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Friday, January 23, 2004

It's A 'Cask' Not A 'Box'

I have been talking a bit about wine and how, to some degree it is unapproachable to many. Earlier this month, I gave a few web site suggestions for good wine advice and even some bad wine advice. But what about middle of the road wines? Like good scotch, good beer and good tequila, there is a place at any table for good wine and average wine for enjoying at home throughout all the week without the pretension. Last year I discovered Franzia's' Chianti. Now before you make the ugly sour face, know this. All wine in a box is not bad. In fact there are actually full-fledged reviews of box wines or "cask wines" as the industry is trying to get us to call them. And these wines come from Austrailia and Europe. Hardly what you think of when you think of a big box or gallon bottle of Carlo Rossi. Anyway, back to the Chianti. There is a lot of talk about a mass marketed (yet still impossible to find here in Denver) wine called Two Buck Chuck. A merlot/cabernet blend wine that actually gets high marks from many reviewers. In fact Chuck dabbled to acceptable reviews in Chianti, so cheap Chianti (my favorite) had to be available. And Voila, Franzia's Chianti in a box, err, I mean cask. And then, checking out at Lucas Liquors, I learned that Franzia is actually made by Chuck, of the Two Buck Chuck claim. And it is a smooth, mellow yet wine flavored beverage that keeps the head happy on a mellow week night. Sigh. Also on the shelf a try this weekend, Hardy's from Austrailia and their cask packaged Chardonnay and Shiraz. I will let you know. I might add that at $9.99 per 5 liters for the Chianti and $9.99 for 3 liters for the Hardys, these wines come in at $1.50 and $2.50 per bottle respectively. If they are no good, you are truly out no money. But so far so good.