June 23, 2009

"Interestingly, a lot of the harsh flavors came from ladybugs that were mashed up with the grapes."

A comment that freaked me out, on this post about whether or not boxed wine is good.

I got to that post via Instapundit, but I was also thinking about boxed wine today because Nina Camic just wrote about it.

Oddly, although I often run across insults against me that portray me as a consumer of boxed wine, the truth is, I've never purchased the stuff. I would, though. I understand why the technology is superior to bottles. Some people associate boxed wine with drinking a lot, but isn't the point that you drink less, because you don't have to try to use up a whole bottle before it goes bad?

36 comments:

trogdor said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1194910/Teenager-Kimberley-Vlaminck-56-stars-tattoed-face-finally-comes-clean.html

traditionalguy said...

Spot on Professor! The boxed container is superior, if only the best wines will risk their reputations and ship it. The need to finish a bottle, or recork it and let it sit and go bad usually makes the last third of a great wine into a bad wine. I want more boxed wines.

rhhardin said...

What goes with an individual serving box of frosted flakes.

Salamandyr said...

box wine is merely an updated packaging for jug wine, or table wine. If you are inclined to regularly drink wine with meals, it's an affordable alternative.

As to the nitwits who accuse you of drinking a lot, that's the kind of puritanical hypocrisy the left seems infected with. All for civil liberties? Their deeds say different.

Chris said...

The problem with getting high end wineries to ship in boxes is that a huge amount of what people like about wine is ritual and tradition.

Donn said...

The best box wine currently out is Black Box, something I've been drinking on and off for a couple years now.

traditionalguy said...

When I discover a really good Pinot from Sonoma, or Cabernet from Napa, or Zinfindel from either, then I buy a case or a mixed case. The costs would be significantly lower with a Boxed container that lasts on the shelf. The costs of everything matter again now. Whine, Whine, Whine!

Meade said...

"something I've been drinking on and off for a couple years now"

Wow! That really does keep longer!

Plus, you'd thing something as cute as a ladybug wouldn't taste harsh. Harsh just seems so unladylike.

elizabeth said...

Where, though, is the comment - or paragraph about the ladybugs (my hub researches this stuff - bugs, smells...) I followed all links but could not find.

Thank you!

Donn said...

Elizabeth,

It's the second comment from the first link in Ann's post.

Donn said...

Ummm, Meade. One box never lasts longer than about a week or so!

kalmia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

so instead of the 20 something reds in the cellar, I can go find a box of Heitz Martha's Vineyard 1989 Cab for dinner on Friday?

Or maybe Stags Leap Cask 23, 1990?

I don't think so

Ralph L said...

If they've found a packaging material that doesn't affect taste or quality, it'd be nice if they'd pass it on to the milk container manufacturers.

elizabeth said...

Thanks, Donn! :D

nansealinks said...

personally i thought men (traditionally the wine connoisseur) liked bottles because of wine and women and the curvature.



a box is a box is a shape.

I always thought those casks of wine from the neditteranean lands were women with their hands on their hips orvery womenly anatomically. wine the ultimate aphrodisiac in a box. getting to borgish , me thinks. Call me crazy, but it's psychology, again, for some of you.

former law student said...

I was concerned that science meant the end to the green pepper smell of sauvignon blanc, so I rushed to read it.

The sciguy completely misinterprets the paper. In terms of keeping flavor elements and SO2 in, and keeping oxygen out, the natural cork outperforms everything. On the other hand, if you like brown, oxidized wine, the Tetrapak is made for you.

The issue is a big don't care for most of us. In North America, harsh flavors derived from crushed lady beetles are a problem only around Lake Ontario. Ontario wines are economically significant in Canada. A lot of their wine gets poured down the drain, and the scientists from Ontario and Ohio were hoping that enough of the ladybug flavor compound would escape the porous packaging to make the wine palatable.

former law student said...

Boxed wines do have their place. While unsuitable for prolonged aging, once opened they will keep the wine in better shape than does a corked glass bottle. Still, I would plan to drink it up within a week.

traditionalguy said...

nansealinks...You are thinking of the original green coca-cola bottle. Adults like to drink wine from a wine glass, and they value the flavor more than the long hard bottle, unless you enjoy a standing servant pouring your glass for you while seated at your home table. Save the ceremony for the elegant restaurants.

Bill said...

I haven't seen a lot of ladybugs going into the must. June bugs, ants, yellowjackets, yes. The occasional lizard...

Lem said...

I've been reading Althouses reaction to her unexpected, unannounced and unceremonious demotion from the majors (see MLB) to oblivion and to tell you the truth I think the professor has handled it with Obamanian reserve ;) (I'm exaggerating, but I mean it as a compliment)

It is in a situation like this when you think back and ask what would Howard Cosell have said, what words would he used to describe Blogger's desmán?

Good to have you back Althouse.

I only wish the baseball offseason was that brief.

nansealinks said...

again i have just seen how people handle the bottles in a store. the act of picking it out and handling it for the first time must be superior than just grapping a handle and carrying it home like a piece of luggage.

.

The Drill SGT said...

Bill,

You forgot about the tank rats :)

They impart a certain character to the vintage, be it glass or plastic packaged.

al said...

Something for the wine snobs

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The crushed ladybug concept is exactly why I quit buying ground coffee and buy the whole beans that I can grind.

Ground coffee can have dead wasps, other bugs, dirt, mold, sticks and rocks. Coffee beans that are 'curing' are literally swarming with insects and the hygiene of the folks who are harvesting and processing the product isn't all that great. Think about it.....Angola!!

The downside to boxed wine is that unless you look inside the cardboard box or pick it up and feel the weight, you have no idea how close you are to being empty. Oooops....surprise.

AJ Lynch said...

"Consumer of boxed wine" made me laugh. It reminds me of one of those high-faluting insults you'd get from Monty Python.

kellymo said...

Sir Meade - may I recommend a trip with the Professor out to Kinkead Ridge in Ripley? Lovely drive along the river (lots of opportunities for photographers), with delicious wine at the end of it. For a good party trick, give someone a nicely chilled glass of their white Revelation without telling them the origin or the price - let them guess.

class-factotum said...

pass it on to the milk container manufacturers.

Actually, aseptic packaging is used for milk in South America and other places where there is not a good cold chain or where consumers do not have refrigerators. It is shelf stable (until it is opened, that is, as I had to explain to my Chilean host family who tried to give me opened aseptic milk that had sat on the counter overnight).

The packaging is used for juice (you see it here with the small juice boxes -- no comment on how some people seem to be happy to spend money they don't need to spend just for convenience) and for tomatoes.

I believe the liner for the wine is different (it's been years since I worked in the liquid packaging group at my former employer, so I don't remember all the details) from the one for milk because of the acidity difference. There are many (7? 14? really can't remember) layers of the packaging and it is a bit expensive to make, but it sure is easier to take a resealable box of Gato Negro on the 14-hour bus ride from northern Chile to Santiago than to take a corked bottle.

former law student said...

I haven't seen a lot of ladybugs going into the must. June bugs, ants, yellowjackets, yes. The occasional lizard...

Natural selection should assure that only swimmers can reproduce. Aside from an occasional spider, the only critters I've seen in must are earwigs, who love to hide in tight bunches.

Joe said...

The worse milk I ever had was in South America, with Paris being a close second.

One advantage of being a teetotaler is not having to worry about how to buy wine. (I can't figure out how anyone can drink the stuff.)

Donna B. said...

I love the box for some wines, especially the sweeter whites. For red? Not yet. Maybe it's acidity or something else, but every red I've had from a box was horrible (n=2)

John's Arts & Crafts said...

Well I just want to know what species of Ladybeetle?
New Hx. of the ladybug:
http://historyoftheladybug.blogspot.com/

k*thy said...

“Some people associate boxed wine with drinking a lot, “

I think the perception is that boxed wine is less expensive. Obviously, it’s easier to ship (shape and weight), which may indeed make that so. I don’t know. It’s certainly easier for the consumer to transport, *looks* like more, and it’s *easier* to dispose of. Hence, the wino insult.

“but isn't the point that you drink less, because you don't have to try to use up a whole bottle before it goes bad?”

If one’s “drinking a lot” has crossed the line in to a functioning alcoholic, accessibility is all that matters. "Going bad" is not an issue. The choice could go bottle or box…

former law student said...

Well I just want to know what species of Ladybeetle?

Harmonia axyridis, the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle

James Wigderson said...

"...before it goes bad?" If it's sold in a box, it's too late.

Ann Althouse said...

"...before it goes bad?" If it's sold in a box, it's too late"

But that's not because of the box. It's because (or if) only bad wine is packaged that way (to cater to customer snobbery).