April 25, 2015

"One of the joys of being working class is that you get to bypass that traumatic bottle/half-bottle/wine the next day dilemma."

"Box wine just keeps on giving. I imbibe my cardBordeaux while doing counted cross stitch. I figure as long as I can still count, I've not gone over-bordeaux."

Comment on a Wall Street Journal article titled "Drinking Alone: A Bad Idea or a Toast to Oneself? Is imbibing solo pathetic? Antisocial? A sign of ‘a problem’? Lettie Teague talks to some experts, tips her glass to all the wine drinkers who decline to drink alone and concludes: nope." That title fails to include Teague's main concern: A full bottle of wine is too much for one person to drink, and opened wine supposedly gets significantly worse by the next day.
One friend, a middle-aged single male, will open (almost) any wine in his cellar for friends but not a single bottle for just himself. An unshared bottle is a waste of money, he said, likening the act to buying “an entire ham” when he just wanted a sandwich....

As for the notion that an open bottle isn’t quite as good on day two or three, I’ve found this to be both true and false. Many wines will flatten, and the fruit may fade, after the bottle has been opened. But some wines—reds that are big and tannic and/or young—get softer and more accessible with a bit of time and air....
I always drink wine with dinner, even if I’m dining alone.... And I don’t necessarily drink something cheap just because I’m dining alone. I’ll open a good bottle as readily for myself as I would for anyone else. A good wine is likely to be better than a cheap wine on the second day anyway....
Teague considers the alternative of buying half bottles but never mentions box wine. "Cardbordeaux," by the way, is old slang. I'd never heard it before, but the Urban Dictionary definition goes back almost 10 years. It's replete with "Simpsons" jokes about a woman who drinks too much. A working-class woman. And that's a hint of how the culture has prevented the better technology from reaching higher-class women like Lettie Teague, women who will spend a lot of money on wine but only want one glass a day. The method of effectively delivering less got associated with drinking more, with lame jokes like Ralph Wiggum saying "You look like my Mommy after her box of wine." That's like something dispensed from a box labeled "Jokes."

33 comments:

Meade said...

"Cardbordeaux"

"That's like something dispensed from a box labeled 'Jokes.'"

Card bored jeaux.

Texas Annie said...

Growing up, my parents always had cocktails before dinner and wine with dinner. When my mother passed, my father did not stop that practice even though he was alone.

I have always done the same, and now that I am widowed I have no intention of stopping the practice either. I will happily open a bottle of good wine for just a glass or two with dinner.

And you are absolutely correct, Ann, a good bottle does not necessarily go bad the next day where a cheaper vintage might.

And box wine is not that disgusting for heaven's sake. If you want a light fresh taste for an afternoon of stitching, have at it.

People really need to lower their damn noses. The variety of tastes and aromas out there are limitless and one is no better than the other, just different. Feh...

Except durian. Durian is truly disgusting.

MadisonMan said...

I've never understood those who only drink $40/bottle and up wines. There is a law of diminishing returns that rapidly occurs when you spend money for wine.

I've bought precisely 3 $100+ bottles of wine in my life. (Bought because the vineyard name matched mine) They were good, to be sure, but not so good that I'll repeat the splurge when I can find very very good $30 bottles and perfectly Midwest Fine $10 bottles.

MadisonMan said...

btw, My wife will not knit if she's been drinking. Bad things happen to the stitches, even after half a G&T or a glass of wine.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I have my doubts as to whether "being working class" has much to do with it, but I should think that a good case of chronic rhinitis, along with some honesty, go a long way toward obviating such fussy concerns.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

Box white on the rocks is my regular tipple, and I confess to enjoy triggering wine snobs by mentioning it.

The other thing is, some wines are way better than others, but there are all those blind taste tests where the "experts" get fooled - taste isn't the only factor when it comes to wines.

Bob Ellison said...

Why don't they sell wine in those single-serving squeeze boxes like Capri Sun apple juice? With the little straw. That would be awesome.

Bob Ellison said...

In fact, gin-and-tonic squeeze boxes would really work. I'll bet Big Bartender lobbies against this.

FleetUSA said...

Boxed wine is excellent. Keep a box of good chardonnay in the fridge for ready use.

paminwi said...

If you enjoy wine, drink it, fresh or a a day old. The only people who comment on this kind of stuff are ones that want to be known as better than the rest of us. When you road travel, as we do a lot, the wine that pours out of a small box works great. Check into your hotel, pour some wine while you are unpacking, and voila, you are ready for a nice evening, IMO.

Tank said...

I once asked my daughter's boyfriend about his taste in wine. He said, "I like to drink it."

I admit my tastes are not that much more sophisticated. I've heard many talks about wine and it's one of many subjects that go in one ear and out the other (could be because I'm usually drinking at the time).

I'll say this though. A couple of years ago we were in Oregon and rode the winery trail. They have the kind of wine there that I like and plenty of good ones too. We found, generally, at each winery that we liked the more expensive wines better. Yes, we liked the $60 bottle better than the $40 bottle better than the $20 bottle. Tank brought home two bottles of wine and paid $100. Show your work.

PS Lots of BYOBs here in NJ (because we have insane laws) and I save that kind of wine for a special night out at one of the BYOBs.

lemondog said...

Watch out for he cheapies.

Budget Wines Violate Recommended Arsenic Levels, Report Shows

The Drill SGT said...

We're a bottle a day family. Almost no hard liqueur, but we do enjoy good wine. Came of growing up in Northern Calif I suppose. I think that is one of the things that my bride found important. I liked wine and I could cook Chinese. Having assignments in strange places as an Army officer, 40 years ago, if you wanted Mexican or Chinese, you often had to DIY.

David said...

But remember, income inequality is very very bad.

iowan2 said...

Wine sobs,pft

Vintners would much prefer to put the vast efforts of producing a great wine into a box with a bladder. Its best for the wine. Think about what happens when you uncork (cork, a technology that was the best they had when it was crafted.....thousands of years ago) a bottle of wine, air. Air happens. now think about how box wine is served. In an airtight collapsing bladder served from the bottom, not allowing air in.
were it not for the wine snobs, we would all be enjoying better wine on a regular basis.

I have a friend that is new to winemaking on a commercial level, he has 16.5 acres of grapes. His vintner has a college degree in wine making, The would prefer their product never saw a bottle and cork, but tradition demands it, at the cost of hurting the end product.

Coupe said...

I don't think the ham analogy works. If there's one thing I enjoy is a bone-in ham sitting in the fridge and being picked apart the week after Thanksgiving.

Then the bone is pitched into a pot, and used to make baked beans.

mmmph, mmmph, mmmph...

"Wine is for cooking, and brushing your teeth, not drinking." Janis Joplin

Johanna Lapp said...

Pennsylvania (state-run) wine and spirits stores sell five different brands of wine in 12- to 16-ounce boxes. The clerks call them "adult juiceboxes" and the wine drinkers I know like them for picnics and stealthy imbibing in public spaces. (Until security guards start realizing that they're not apple juice.)

At home, we keep a few glass jars of assorted sizes for wine leftovers. Easier to fit in the fridge, minimal air to corrupt the wine, and easy to toss in your knapsack. Welch's single-serve grape juice bottles fool the nosiest policeman. Just remember: Red wine in the concord bottle, whites in the apple bottle.

Ann Althouse said...

"I have my doubts as to whether "being working class" has much to do with it, but I should think that a good case of chronic rhinitis, along with some honesty, go a long way toward obviating such fussy concerns."

Well, I suffer from anosmia and it really limits my ability to enjoy food and drink. But it makes me more fussy in some ways. Tastes that come through, notable sourness, are prominent when other subtleties are lost. And the texture becomes very important. I have a glass of wine with dinner almost every day, but I don't drink cheap wine. It's just completely intolerable to me, and that's not out of snobbiness. So you've got a couple of theories there that are quite wrong, in my view.

Texas Annie said...

Johanna - Brilliant!

Texas Annie said...

No Ann, the difference is you do not look down on people who drink cheaper wines. So the theory still holds.

Coupe said...

lemondog said......arsenic...

While arsenic has a parts per million level associated with being "bad for your body," any level of alcohol is "bad for your body."

"Can't see the forest for the trees"

Bottom line, most people with good breeding will live to about 67 while consuming many types of poisons.

Bad breeding will usually result in deaths from about birth to age 19.

To find out if your selected spouse is good for breeding, you should examine their teeth. Spouses with bad teeth have bad everything.

MarkW said...

With wine, as with so many other products, the cheap stuff sucks so much less than it did decades ago. I was surprised a few years ago when I ordered a glass of the house red at an Italian place and it was bad enough to be undrinkable. I really couldn't remember the last time that happened--I even suspect they must have gone to some trouble to find a house wine that pathetic just to be able to upsell.

Coupe said...

iowan2 said......a great wine into a box with a bladder. Its best for the wine.

This isn't "green."

The problem is, people won't separate the cardboard for recycle, and the plastic bladder ends-up in the worlds oceans.

There's also the problem of plastic leaching into the contents.

Glass is God's answer to food storage. Plastic is not Holy.

Carol said...

Why don't they sell wine in those single-serving squeeze boxes like Capri Sun apple juice?

They do. Just not the find stuff. Just Sutter Home etc. And there is no straw.

It seems to be the rule for me that if a friend orders or serves wine, it's fabulous, but I can never seem to find a good one for myself. And They nor I can ever remember what the hell it was we had.

Carol said...

...err, the fine stuff. Just the stuff you *find* at 7-11.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Bob Ellison said...

Why don't they sell wine in those single-serving squeeze boxes like Capri Sun apple juice? With the little straw. That would be awesome.

My kids generally refer to box wine as "Grandma's juice box". I think it would be a great marketing idea, especially if it had a picture of my mother-in-law passed out on the sofa!

Wilbur said...

I only sip my MD20/20 from a bottle. A long straw is useful.

buwaya puti said...

Durian is wonderful. Its just for us the open minded, at the moment.
One day biological science will improve the smell, and Durian will be the king of fruit.

buwaya puti said...

The problem here is that most of you haven't had a lifetime of training in the appreciation of bad liquor.
I have.
Its all good, really, one just has to get past the learning curve.

Balfegor said...

I enjoy a bit of port with/after dinner ("it's medicinal" haha) or just with cheese or nuts if I'm skipping dinner. Partly this is because my tastes are juvenile and I like the sweet stuff, and partly this is because I have less fear of the wine going off -- at least by reputation, they keep quite a long while even after recorking and my untutored experience is not inconsistent. They're not expensive wines -- the ones I drink are in the $30-40 range (reserve and 10-year). But they're very flavourful (and the alcohol content is high) so a bottle goes a lot further than an equivalent bottle of wine would. I can nurse two fingers of port for a whole evening.

Fritz said...

I decided a long time ago that paying more than $10 a bottle for wine is wasted on my palate; although I will occasionally go as high as $14 for pretty label, too.

Captain Curt said...

There are now simple, inexpensive devices for preserving an open bottle of wine. Basically a rubber stopper with a one-way valve and a mini-pump to draw the air out. It virtually completely stops the oxidation that degrades wine.

My wife and I use it all the time, so a single bottle lasts us two nights. Even after a week, there is a satisfying pop when removing the stopper, and the wine is not noticeably degraded. Sparkling wines are still sparkling a week later.

Kzookitty said...

Seeing this post immediately reminded me of that kook who used to go on and on about Althouse and boxed wine.

Also, there is an easy and obvious solution to the "problem" of left-over wine. :)

Q: kzookitty, do you have a drinking problem?
A: yes, sometimes I need a pair of pliers to get the screw-cap off that second bottle of Wild Irish Rose.

kzookitty