I should have known better. I have always been a lover of the grape, but it's been so hard to find quality red wine. Most American red wines have an unpleasant, mouth puckering, high tannin content, and other than an occasional Beaujolais Nouveau, most of the French reds I have tried, had a moldy taste and aroma, reminiscent of Dracula's crypt. No wonder he never drank wine. But (I know, you're not supposed to start a sentence with a conjunction. Well, screw you!), about five or six years ago, I discovered Australian red wines, and for the first time, I found out how good an affordable red can be.
Normally I buy Lindeman's Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Shiraz in 1.5 liter bottles, at a cost of about $11.00 each, which I can easily afford, but this week while at the grocery store, I got the wild idea to go bargain shopping. I saw some Bota Box wine in a Shiraz, and a Merlot; 3 liter boxes, that turned out to be a dollar a bottle less, than the bottles of Lindeman's I had been so happy with. Now ostensibly, the advantage of boxed wine is that it is supposed to last longer than bottled wine, because no air, or light ever gets into the collapsible bag inside the box. I decided to buy one of each.
Tonight, with great anticipation, I opened the box of Shiraz, and positioned the plastic push button spout. I held my glass under the spout, pressed the button, and a beautiful deep dark red liquid began to shoot from the box, into my glass. It really looked quite lovely! Then I took a sip. Initially, while flowing over the front of my tongue, it tasted pretty good, but when it reach the nether regions of my palate, its tannic bitterness became sorely evident. I continued to drink, hoping that my palate would adjust, but after a glass, my mouth felt like I'd been sucking on a sock soaked in alum! :-p I then tried the Merlot, and got a similar result.
What to do? I had just spent almost $40.00 on two boxes of wine I couldn't drink. I wouldn't be able to get more until the following week, so I had to find a way to make them more palatable. I still can't believe I did this, but I actually opened up a packet of Splenda artificial sweetener (sucralose), and poured it into the glass of wine I was drinking. My Merlot now tastes like a cheap port, instead of mosquito repellent.