Box wines have always been an easy sell for value. They've recently gained cachet with green-centric sippers, too - cardboard-wrapped vino's carbon footprint can be less than half as big as that left by bottled wines. But so much boxed wine is all about the packaging - not what's inside.
This newly arrived malbec from local upstart Yellow + Blue is one notable exception. Imported from Argentina by J. Soif of Chester Springs, this organic wine from Vinas de Alto Salvador in Mendoza is shipped in 24,000 liter insulated tanks, then packed Stateside into one-liter TetraPaks (just five percent of the product's weight, as opposed to 50 percent with bottles.) It goes a long way toward company founder Matthew Cain's goal of environmentally conscious wine. But it really helps the cause that this wine tastes good, too - a simple, full-fruited drink that also shows balance and finesse, with classic malbec traits of black currant fruit, chocolate, and leathery spice.
True, a box lacks the romance of a popping cork. But, says Cain, "that's what decanters are for."
A liter box of Yellow + Blue malbec costs $9.99 in Pennsylvania state wine stores.
- Craig LaBan