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Nov 23, 2006 01:33 PM

So I call my mother-in-law ...

and say "Would you like me to pick up some wine for Thanksgiving dinner?" and she says "No, that's okay. We just got a box!"

I am not a big fan of Peter Vella box wine!!!!

Anyone else have a well meaning but comepletely clueless family member?

Guess who is bringing 3 bottles of Masi Amarone?

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  1. Amarone will overwhelm turkey!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Husky

      I think amarone's a reasonable choice for Thanksgiving. The wine's got so much fruit, tannin, and acid that it can hold its own against the most wine-hostile food.

    2. At my recent wine class in los angeles - it was said by the very experienced instructor that wine in a box is the wave of the future. We are the last country to accept/"get" wine in a box. Cork is almost depleted. Get used to it:). Also, screw cap wine does not mean it's "less than." Enjoy!

      9 Replies
      1. re: Francesca

        Bag-in-box packaging does a great job of keeping wine fresh. The problem here in the US is that almost all box wine is nasty, and the few exceptions are only mediocre, e.g. Black Box, Delicato, Three Thieves. A few topics on box wine:

        There are excellent wines available here in Stelvin screwtops.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          There are some BiB wines that I enjoy. Peter Vella is not one of them. I was recently at a wine tasting at the French Embassy in Georgetown and tried a wine called "French Rabbit." The box itself was collapsable negating the need for a bag. Not a great wine but I thought it was a great selling point.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Absolutely right! A tetra-pak and bag-in-the-box are NOT interchangable!

        2. re: Francesca

          Long live Stelvins!

          Keep in mind that -- unlike Europe -- we have a Central Valley. California produces lots of jug wines in very big bottles (and/or boxes), and they bear the same appellations that 750ml bottles do . . . but are a far cry from the same quality level. Europe has no history of "jug wine," and their inexpensive table wine is just that: vin de table, vino da tavola, taffelwein instead of apellation d'origine controlee, denominazione di origine controllata (e garantita) or qualitatswein mit pradikat. So, regardless of how pricey (e.g.) Bordeaux may get, there are still a) lots of petits chateaux that are quite inexpensive in the European market, let alone b) lots of vin de table available at one's local wine merchant.

          So, too, does Australia have a long history of selling "clean skins," bottles without labels for merchants to have their own "Buyer's Own Brand."

          There are some aoc / docg wines that are going into boxes, and several of these can be quite good. It's certainly not the same quality level of wine as a Peter (nee Pietro) Vella.

          1. re: zin1953

            Central Valley jug wines are generally not entitled to carry any appelation (AVA):


            Appelation alone is generally no guarantee of quality. There's a lot of plonk that carries the basic Bordeaux AOC, and many high-end wines are sold as vin de table, either for marketing reasons or because they use varietals or methods not allowed by the rules of the local appelation.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston


              CLEARLY appellation is no guarantee of quality. I wouldn't have thought that was an issue. Of course there is plonk under EVERY aoc, docg, do, etc., etc. But if you will re-read my post, could you show me where I mentioned AVAs? I spoke of appellations.

              There are two kinds of appellations within the U.S.: political and geographic. American Viticultural Areas fall into the latter category. But political appellations include various counties (Monterey Co., Sonoma Co., Santa Barbara Co., etc.) as well as states (California, Washington, etc.). While 85 perecent of the grapes in any particular wine must originate within an AVA, only 75 percent need be grown within a political appellation -- unless that appellation is a state, in which case the figure is 100 percent.

              Most Central Valley jug wines carry the "California" appellation. So, too, do numerous high-scoring and/or award-winning wines.

              You are correct in that many wines get declassified -- think of Cotat being denying the use of "Sancerre" (though it's not stopped Olivieer Humbrecht, for example). However, I should have thought that I was obviously speaking of wines which were NOT de-classified and/or those which deliberately chose to forego the existing regulations for various reasons (such as including too much Cabernet Sauvingon in with the Sangioveto).

              1. re: zin1953

                This stuff is anything but obvious to people who are first learning about it!

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Or to people that actually enjoy other subject matters or have jobs and enjoy wine without having to quote obscure factoids. Let's lighten up a bit folks it's !

              1. I routinely get ribbed by family members who are head over heels in love with anything Charles Shaw. I know many people feel strongly about their 2 Buck Chuck, so I try not to get sucked into a debate with my relatives. Recently at a family party, they strongly encouraged me to try a glass of the Charles Shaw 2006 Nouveau Gamay Beaujolais Valdiguie. I declined. They persisted. I capitulated. I politely declined to have more. In no way am I a wine snob. I just don't like the TASTE of most of the Charles Shaw I've sampled. I prefer to drink something other than 2BC. For everyday drinking I try to keep it under $10 per bottle. So I agree with their economic motivations, well-meaning relatives desperately want me to like Charles Shaw and drink it all the time, and that's not going to happen.