It all started with bad wine decades ago and has evolved to a reasonable option in today’s wine boom!

Yes, I’m drinking wine from a box! I have actually had a number of people, primarily from my newspaper column, ask me to write about box wine. And that’s going to be the topic of my next column.

But just a week ago I received a 3 liter box of Monthaven 2008 Chardonnay as a trade sample. (That means free folks!) I popped it into the fridge when I got home today and drank a little with a pork chop this evening.

Here’s the plan. I’m going to re-visit it once a week and see if I notice any signifcant change. Everyone tells me it will hold up, but I think this is a test everyone has to try for themselves.

Today’s technology allows for a vacuum seal which protects the wine from oxygen. The company suggests the wine should hold up just fine for 5-6 weeks.

I opened the wine tonight. It is a soft and somewhat rich Chardonnay with oak on the nose and the finish. There’s not much aciditiy in this wine. The tasting notes suggest a hint of apple, which I didn’t pick up.

I have to add the usual disclaimer on Chard – I’m not a big fan. I like some of the unoaked Chardonnays made around the world but seldom find myself enjoying this style California Chardonnay. But I can identify the taste characteristics and determine if I sense any change over time. Additionally, I’m going to share this wine with a big Chardonnay fan friend of mine for his thoughts while it’s new. I’ll share his opinion in next few days.

This box is the “Octavin Home Wine Bar.” The company is going to use the dispenser on six different wines. Each box will retail in the $22-$24 range. Or, if you will, about $5.50-$6.00 a bottle. So going in, we’re talking about wines similar to what you’d buy in a grocery.

The wine is set to be released across the nation in May.

Let’s see how it goes. Again, to me it was a drinkable version of a wine I’m not crazy about. But seemed nicely balanced and well made.

Check back for updates – this should be fun. And for those who see my column in their local newspaper, I’ll give a lot more detail in my next column.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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