Wine on Wednesday: Duca del Frassino Pinot Grigio

by Maris Callahan on January 26, 2011

Duca_garganega_pgrigio_3L
Really, I don’t want to like boxed wine. Being someone who appreciates quality wine. I don’t want to think wine from a box is convenient, economical or practical and I don’t want to admit that I’ve tried it, drank it and went back for seconds. I certainly don’t want to admit that I’d spend my hard-earned cash money on it. But I have, did and do. Before you judge me, raise your hand if you have:

a) a very small kitchen with little space to store your cereal, let alone wine.

b) a very small budget, with little money to buy cereal, let alone wine.

I thought so.

As much as I want to be a snob and ignore the very existence of boxed wine, there are a few reasons why it actually makes sense, once in awhile, to swallow your pride and cart home a cardboard case of Duca del Frassino ($19.99). For just shy of $20 you’ll be buying the equivalent of four 750ml bottles of wine, perfect for a party, perfect if you’re short on storage space and friendly on your wallet, too.

Now, is this the best wine I’ve ever had? Absolutely not. Is it a fairly good, inexpensive wine to sip while you’re watching Sex and the City 2 with your girlfriends or chowing down on homemade pizza night? Sure is.

Why should you drink this wine? Because you can laugh at yourself. It’s still a box of wine, right? OH I KID. As boxed wine goes, this is a good one. Choose it if you’re looking to drink something light, unpretentious and fruit-forward…or if you don’t have the space to stash four bottles of wine in your efficiency-sized fridge.

When should you drink this wine? When you’re eating, pair this with appetizers, spicy seafood dishes or fresh, simple poultry or pork. You can also tote this wine to a party – it’s with a built-in spout and handle, eco-friendly Duca eliminates glass or breakage issues and that hard-to-open cork – great for a vino novice.

How should you drink this wine? Chill it! Since each box contains plenty of wine for a party, you’ll have no excuse not to have that second — and third — bottle on ice when your guests arrive.

How long should I age this wine? Duca wines not only have a built-in spout, but are sealed to  maintain freshness up to five weeks after openin.

Food Pairings: Lighter options like chicken or fish pair nicely with this simple wine, but it’s fruity finish will stand up nicely to salty cured meats, cheeses and tomato based sauces. If you happen to pick up a box of Duca vino next time you’re at the store, try one of these recipes for a perfect pairing:

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples from In Good Taste

Penne All’Arrabbiata from In Good Taste

Spinach & Ricotta Pizza from In Good Taste

Spaghetti with Spicy Clam Sauce from Lisa is Cooking

Spinach & Brie Chicken with Tomato Orzo from We Are Not Martha

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Eliz@The Sweet Life January 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Really pretty box! I’m not much of a wine drinker but think good (better?) wines in boxes is a neat idea.

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Mary January 26, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I must admit to using them often and serving them occasionally. This is my first visit to your blog and I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed my visit. I really like the food you feature here and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

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daryl January 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Hey to me wine is wine!

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Sues January 26, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I’ve been hearing that boxed wine is making a comeback! And I”m always up for a good deal on wine… I drink it a lot (I mean, a couple times a week!) and this sounds fun! I’m also a fan of the idea of Wine Wednesdays!

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Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) January 26, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Woohoo! I love that a lot of places now with very decent wine are selling them in boxes or with the screw on caps. Sure, you sacrifice a little bit of dignity, but for easier/longer storage of the wine it’s totally worth it.

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Roz January 27, 2011 at 12:35 am

We love having boxed wine here, because if we only want ONE glass, we don’t have to open a bottle. It may not be dignified, but it’s affordable, easy to portion control, and there are some really decent ones available here! Have a great week.

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Rachel W. January 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Umm…the main reason boxed wine is awesome is because you can play SLAP THE BAG! Can you play that with THIS wine?

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Kate January 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Boxed wine is also great for road trips because you don’t have to worry about bottles breaking!

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Kristen January 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I LOVE this feature — keep it up!
(And I might even try this, although I can’t say I’ve ever given boxed wine a shot. Such is the power you hold.)

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Carissa January 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm

love this Wine on Wednesday! I was so wanting a glass of wine last night too! and my fave is Pinot Grigio… how did you know? :) For boxed wine, this sounds like something I’d like. light and fruity. and the box itself looks nice… I totally judge a book by its cover and so far so good! maybe I’ll have to try.

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Susan H January 29, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Just found your site tonight and have enjoyed “thumbing” through your recipes and articles. I would like to respond though to the Wine in a box – the french know a good thing when they see it – or drink it. They lead the sales worldwide in boxed wines. In blind taste tests there are boxed wines that win hands down. Also, if you are into being “green” boxed wines are the way to go. Some of the boxed wines have higher ratings than bottled ones. If you have a knowledgeable liquor store, they can advise you as to which varietal you might choose. I just had this conversation with a friend the other day and she snurled her nose at the idea of my box. When short on space I also have used those small individual bottles to cook with – a little for me and a little for the pot and they worked great too. Thanks for a great site – it is obvious you have put a lot of time and effort into creating your blog.

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Box Wines February 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Maris, although I haven’t tried the Duca boxed wine, I agree with the points you make. If you don’t expect the equivalent of a $50 bottle in a 3L box that costs $20, you’ll likely be satisfied and you’ll enjoy the convenience.

I’m going to have to track down the Duca, I haven’t seen it in Texas.

Roger

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