points)
Of course that crack about serving this to the in-laws is just a joke. Hehe. OK, Nancy? We good? And for those of you too young to get the reference, the quote at the end is homage to “Dirty Harry.”
In any event, I was fairly impressed with the Block Shiraz, especially given the price point. My local TJ’s also carries a California Cabernet Sauvignon and a California Sauvignon Blanc. I’m given to understand the Block label also produces an Australian Chardonnay, but it wasn’t in stock when I was there. For a reasonably good weeknight wine, at an amazing price, head to your neighborhood Trader Joe’s and give this a try!