Adventures in Cheap Wine: Trader Joes puts wine in a box

Some moments call for fine wine- a great cheese plate, a celebratory meal, any time you’re wearing shoes that cost more than your smartphone. And that’s good. But let’s be honest- there are other times- more frequent times- that call just as strongly for wine that’s cheap, but still drinkable. These moments, which are often accompanied by sweatpants, impromptu barbecues and/or sappy Lifetime movies, are just as important, and far more treacherous. Anybody can go to their local wine store and let a sommelier tell you which wine to drop $40 retail on and not be disappointed, but finding something in the sub-$10 a bottle range that you actually like- that takes talent. Well friends, my dear friend Trader Joe has come through yet again with their new line of boxed wine. Yes, I said boxed wine- don’t judge. If it was good enough for your eccentric Aunt Millie, it’s good enough for you.

I’ll be perfectly upfront here: this Shiraz-in-a-box is not going to win any fancy awards from people sophisticated enough to actually spit something out during a tasting. It probably won’t ever be featured on Vine Talk, the hypnotically dull PBS wine talk show that Stanley Tucci hosts (if you haven’t seen this, you are missing out). But it’s not bad. It is the equivalent of 4 bottles of Charles-Shaw-level wine for only $10 neatly contained in a vacuum-sealed box that magically keeps said wine fresh for up to 45 days. 45 days people! If you, like me, have ever cried a little while pouring out the remnants of a bottle that turned before you could finish it (I’ll drink cheap wine, but I won’t drink vinegar, and I’m not actually as much of a lush as I make myself sound on this blog), this is the everyday answer to all of your problems.

I know, it’s not like you needed another excuses to go to Trader Joes, but go ahead and throw this into your cart (you know, that red thing you drag around the impossibly skinny aisles and fill with delicious snacks like Thai Yum Cashews, TJ-branded Pirate booty and fruit leather with extra fiber) It’s the perfect porch-pounder, it’s totally affordable, and it will last as long as you need it to. And seriously, who doesn’t need a drink after trying to get in and out of a Trader Joes parking lot? Maybe you can even have a glass while you finally check out Vine Talk- it will increase the wonder and awe factor by at least two-fold.

8 Responses to “Adventures in Cheap Wine: Trader Joes puts wine in a box”

  1. [...] it with a Trader Joe’s boxed Shiraz, which was quite drinkable if not notable. At 3 liters for $9, it would definitely make for an [...]

  2. Liz says:

    I love this post – not only do I have TJ’s box wine in my fridge, but I also have an eccentric aunt millie.

    Now that I have a perfect portion of wine any time I want it, I have been experimenting with strange wine combinations – as suddenly red wine seems appropriate at just about any hour of the day.

    I can vouch for mixing this wine with honey and hot green tea as a perfectly drinkable cure for seasonal allergies, and I’ve also enjoyed it in my own (cheap) version of the following recipe:

    Mulled-wine hot chocolate

    2 cups organic sugar
    2 cups alkalized cocoa powder
    2 cinnamon sticks
    5 star anise
    8 cloves
    18 ounces 67% dark chocolate from the Dominican Republic, broken into pieces
    2 clementines or satsumas, skin left on, halved
    1 sprig of fresh rosemary
    1 x 750ml bottle of fruity red wine, such as Merlot

    Put 13/4 cups water, the sugar, the cocoa powder and all the spices in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, and whisk well until the chocolate is fully incorporated. Add the clementines and rosemary and infuse for 10 minutes. Add the red wine and warm
    through gently.

    Serve warm rather than hot.

    (* Recipe from Adventures with Chocolate by Paul A.Young – published by Kyle Books, 2011- all rights reserved, reproduced by permission of Kyle Books)

    Happy drinking!

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  4. karl says:

    never throw away old wine…cook with it!

  5. Aubrey says:

    Wise words Karl- wise words!

  6. Brittany says:

    I picked some up yesterday while doing my grocery shopping. It really is quite good!

    When I was checking out, the cashier told me “it lasts WAY longer than bottled wine…” I jokingly told him: “that’s because there are FOUR whole bottles in there!!” I thought leftover wine was the stuff of legends – with 3 kids under the age of 6, this has never been a problem in my house ;-)

  7. Sheila says:

    Love all Charles Shaw as an everyday wine..will definitely try the boxed wine but it will never last 45 days in our household. We may never find out how long it lasts! Not a problem.

  8. Woody says:

    I have to start drinking a glass of red wine a day for health reasons. I thought this would be a great way to start, since I have absolutely no experience with wine. I picked some up at Trader Joe’s today – it’s pretty tasty.

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