Thinking Inside the Box

Why can't restaurants serve box wines? One does.

Do you ever get fed up paying $10 for a glass of wine? If so, you'll agree that it's high time restaurants and bars started offering an affordable alternative. So let me climb on my soapbox. And by box, I mean a box of wine.

Loads of restaurants serve cheap-ass beer, making cans of PBR and Vitamin R seem downright cool. So why not embrace wine in a box? Sure, there's the entrenched attitude that a legit wine has got to be in a bottle plugged by a cork. But the wine that goes into boxes has improved a helluva lot since it was all about crap with names like Mountain Burgundy and Summer Chablis.

I was recently at a party where a box of wine called Seven sat on the kitchen counter, and guests were invited to grab a glass and help themselves. It was pretty damn tasty. The number stands for the different grape varietals in this blend from Spain, including tempranillo. I liked it so much it sent me on a journey around Seattle, looking for restaurants that serve wine in a box.

When I heard the fantastically awesome pasta pop-up Il Corvo was charging $4.09 for its glass pours, I thought I had hit the fermented-juice-box jackpot. But no—chef Mike Easton just offers a good deal. Finally, after trolling for tips on Twitter and Facebook, I found a restaurant, Shultzy's (4114 University Way N.E.), with box wine—though I don't know why you'd ever order wine there, considering the spectacular beer selection. But they pour wine in a box for $5 a glass, sometimes knocking a buck off the price as a special. You bet The Wino would gleefully guzzle a glass of organic red from Badger Mountain alongside a Shultzy's Ragin' Cajun sausage burger. Or how about a Black Box Riesling with those bangers and mash? We'll drink to that!

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