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Jun 2, 2006 12:43 AM

Boxed wines - Trove & Bandit

  • r

Raley's started selling Trove boxed wine and had a sale this week ($14.99 instead of the usual $22.99), so I tried the Cabernet Sauvignon.

This is nowhere in the category of Black Box. While the first aroma was berry-like, that didn't last long. The wine is highly tannic and sour. Not sour as in spoiled though. Just sour. There is no other flavor I could detect - just mouth-puckering and sour. Centerra Wine produces this.

Unless someone has tried one of the other three and liked it, I have no intention of taking advantage of Raley's sale to try the other three.

Also Three Thieves came out with the first single-bottle box I've seen. It looks like the boxed soup from Campbells.

It was similar in taste to their bottle. Three Thieves is an ok, nothing special wine that is afforable and a lot more drinkable than Trove. It is $6.99. I'll try the other types of Bandit when it goes on sale.

The packaging for the Bandit takes boxed wine to a new level ... not only is it boxed ... it has a plastic screw top with a plastic pull ring that needs to be removed for the first drink.

Wow, restaurants have problems convincing consumers that screw top bottles are a good thing. If some of the better wines go to these boxes, I'd pay big bucks to sit at a top restaurant and watch the wine steward pull out the box of wine and unscrew it.

Link: http://www.cwine.com/cwine/ageverif.jsp

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  1. What will you have to pay the restaurant? Screwage (instead of corkage)? HA. $6.99 for a single bottle box sounds rather steep. Thanks for saving me the temptation and the dough.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pm
      Melanie Wong

      Iirc, the Bandit is a one-liter box, so you're getting 1/3 more than a 750ml bottle. It doesn't have the preservation after opening advanntage of a bag-in-box package, but with just one-liter, it won't take long to finish one. The advantage I see of the tetra-brick package is cost and weight. You're not paying for a glass bott and don't have to pay the cost of shipping in the distribution channel. Also, it's an easy thing to put in a backpack for a camping trip or day on the Bay. Lighter in weight to haul in, no worries about breakage, don't need a corkscrew, and the empty pack that you have to carry home to dispose of is much lighter.

    2. m
      Melanie Wong

      Here's the latest on boxed wine packaging. I've seen a demo of the French Rabbit in the tetra-prism and it's much easier to hold and pour.

      Oh, the Bandit Pinot Grigio performs above its price point. It was the best of the three varieties I tried from Bandit.

      Link: http://www.winesandvines.com/feature_...

      3 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Thanks for the comment about the Bandit Pinot Grigio. That seems to be the one downfall of the boxed wines to date ... Black Box has the only whites that are drinkable to my taste. All the rest have that grassy taste to them.

        Also liked the article on the packaging. The Bandit tetra-brick is difficult to pour without spilling. Will keep an eye out for that tetro-prism. I haven’t been looking all that hard. It seems my Raley’s may have a new wine manager since the selection is getting more interesting. They even have some Benzinger (not in a box, though) … not top of the line, but still.

        Thanks for the mention in your other post that the tetra-brick package doesn’t keep the wine fresh like the bag-in-box packaging. I didn’t think it through and saw a`box … it must last weeks … not that Bandit is the type of wine that will suffer much anyway.

        Gee, I can hardly wait till they package wine in those single-serving juice boxes. Great to pop in the lunch bag … they are taking all the mystique out of wine with some of this packaging. IIRC from my college days, drinking wine with a straw gets you ‘happy’ quicker.

        1. re: rworange
          Melanie Wong

          Actually, I have seen some prototypes of wines in the single servings "juice" boxes. Can't remember who, maybe Sutter Home. Bandit has 250ml size as well, a bit more than one glass of wine.

          P.S. Grassy/herbaceousness/vegetal in whites (when it's not part of the varietal character) can be a sign of low ripeness and/or dilution from overcropping. Yes, it's a problem with inexpensive whites.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            I've been drinking the French Rabbit pinot noir since my wine guy recommended it a little over a month ago. It's great to take on picnics, good for patios and pools and boats where you don't want to break a glass bottle. The wine isn't AMAZING but it's definitely drinkable. In Boston it's $10 for the box and it holds one extra glass of wine -- perfect for those times when you want just one more. :-)