Among my friends I’m considered a wine snob. But honest, I’m not! No, I don’t like Two Buck Chuck. But I don’t think wine needs to be expensive to be good, or that has to be red to be good. I don’t even think it has to come in a bottle to be good. Yes, I’m talking about box wine.
The bag-in-a-box concept is brilliant, portable and keeps your wine fresh much longer than in bottle. The problem with much of it has been the wine itself, but fortunately winemakers are embracing the box and filling it up with some delicious, characterful wine. At K&L, where I work as a writer and editor, we are importing three-liter boxes of Blason Pinot Grigio from Italy (it’s currently bobbing around the Atlantic somewhere), but already have three-liter boxes of the quintessential summer wine, the 2007 “Le Petite Frog” Picpoul de Pinet Hughes Bealieu ($29.99) in stock. That’s $30 for the equivalent of four bottles of wine and it will last up to six weeks in your fridge.
Picpoul, which means “lip-stinger,” is a high-acid white grape grown also called Folle Blanche; it’s a primary component in Cognac and Armagnac and is also a common grape in France’s Loire Valley. This Picpoul comes from Southern France’s Coteaux de Languedoc, where it manages to maintain its vibrant acidity despite the region’s blistering heat. Juicy peach and apricot aromas and flavors, stony minerality, tarragon notes and low levels of alcohol make it an ideal match for almost anything on your summer table. I’ve paired it with barbecued chicken, caprese salads, rosemary shrimp and grilled peaches all to great success.
Perfect for camping, picnicking, backyard pool parties, beach excursions and, frankly, any other excuse you can come up with to crack open a box of fresh, fun, delicious wine. You have to try this Picpoul, it’ll convert the snob in you, too.