Summer fun is in full swing! Boating, picnics, pool parties—all great activities, but none of them ideal places for glass bottles of wine. Fortunately, the producers of good wine have set aside their bias against alternative packaging.At the forefront of this movement are folks interested in organic farming who recognize the inefficiency of glass. Glass is heavy, after all, and requires lots of fuel to move it around, so its carbon footprint is formidable. Fuel, in turn, is expensive, so even not-so-green producers are seeing the other green to be saved from moving away from glass. Such is the case for Bota Box Pinot Grigio 2009 ($22, Republic National). This compact, three-liter box holds the equivalent of four bottles of wine. Wrapped in unbleached, 100 percent recyclable cardboard, the wine is light and easygoing, with elements of lemon, honeydew, and pineapple. It works best well-chilled as an aperitif or with light fare like Caesar salad or antipasto.Perhaps the most versatile wine to have on hand during the hot weather is a well-made dry rosé, and Yellow and Blue Rosé 2009 ($12, Bacchus Importers Ltd.) delivers. Estate grown and produced in Alicante, Spain, this blend of Syrah and Monastrell is a refreshing but full-flavored mouthful. Notes of strawberry and watermelon co-mingle with grilled herb notes to make an engaging, delicious bottle—oops, one-liter carton of wine. The grapes are 100 percent certified organic, and a portion of the wine’s proceeds benefits Kiva (a website that links benefactors to entrepreneurs in developing nations).Sultry evenings do not mix well with heavy, red wine. What works better is a mid-weight red wine with ripe fruit, little or no oak, and a dash of spice to handle grilled foods. Thankfully, such a wine can be found in Domaine Montirius “Le Cadet” ($33, The Country Vintner). This may be the best wine currently available in a three-liter bag-in-box. Taking organic one step farther, this biodynamically produced Southern French charmer displays pleasant notes of plum, cherry, and pomegranate without being the least bit leaden. Le Cadet—a simple, quintessential, summertime bistro red—possesses a finesse that I find irresistible.
Making a case for boxed wine.
Issue date: August, 2010