Petit Patrol – Boxed Value


At WineDineWithUs, we’re interested in the ecology of wine – not only the use of natural methods in the vineyard and the winery – but also the way in which wine is packaged and shipped. Rodney has written about the ecologically unsound and financially wasteful practice of shipping wine long-distance in individual heavy glass bottles. At the Wine Riot, Katrin and I were impressed with the wines of Yellow+Blue, which come in tetra paks. We were excited about the wine-on-tap system when it debuted in Boston at the Russell House Tavern. Our concern is ecological and oenological – good environmental practice coupled with good wine.Boxed wines reduce packaging – bottles – but also allow wine to stay fresh since there is no contact with that wine-killer –  oxygen. With this background, I went on a “petit” patrol – I was looking for just one wine rather than six. Yet the wine I was looking for was in reality four bottles for this is the amount that the standard bag-in-a-box holds.

Perhaps in the beginning, the appeal of boxed wines was their novelty and that novelty would help sell some marginal plonk – think French Rabbit. However, as the interest in “going green” increases, the bag-in-the-box takes on a certain cachet and respectability, no longer an outlet for wines that should be destined for the ” wine lake”. I was looking for this new generation of boxed wine and found it at Central Bottle and Provisions.

Poderi Zanusso Sant’Andrat Rosso NV IGT Friuli

This is a second label of I Clivi, a small notable producer of organic wines in Friuli. As with the first label, this wine comes from old vine merlot grown organically and vinified using “spontaneous and non-interventionist” winemaking. The grapes are hand-harvested and age in stainless steel. This is a decidedly different merlot – somewhat agrodolce – somewhat sweet in the nose and dry on the palate. And if you’re wondering about Merlot in Friuli, the varietal has been grown there for 150 years.

Nose – warm spice, stewed dried fruit, warm berry compote, blueberry pie, caramelized sugar. On the palate – fruit and minerals, quite dry, mild tannins, strong acidity, a long finish

And the price? $30 for 3 liters  – and doing the math – $7.50 for a 750 ml bottle

Truly, a Plonk Patrol classic!

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