A while ago, AV found tiny boxes of wine at Best Cellars, a chichi wine store on the UES. He thought they were cute, so he bought one for me. It has sat in his fridge for the past few weeks, until early this week, when I decided to crack (or, uh, twist?) it open.
Though this particular brand comes in five flavors (chardonnay, pinot grigio, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and "sangria"), he had chosen the pinot grigio, which seemed the least potentially offensive. I stared down the box, roughly the size of a large juice box, and marveled at how it could truly be equivalent to 2/3 of a bottle of wine, as it claimed. Grabbing a glass, I twisted open the top and poured a taste.
The verdict? Meh. The pinot grigio was pretty astringent and young-tasting, kind of like a big mouth of grapefruit. Which I don't like. The next morning, after drinking a glass or so, I didn't feel so great. I know that wine in boxes is having a resurgence these days, and there are definitely benefits (particularly eco-benefits in terms of weight, shipping, storage, etc., all due to eliminating the bulky glass bottles), and I know the boxes are supposed to keep wine fresher. But-- and here's a big but-- you've gotta start with good wine to begin with for any of that to matter. And to that end, I don't think I'll be buying Bandit boxes again. But if you're not picky about your wine and are looking for something fun to bring to a picnic, grab a bandit and go hog wild. I promise you'll regret it in the morning.
Available at Best Cellars
1291 Lexington Avenue, between 86th and 87th Streets