Buy a bottle of wine and no one will question you, but buy 12 bottles of wine and people will start to wonder.
The LCBO is determined to give us a ton of wine in boxes, whether we want it or not. It fulfils some mandate they have for reducing waste, or so they will claim. Environment experts seem to think differently.
Anyhow, a lot of shelf space is now given over to boxed — or to use the brand name, Tetra Pak — wine. Tetra is good for situations where glass is too heavy or dangerous and it would be great if some wine — at all price levels — was offered this way.
But the LCBO was in such a hurry to get their quota of Tetra that they ended up with a ton of garbage wine. Overnight brands — surplus, inferior wine that wineries were only too glad to get rid of. Ideally, Tetra should have been introduced gradually from suppliers of wines that are already on the shelf. The few good wines, I found, are Tetra editions of wines that are already available in regular bottles.
Having used Tetra now for a year I have to say I hate both the feel and sloppy pour from the package. While I may use it for picnics, I believe glass is more earth-friendly, and wine-friendly. You can find a complete rundown of all the Tetras I have tasted posted onwww.billysbestbottles.com/weeklytips.
Billy Munnelly is author, wine critic and publisher of Billy’s Best Bottles Wineletter and Billy’s Best Wines For 2007, a guide to the best wines at the LCBO, available in bookstores or through www.billysbestbottles.com. Sign up for his free wine e-letter at www.billysbestbottles.com.