Holy cow! I can’t believe that August is a 1/3 over. I’ve been so busy the past 10 days that I haven’t had much time to write. Anyway, on to tonight’s topic.
So, when I first started this blog, one of my colleagues mentioned I should try the box wine from Target and write about it. I think I was posting something about inexpensive wines at the time and she recommended it to me. Well, I didn’t. I really meant to. I just never really got around to it.
Then, yesterday there was an article on the increasing quality of boxed wine and it reminded me that I was supposed to try some a long time ago. Today, I happened to find myself at Target and took a quick look at what was offered and decided that the Argentina Malbec was probably my best bet….
After following the instructions on how to open (which even I couldn’t do without a mistake – the tear between the words wine and cube is not supposed to be there), I poured myself a glass….
Okay, I poured myself a ‘taste’. After all, I didn’t want to rush into anything.
Then, I smelled the wine. There wasn’t much there. So, I swirled and smelled again. It began to come to life. There were some dark berry notes with some floral and spice characteristics too, but overall it was pretty simple. So, I gave it a whirl and took a sip. To my surprise, it wasn’t sweet and I didn’t want to spit it out.
Now, let me be clear. This is no Franzia. Franzia was something that was found in the fridge of friends parent’s houses when we were young. Franzia was so sweet it was difficult to even choke down in college, etc…
I wasn’t expecting much from this 1.5 liter of wine that cost $11.99. That’s just six dollars per bottle! It was actually hard to believe they could put two bottles of wine in this tiny cube, but I guess it’s all about using the space. Here’s the cool thing: Once opened, the wine can last up to four weeks without changing in quality. At least that’s what it says on the box, it wouldn’t last four weeks in my house. Although, I’m thinking about leaving a small portion in there for tasting later to see what really happens.
Another surprise was that the wine wasn’t sweet. So many times with inexpensive wines they turn out sweet. It’s usually a deal breaker for me. I love sweet wines, but usually only the ones that are supposed to be, like late harvest Rieslings.
The grape in the box is Malbec. Something that is generally quite expensive when purchasing local ones here in Sonoma and neighboring Napa. The reason is simple. Malbec grows on the same mountain-sides as Cabernet. It’s often used as a blending grape in Cabernet. Since it’s grown in the same place, it usually demands fairly high prices per ton of grapes which leads to high(er) bottle prices. It’s not uncommon to find Malbecs in the $40-50 range around here. But go to your local international wine shop and you’ll find great Malbecs coming from Argentina that are in the $15-25 range. How do they do it? They grow a lot of it. They discovered the hillsides were great for this grape and have capitalized on this lesser-known Bordeaux varietal.
Well, this one isn’t a ‘great’ Malbec. But it also doesn’t demand even the usual Argentina prices. And it’s one that I have quite enjoyed not one, but two glasses of tonight. And at $1.50 for each glass, I would say it’s likely some of the best value wine that I’ve tried to date. I’m curious about the other offerings from this line of uniquely packaged wines from Target. I think there’s another trip in my future….