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Wine Magazine

October 2, 2011

Perhaps magazine is the wrong term, as I don’t know much about guns. But I’m the proud new owner of a reclaimed Army ammunition box. And, it’s full of wine.

For those who have never seen one, an ammunition box is a pretty sturdy piece of hardware. My guess is that it’s designed to contain an explosion should some faulty bullets inside decide to go boom. Or maybe it’s intended to be tough in order to keep bad things out. But this solid metal box with its heavy-duty clasp and convenient carrying handle makes for the best wine box I’ve ever seen.

Yep. Wine box. As in wine-in-a-box wine box.

Some mad genius over at an outfit called The 20 Wines cut a round hole in the end to hold a spout and spray-painted the side with a stencil that reads, “Make Wine – Not War.” Then they rechristened it as a “Chiller Cask.” What sort of wine does one put inside an ammunition box? Well, I’m glad you asked.

A few months ago, after I wrote about the benefits of wine in a box and lamented the fact that there is no really good wine available this way in America, I got a note from Chris Coleman who assured me this was not the case at all.

His company is putting very good wine in boxes, and he offered to send me some samples.

Samples just happen to come in three-liter bags, and I now have two of them. Holy cow, this is a lot of wine. One is from their private label side where they buy good wine and sell it under a different name for much less than it would cost otherwise. The other came from the premiere label side, which include bags of wine you could find in bottle form at good wine stores.

I have to admit, it is a little tricky to get these bags of wines into the ammunition case. Although to be fair, The 20 was kind enough to post a video that provides step-by-step directions. Even still, I knew when I saw jump cuts that it wasn’t going to be quite as easy as it seemed.

Now that I’ve done it once, I suspect the next time will be easier. And the next time after that, it should be even easier.

Because I’m very happy with this first wine.

It’s their private label 2008 Russian River Zinfandel, which they have named Jubilation. It retails on their site for $57 although they list the value of the wine in the bag at $160. Chris told me it comes from, “one of the oldest and most historic vineyards in Sonoma Valley (Love to give the specifics, but they’d literally gun me down in the street if I mentioned the family vineyard name in print).”

The Jubilation is a dense and dark wine full of fruit, vanilla and dusty tannins. I’m going with dried black cherries.

This could even be a wine that Albany Jane might enjoy. But now she has a head cold, so I hope it clears up before I finish this Zinfandel. Luckily, one of the many benefits of packaging wine in this form is that it lasts for weeks after it has been open. I just put the bag into the box on Friday, and I’m looking forward to seeing how well it holds up over the next few weeks.

And it may go without saying, but you would never know that it comes from a box. Never. Never ever. Except that the box is awesome, and you’ll probably want to show everyone how good wine from a box can be.

It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to see this full-bodied wine pouring into my glass from its heavy-duty Army green metal protective case. The feeling is very similar to when I unscrewed my first Stelvin screw-cap closure at a picnic many years ago. It’s like I’m drinking the future.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 11, 2011 8:05 pm

    By Vince Vino, As Told To D. Pierre

    In Vino Veritas, from the Latin, “In wine there is the truth,” is an innovative debut work of “faction” (fact, partnered with fiction) penned by Vince Vino and the enigmatic D. Pierre.

    Vince Vino, a native of Detroit, Michigan, began his love affair with wine at a young age when at 16 he ran away to New Orleans to live with his grandfather, a Bourbon Street occult bookshop owner. At 18 Vince was hired as a maitre d’ in an upscale restaurant in the French Quarter. It was there that he became interested in the study of wine. He is currently employed as a wine rep for a major distributor and travels the Eastern and Midwestern states.

    In Vino Veritas (178p, $15.99 soft cover, $29.95 hard cover) combines nine of Vince’s madcap adventures in the wine trade with short historical anecdotes and helpful wine facts. In Vino Veritas is a one-of-a-kind mix that will hopefully leave the reader with a greater appreciation of the complexities and diversities of the noble grape

    I would like to know if you could review my book ?


    Todd Ellis (aka Vince Vino)

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