There are days when I just want a sip or two of a decent wine, but don't want to pull the cork on a whole bottle.
Apparently lots of people have been feeling that way over the last couple of years, which has been one reason wine bagged in boxes with spigots have been showing healthy sales growth. The other reason is that much better wine has been put into those boxes.
I finally made it to our Lodi Target about a week ago to pick up one of their award-winning and popular Wine Cubes for my fridge, figuring the 2008 Pinot Grigio would make a good aperitif lead-off hitter before a bottle of some brawny Lodi red.
Happily, the wine was quite enjoyable, with aromas and flavors of green apple, grapefruit, and green bean with hints of sea salt and apricot in a pleasing, balanced light style that let the fruit sing without fake sweetness.
Printed on the side of the box is "California," but Trinchero Family Estates (of Sutter Home fame), who makes Wine Cubes for Target, said about 50% of the winegrapes come from Lodi and surrounding areas. Those grown in Lodi are crushed at Trinchero's "Westside" winery near Turner Road and Highway 5. The wine is then tanker-trucked to their "Main Street" winery in Napa Valley for boxing.
The big 3-Liter Wine Cube holds the equivalent of 4 regular bottles of wine and goes for $16.99, meaning the wine would otherwise cost $4.25 per bottle - a very decent value.
It seems that Target is on a mission not to let any wine go unprotected, because you can also pick up a half-size, 1.5L Cube for $11.99, or a $9.99 4-pack of juice-box-like containers that each hold a third of a regular bottle of wine. Plus, they have boxed other varietals, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon.
I'm going to restrict myself to only a glass every few days to see if the wine can last in the box for the full advertised 4 weeks and still be delicious.