August 29, 2003

NYT: 20pc of U.S. Wine Sold in Boxes

Disturbing yet interesting report in The New York Times recently. It seems 20 percent of Americans' wine comes from a box.

The report's disturbing yet interesting for a number of reasons. The first reason is that writer Frank Prial passes off wine-in-a-box to three otherwise sophisticated people -- and they can't tell the difference. Yet he fails to fully discuss this topic. Maybe all the wine fans out there can't tell what it is they're drinking!

I am not a drinker myself, primarily for health reasons, so I can't say that I would be able to tell either. But boy! wouldn't it be funny to see a column about whether people actually know what they're pouring down their throats?

The second reason is that Mr Prial makes me wonder whether I should ever order the odd glass of wine in a restaurant. Consider that he writes the following: Wine boxes come in three sizes: three, five and 18 liters. Americans prefer the five-liter size, Europeans the three. The 18-liter box, the equivalent of two cases of bottled wine, is meant for by-the-glass and by-the-carafe sales in restaurants.

Mental note: Never, ever, ever order by-the-glass again. Besides, a bottle has four glasses' worth of wine in it, so why not just buy the bottle? That way everyone could enjoy the vino and be happy.

The third reason is that Mr Prial has to explain just who drinks boxed wine in the United States, perhaps because people who read the NYT's Dining & Wine section haven't any clue. Incredibly, he has left out a key segment of the boxed-wine drinking populace: namely, college students who are broke yet want to get drunk, and can do so on some packaged antifreeze-substitute.

Ah, college. That's when I drank boxed wine, at any rate. It did the job, too. But one quickly learned -- drink, don't taste!

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at August 29, 2003 02:25 AM | TrackBack

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