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Don’t Box Me In

December 2, 2010

You know, some of my favorite things come in boxes:

Jewelry:

Tiffany and Co Blue Box

(hint, hint, Ryan!)

…and cookies:

…and of course:

Merry Christmas indeed.

Now, after last night, I can add another favorite to the list: wine!

Last night, we attended a dinner party at our friends’ Nick and Marcy’s.  Nick is a self-taught wine aficionado.  When he was in graduate school, he decided that he wanted to know more about wine, so he spent hours upon hours poring over back issues of Wine Spectator magazine.  Last night, Nick and his wife Marcy threw a dinner party centered around different wines so that Nick could share some of his knowledge with us.  And, to make things even more interesting, all of the wines came from…you guessed it—a box!

Before last night, my knowledge of boxed wine was pretty much limited to the Franzia I was so fond of in college, so I was more than a little intrigued by this idea of *good* boxed wine.

Nick explained to us that, while most people think of boxed wine as cheap, bad wine, more and more respectable wineries are jumping on the boxed wine train.  Boxed wine is cheaper than bottled, more environmentally-friendly, and keeps longer once opened.  It’s also handily portable if you wanted to take some wine to, say, a picnic, or a concert in the park, or a freshman English class.  Ahem.

Last night, we tasted four boxed wines: two whites and two reds:

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I’m not exactly hard to please when it comes to wine, but I really thought that all four were great.  The whites were bright with pleasing acidity, and the reds had a real depth of flavor that lingered on the tongue.

Can you tell that I don’t really know what I’m talking about?  No? Good.

Along with the wine, we enjoyed a full four-course meal, with each couple providing a course.

Nick and Emily brought appetizers: brie bites with almonds and apple butter:

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We provided the salad: Radicchio, Apple, and Fennel salad with an orange walnut dressing (recipe to follow):

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Marcy made an AWESOME lasagna:

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So, so, good.

And finally, Casey and Rachael provided a “make your own apple pie” station.  How cute is that?  Rachael baked individual pie crusts, along with delicious spiced apples and whipped cream.  We each assembled our own “pies”—such a great idea!

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For a final treat, Nick opened up a dessert wine similar to a German ice wine.

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This was NOT from a box.  🙂

Perfect end to a great night with friends! Thanks, Nick and Marcy for illuminating us on the wonderful world of boxed wine!

18 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2010 2:34 pm

    what a great party idea!! I have come to really enjoy “Bandits” boxed wine. Each serving contains 1/3 of a bottle of wine and is perfect for walking around town on a summer night. Or from dinner to the bar on New Years Eve. Not that I’ve done either of those things…

  2. December 2, 2010 2:35 pm

    I love boxed wine!

  3. December 2, 2010 2:38 pm

    Those napkins are awesome

  4. December 2, 2010 2:49 pm

    Tony loves box wine. Bota Box is is favorite as of now. I love the make your own apple pies! I am a huge fan of build your own stuff!

  5. December 2, 2010 3:23 pm

    i need lasagna in front of me immediately, please and thank you 🙂

  6. December 2, 2010 3:43 pm

    Boxed wine is the best! My favorite is the Target brand 🙂

    • December 2, 2010 4:51 pm

      Yes! I love that kind! Sadly, Targets in PA don’t sell alcohol, so I haven’t had it for a few years. But I have fond memories of it from grad school!

  7. December 2, 2010 4:01 pm

    What a fun party. Love it. We’ve found a few boxed wines we actually like too. You just have to get over being embarrassed at the checkout 😉

  8. December 2, 2010 4:25 pm

    Interesting! I do have fond memories of Franzia during my college years, heh 😀 Higher quality boxed wine sounds awesome. I used to think that screw caps on a bottle indicated low quality, but I was so wrong! Now I seek out the screwcaps bc they are so easy to open!

    • December 2, 2010 4:50 pm

      Yes– I love screw-top wines! You don’t have to worry about breaking the cork!

  9. December 2, 2010 5:20 pm

    So fun! Even though there was no slapping of the bag … Can’t wait until our next shindig!

  10. Mindy permalink
    December 2, 2010 5:30 pm

    Anna, do you remember which brands you drank? I’d like to have some recommendations!

  11. December 2, 2010 6:16 pm

    My brother bought me two boxes of wine and they were both awesome. I’m no wine afficionado, but these were 1000 times better than Franzia! And I never say no to free wine 🙂

  12. December 2, 2010 6:38 pm

    Interesting! I’ve been scared of box wine since my Franzia days in college, what reds did you try?

  13. December 3, 2010 12:06 am

    Lol, loved that box skit. I’m open to boxed wine and may have bought one or two from Target in the past. I still think of Kathy Griffin’s mom though – tip it!

  14. December 3, 2010 2:09 am

    The only kind of boxed wine that I’ve ever had was Franzia. Ha.

  15. Ginger permalink
    December 3, 2010 3:14 pm

    What a great idea for a party! Can we get the recipe for the brie bites? Also, what kind of lasagna was that? It looked great!

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