NV Pepperwood Grove Big Green Box California Chardonnay

Boxes Still Suck

I’m trying, folks. Really, really trying.

I want to find boxed wine I like. I want to join the eco-friendly, cost-savvy, antiflavor elite-shunning Brave New World™ of alternative packaging. I’ve tried Octavins and cubes and boxes and little 500ml foil-lined wax paper “juice packs” and all kinds of stuff. It’s not selling me, and I’m not buying it.

So here we go. I tried again. I wanted badly to like this stuff. It comes in a 3L box! It costs $19, which is less than $5/bottle! It has some viognier in it!!

Fuck me, it just isn’t any good.

The 3L Big Green Box is pretty. It’s an obvious play towards the millennial generation, with its sans-serif fonts and almost Apple-like design aesthetic. Plus, I pretty much think all box wine efforts are, at least at some level, about wooing millennials.

The wine is non-vintage California juice, and made up of 88% chardonnay, 10% chenin blanc, and 2% viognier. It gives off a light golden glow in the glass. I don’t know if it’s the room I was in at the time, but it seemed almost iridescent. I’m praying I imagined that.

On the nose—and I’m not making this up now, this was my first impression, jotted into my invaluable Evernote account at the moment I first drank the wine–I get heat and feet. Alcohol sting, a musty gym locker odor, and not much you actually want from a chardonnay-focused wine.

The wine is medium-bodied, with a very short, acidic finish. There is something of a pear aroma on the palate, but in general, this reminds me of Welch’s white grape juice, with the nostril-stinging, throat-irritating burn of alcohol. Yum

Y'know what? On second thought, I don’t want to like boxed wine. I like glass bottles just fine, thank you.

Verdict: sub-70/100
Price Point: $4.25 (per bottle equivalent)

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