WaPo perpetuates stereotype then questions it

While briefly surfing washingtonpost.com while eating, I noticed an article labeled “Think Outside the Box : Boxed wine is making a comeback — but is it drinkable? We put six brands to the test. ” I’m a beer drinker who the nuances of wine are largely lost on, but technological innovation and marketing interest me, so I opened the article. What a waste of my time.

Writer Dave McIntyre talks about six boxed wine options but I see no reason to bother considering what he has to say. After an opening paragraph that makes little sense – somehow equating boxed wine with stealing your parents’ alcohol from the fridge – he launches into this paragraph.

Yet wine in a box has some advantages: A three-liter carton takes the space of two bottles but offers the buzz of four. Smaller boxes offer possibilities for covert sipping in places where alcohol might be frowned upon. Boxes fit neatly into a picnic basket and won’t break on a patio or pool deck. And they are cheaper than bottles and corks, so the winery can pass that savings on to you.

Of the four possible reasons Mr McIntyre thinks you might want boxed wine, one is quantity of “buzz” and the other is drinking on the sly. If the standard we’re going to be talking about here is how ripped you can get, doooooooood, then why bother to talk about taste? Why not just print the alcohol content percentages, my man? You’ve clearly already made up your mind about this test and the possible outcomes.

The best bit, though? The opening of the following paragraph.

Despite these conveniences, the stigma remains.

Gosh, I wonder how those stigmas keep getting perpetuated, Dave?

3 Comments so far

  1. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 7:48 am

    Dave McIntyre is rather closed-minded, as is the rest of the community that doesn’t look to mylar and airlocks for wine purity. Corks are air-penetrable and lead to wines going bad.

    Boxes of wine are better than bottles but don’t have the same aesthetic appeal.


  2. Brian (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 9:53 am

    Among wine articles this issue gets flip-flopped about as much as screwcaps (which are finally seen as a good thing), and can get as heated as the issue of restaurant tipping on a food blog.

    What most wine drinkers will rarely admit is just what Carl mentioned, a lot of the appeal is aesthetics. The slight pop of removing a cork, the ability to pass around a bottle before opening it, all of that vanishes with a box regardless of whether the wine inside is just as good. I’ve had really great wine from a box, it’s great for bringing to parties, and if the host really has an issue, I just bring along a decanter so people can get over themselves.


  3. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 11:15 am

    I forgot to mention – I love wine. I make it and really get into the aesthetics. But if it’s corky, acidic or simply not sealed properly and leaking, you’ve got piss in a bottle. I think we can figure out a new set of aesthetics to accompany our friend the box wine.



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