I like wine. I don't know much about it, but I enjoy visiting vineyards, tasting it, and drinking it with friends. While I can tell the difference between red and white, I'm not entirely sure of the difference between grape varieties, and I can rarely remember which wines I like. I tend to go by price. Which is a dumb thing to do.
The American Association of Wine Economists (what a job!) recently published a paper "Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?" Well? Do they?
Our main finding is that, on average, individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In fact, they enjoy more expensive wines slightly less.
Ah. Back to buying those 2-for-£1 specials at Lidl, then? Perhaps not. Thanks to that wonderful chap, Documentally, I was able to get my hands on two free boxes of wine from FreshCase. Now, I know what you're thinking. Boxed wine is usually the sort of "drink" served a school's bring-and-buy sale. Often emblazoned with the words "Product of more than one country" or, more likely, "If ingested, seek medical help".
The wine contained in these boxes is Hardy's Nottage Hill. Now, I don't know much about wine - but this stuff is regarded as rather good. What's more, the box is actually rather clever. Take a look at my amateurish review.
I'm happy to report that the wine is eminently drinkable. While the packaging says it will keep it fresh for six weeks, ours was drained dry, disassembled, and recycled within a week.
The white wine has a slightly different tap placement so it can lie flat in the fridge. Delightfully chilled, it makes it easy to enjoy half a glass of wine without feeling the need to finish off the whole bottle.
The suggested retail price is £20. Given that each box contains the equivalent of 3 bottles of wine, that works out at a fairly reasonable £6.66 per bottle.
That compares very favourably to similar wines. It's also lighter, and has an integrated handle, making it much easier to carry.
It seems that people can't tell the difference between cheap and expensive wine. Give your friends a blindfold and see if they can tell the difference between FreshCase and a traditional glass bottle. I'm sure they'll be pleasantly surprised.