The Blunder from Down Under, Or: Australia May Fail Ya 12/25/10
I’ll admit it, my palate is pretty great – probably a lot better than yours. But that doesn’t prevent me from “slumming it” every now and again: after all, popping a bottle of vintage Andre, enjoying a frosty 40, or breaking out a nice, hearty box of wine can sometimes be just what the occasion calls for.
Still, as I scoured my liquor store’s aisle of convenient cardboard containers and disgusting-looking jugs of blush wine, I became a little worried that I’d have to buy three liters or more – too much for even me to drink alone, Christmas or no Christmas. But lo! Eventually I stumbled across a remote section of nifty little 500ml dealies: basically akin to juice boxes, but with wine! Needless to say, my search was at an end.
I decided on the Alice White Shiraz (and if you’re actually stupid enough to wonder, that’s a [red] Shiraz by Alice White, not a White Shiraz by Alice), which ran me a clean $5. I’ve had pretty good luck with Australian wine in the past; the comparatively low cost of land there, as well as the legality of certain viticulture techniques not permitted in Europe, often results in quality wines that can be sold for less than their Old World counterparts. Of course, every rule has exceptions.
A murky purple in the glass with ruby red edges, the wine gave off strong aromas of prune and curiously, though unmistakably, canned cranberry sauce – perhaps a symptom of the packaging? It was surprisingly dry on the palate, but there were no tannins to speak of: just a faint plum/prune flavor after a bit of breathing. Likewise, while the wine was full bodied, it had no depth or complexity whatsoever. I don’t know if I even want to call it “dry” so much as “bitter,” thinking back.
I’m giving the Alice White Shiraz: Juice Box Edition thumbs up – and even that’s only because I happen to like canned cranberry sauce. This may have been cheap, but it still wasn’t worth it.
Two days. Two disappointments. Merry Christmas, everyone! Now excuse me while I go pass out.