Review: NV Pepperwood Grove Chardonnay Big Green Box
Big. Green. Box.
Bottom Line: Hard to argue with a gulpable wine delivered at this price in what is quite possibly the future of non-premium wine packaging. Good for Don & Sons for taking a risk and moving things forward. $20-ish
The Rest Of The Story: (Full disclosure: this wine was received as a sample from the winery's PR firm.) Let's get the obvious out of the way: this is wine in a box. BOX WINE. (Not to be confused with this box.) Cardboard, mylar, a spout. Box wine, people!
Okay, now that we've got the worst behind us, let's take a look at the merits of this:
100% recyclable packaging
Fits standing up in your fridge (and can be poured directly from the fridge)
Super efficient storage and transport
Paper sourced from sustainable forests
Wine bong adapters are no doubt soon to follow
Stays fresh for 2 weeks after opening*
Sweet. So, it was a bit cumbersome to get started and it's a bit of a sloppy pour until you get the hang of it, but nothing you can't get past quickly.
The wine? Fresh, clean nose with traces of caramel and vanilla that follow through on in your mouth. Smooth and fairly full-bodied. Easy to like, but far from complex. And don't let it warm up on you or the caramel melts and the vanilla becomes more extract than bean. But, come on - this box is the equivalent of 4 bottles. If retail expectations on this are right, that's $5/bottle.
How fresh does it stay for how long? No idea. (SEE FOLLOW UP NOTES IN THE COMMENTS) At least 5 days which is about how long it lasted -which says a lot about how easy it was to drink this wine.
We also served it blind - out of a glass, label-less bottle - and got unsolicited compliments on it. Oh, that's nice. What is it? On the other hand, some also acknowledged a predisposition to not liking it once they knew it came out of a box.
Could this be the future of wine packaging? Who knows? Who cares? And it's that last question the market researchers are trying to get answers to. As far as we're concerned, it'd be really great to see an ultra-premium winery test the waters of this format - like Plumpjack did (and still does) with their $200 screw top Reserve Cabernet all those years ago.