Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Wine in a tube

As I've written before, the traditional way to buy wine is too difficult. FIrstly, you never know what the stuff in the bottle will taste like. The labels are hard to understand, and the usual descriptors: "lush", "jammy", "earthy" etc, simply are not that helpful. Secondly, a bad cork will skunk the wine, or more likely, will change the flavor enough that you won't really love it but will drink it anyway. And nothing makes you feel more stupid that drinking skunked wine and not knowing any better. Thirdly, the 750ml bottle is useless -- it is precisely enough for 3 ppl at one meal and I rarely dine in trios.

This is all slowly being fixed. The emergence of single-varietal, international style wines (New Zealand Sauvingnon Blancs, Australian Shirz, Californian Chardonnay) means that if you pick a grape type, you'll have a better sense of what's inside. Screwtops are replacing corks. And we're seeing good wine come in boxes, so you can pour out a glass or two at a time, and the remainder stays good. Wine in boxes carries a stigma, so I liked seeing this wine in a tube.

It's also interesting that the robust market in generic wines is also creating a robust market in obscure wines.


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