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Thinking Inside the Wine Box?

Dtour I’m pretty sure that nothing raises the ire of wine aficionados more than boxed wine.

I was at Target just last week and made a jaunt through the wine section to see how Andrea Immer was pimpin’ wine this month and I almost bought the Wine Cube.  I’ve almost purchased the Wine Cube on at least three other occasions, but, yet, there’s something missing for me that even curiousity can’t overcome.  That, and the fact that I have bad memories of Franzia from 10 years ago—the wine that wouldn’t go away, an endless supply of red bile water taking up 25% of the juice and milk area in the refrigerator.

Boxed wine has no cork, no winery backstory, no nuance—just juice in an air-tight bag packed into a box and shipped off to your local store ready to be foisted upon a Soccer Mom doing some shopping.

And, perhaps that’s it.  While I don’t subscribe to a lot of wine convention, I would like to consider myself a cut above the box set.

But, maybe I should reconsider.

The New York Post has an article in today’s Online Edition that caught my eye.  Notably, because it features a "dtour" "wine in a tube."  This isn’t red not news, as it was released with a PR cycle in November of last year, but what I didn’t realize is that Daniel Boulud and his eponymous restuarant in New York were a part of the program. 

While Boulud probably has more dollar signs in his eyes then a practical desire to bring wine to a larger audience, you have to believe that a guy that invests so much in quality in his restuarants woud ensure that the integrity of his name—as associated with the wine—ensures a pretty good product.

"There’s enough technology out there now that theboxes are not harming the wine at all," says Kym Apotas, assistant winebuyer at Astor Wines. "It’s best for easy-drinking wines that you won’tstore for a long time."

These arguments go a long way toexplain why premium boxed wine sales have grown 70 percent over 2005.But the question remains: Would you order a box of wine at dinner?

Theguys behind Dtour are betting your answer is yes. Dtour is now pouredat DB Bistro, where it is decanted and served by the carafe for $17.

AGoogle search turned up a number of articles on box wine and some decent andnot so decent reviews. One of the mostbewildering is a review from the San Francisco Chronicle—the below tasting notementions, berries … violets … and a soupcon of rubber.

Excuseme? Soupcon stands for “a very little amount.” A soupcon of rubber. As in:

 The 2003 Wine Cube California Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz($16) is balanced and consistent, if slightly light-bodied for a blend of thesetwo grapes. It tasted of berries, violets and a soupcon of rubber.

 On second thought, Ithink it will be a very long time before I purchase a box wine, Andrea Immer, Daniel Boulud and their wine boxed spawn notwithstanding. 



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