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Saturday 4 November 2017

The verdict is in: Are bag-in-the-box wines set to make a comeback?

Travel through France or Italy and you will often be served delicious but cheap-as-chips wines by the glass or carafe in cafés and restaurants. 
Those wines, usually local, either come from a bag in a box, or from a plastic 5-litre "en vrac" Cubitainer provided by the local co-op. 

Whether these lunchtime wines are white, red or rosé, they are usually fresh and easy-to-drink. Regulars wouldn't have it any other way. 

Even wine bars around the globe are looking for ways of serving affordable wine by the glass or carafe that keeps its freshness right to the last drop.

Inspired by recent trends in Europe, De Bortoli Wines has revamped its own 2-Litre Premium Reserve bag-in-box range with a contemporary look. The boast here is of bottle quality in a box. 

The range includes chardonnay, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, verdelho, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and shiraz.

"Boxed wine in Australia has perhaps not had the greatest support in recent years but is a very versatile package and actually a terrific way to keep young wine fresh," says the De Bortoli press release. 

I've taken them at their word and asked them to send me several of these casks (which retail for $14.50). They actually only sent two: a pity, as I was serious about a brand tasting. 

The result: 

The pinot grigio was outstanding; fresh and vibrant and we have kept it in our fridge for those moments when you need a quick glass of something refreshing. 
The cabernet sauvignon was less impressive; a little flat and lacking in palate interest. I'd pass. 

Here's what you need to do: Taste a glass out of someone else's cask before making a buying commitment - but the pinot grigio is a ripper. 

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