Out of the myriad of different vessels that our favourite grape bases beverage can be stored and served in, there is no doubt at least in our minds that the humble cask wine is the most evocative. Very affectionately titled "the goon sack", it's an icon of our country and our industry - a symbol of ingueniuty and creativity in it's invention (created and patented by the LEGENDARY Thomas Angove in Renmark of course), it's production, and most importantly it's use...
The benefits of Chateau Cardboard are innumerable. For the winery, the packaging is lighter and far cheaper than you're average glass bottle of wine - far less fragile and easier to transport! For you, the at home drinker, you don't have to worry about, bottle variation, oxidation, cork taint, and all the Russian roulette problems of being a wine drinker, not a problem in the box! But don't try cellar these bad boys, they will deteriorate - drink em within a year. But no rush! You don't have to finish it in a day or 3 like your average bottle, you've got up to a month with a box!
But of course, there is the fun you can have with the bag - and of course i'm speaking of the tried and true Aussie tradition of "Goon of Fortune" - pairing one aussie icon with another: the Hills Hoist. I'm not going to dive into the rules of it - you can do that all here - but theres nothing about a box of wine that doesn't cause a wave of nostalgia. Whether it's been a staple of your Parents/Grandparents/Aunts/Uncles fridges, as the first recognised source of the mysterious liquid that is "alcohol", an accompaniment to early drinking misadventures, at this point in your life you've likely shunned away the humble box.
We're here to tell you: maybe you should re-think your stance on the beautiful box. All the aforementioned benefits are starting to pop into the heads of progressive/innovative winemakers, and now you can grab a box of wine and be guaranteed on the quality inside those 6 walls. They might not be the price of a Berri Estates number, but they're well worth it. Here's a small sample of some of our favourites going around....
Delinquente 'High Crimes' Series
Of course our great mate Greg Grigoriou was going to be our first mention - we were one of the first to try one of his beautiful wines straight out the cask when he paid us a visit on the Wine For The People livestream! Of course the juice inside was incredible - we love Greg's wines - but the packaging, just look at it! While these boxes might be sold out, we don't think this is a one time only deal - hopefully we see some 2021 editions coming very soon!
Carussin Asinoi Piemonte Barbera
An icon of the modern box wine fleet. A delightful, organic Barbera from one of our favourite places in the world - Piemonte. Perfect for the fridge, bright juicy red berries with a lick of amaro like spice, its one of those wines you just want on hand at all times. I've convinced myself to source one just by writing this!
Jilly 'Miami' Bagnum
Okay not technically in a box but in a bag and large format - give us a break. We love Jilly wines, an awesome producer out of New England, NSW, crafting delicious wines from some incredible, unique vineyards. While some of his wines have a serious face - and rightly so - the perfectly named 'Miami' Bagnums are a great breath of fresh air to his range and our fridges. White, Red or Rosé, they're all delicious. See one, buy one - it's simple really.
Another brilliantly named large format bag - the creativity in this field has infinite depth. This one comes from the brilliant minds of the Blackhearts & Sparrows group, one of our favourite places to buy wine on the East Coast. They've been putting together these Happy Sacks from wine sources all across the country, from the Adelaide Hills or closer to home in the Yarra Valley from under appreciated wine, or lesser known varieties, then being master blenders and tasters, putting together a sessionable, large format bag of deliciousness. A great initiative, and the booze is bloody tasty too!
Trippy stuff. A great little project from Marcus Radny, who after growing tired of the #sommlyfe, working at esteemed venues like Vue Die Monde and alike, decided to get away from instagrammable bottles and lux Burg, and attempt to make cask wine cool again. Mission accomplised, with a pair of 3L boxes of either Riesling or Shiraz, crafted from great vineyards - g'day Ricca Terra! - with only deliciousness in mind. Deliciousness has been achieved. Good stuff Marcus.