Monday, July 25, 2011

The T-Box Taste Test: We Have A Winner! And a Hangover...

Kate and Lydia, as you well know, are fans of the wine in a box. Last year we discovered that our most favorite and magical store, Target, carried their very own line of boxed wine, which we happily named a T-Box. It comes in a lovely array of delicious colors, and at our Inaugural T-Box Taste Test held last spring, we crowned Purple the winner.

Well, over the past year, a flurry of boxed wines have entered the arena, determined to take down our beloved T-Box. We were skeptical. But, because we love science, and research and drinking with friends, we thought that it was only fair to conduct a highly scientific study to determine just who is the T-Box Champion.

Plus, it totally gave us the chance to buy a dizzying array of wines, delicious snacks and convince McLovin to go out on a guys night so we could giggle on the driveway. Guys night, by the way, was taking Happy to see Winnie the Pooh and teaching him how to play a bugle.

And, after a night of careful research, the MommyLand team of crackpot wine connoisseurs have found the victor and champion
The Venue: Kate's Porte Cochere. Which is outside. Where it was ten thousand degrees.Because that's what you want to do when you're drinking too much. Sweat. On the other hand, it totally counts as exercise, right?

The Participants

Lydia: She brought what she calls the Waldonnay boxes. They're from WalMart. Yes, you heard it right. WalMart is now selling boxed wine. We're really hoping that Home Depot is gonna get in on this action too, mostly because Kate wants to hear McLovin say things, "I'm going to pick up some wine and a hoe..."

Kate: She's the only one of the five who actually has furniture on the driveway. She's expecting a tireless car and an old washing machine to show up any day now. Possibly a three-legged dog.

Guru Louise: Guru flew in from Boston for the event. Mostly because Kate bullied her to do it. Guru's husband thinks Kate is a serial killer and kept sending Guru text messages. Things that said, "you ARE still alive, right?" "What is Kate's last name?" Guru wrote back, "McLovin" and then there was a very long pause and he wrote, "Can you just call me please?"

Dagney: At the last T-Box Taste Test, Dagney fell down. Not from drinking. Or tripping. Merely because Dagney and the ground and gravity have a strange non-symbiotic relationship and Ground and Gravity just like to be jackholes to her. This year, despite the full-length dress she was wearing, she remained upright. She did, however, spill a half a t-box all over herself, Kate's rug and a very sweet pair of shoes. She was sitting down when all this happened. Yes. Dagney is very, very blonde.

Laila: She is the anti-Dagney. In that she's brunette and graceful and had on the most miniest of minidresses and it only improves on things that she is married to Dagney's brother. Oh, and while Dagney and Laila were hanging with us, their husbands were on a playdate.

The Contenders:

Fish Eye Chardonnay: Clever of bottle wine people to just take that same product and put it in a box. Odd, however that it doesn't quite taste the same when you do that. We're guessing vitner's don't have any ideas of writing things like, "Aged for four months in cardboard..."
  • Kate: "Whoa. It kinda makes you give the fish-eye when you drink it."
  • Laila: "It's warm white wine out of a box. [pause] Not so bad."
  • Dagney: "It's not too think. And it goes down easy."
  • Lydia: "That's What She Said."

Target T-Box Reisling: We met Reisling last year, and thought that he'd make a decent contender to represent the T-Box squad in the Box, were we wrong:
  • Guru: "I like it. But I'll drink anything."
  • Kate: "Gah. It crawls right into your cavities."
  • Dagney: "Uhhh..." then she dumped it out.
  • And then Lydia told a story about spilling conditioner on her lap and not noticing until she saw this glob of white goo in her lap area and that, since she didn't know what it was, "I smelled it before I tasted it..." and now we'll never drink this wine again without thinking of this story.
Ciao Bella Pinot Grigio: The packaging was super cute on this one. But then Dagney tried to pour some and it splashed out all over the place and then she said, "Wow. It's like it's been a week for this one..." and then we all giggled like teenagers and maybe forgot to taste it and talked instead True Blood.

WalMart Chardonnay: We were skeptical of the Waldonnay. For good reason. Guru Louise was pouring this one. She might have been a little stingy with the amounts. 
  • Laila: "Umm, I'm gonna need a little more here. Are we drinking at some point in this drinking party?"
  • Lydia: "Oh, this is thick." And then we all watered Kate's forsythia with the rest. Thick Wine. Gross.

Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon: Ahhh, we finally got to the reds. Lydia, being the designated driver and needing to get back to the Cap'n and the LTSs at a reasonable hour, was being careful with her wine consumption. Then she got this in her glass, downed it, and whispered to herself, "Oh, I wasn't supposed to do that..." It was awesome.
  • Dagney: "I love it! But I also just sprayed myself with bug spray, including up my dress, and so maybe my taste buds are off..."
  • Guru Louise: "I liked whatever was in my box. What?"
  • Kate: "I think I mixed mine with the Waldonnay. And it's still good. Which wine gets credit for that?"

Target T-Box Malbec: The newest release from the T-Box collection, Malbec, also known as the Light Purple Flavor, was seemingly a hit, not because we had any actual critiques, but because when we were putting everything away this morning, we found it on Kate's desk, and it was almost empty. Huh? We totally blame McLovin. During the actual tasting, at this point we were talking about home improvements, and how we liked short men to do drywall work, because they get to wear Drywalling Strap-On Shoes. Annnnnd, that's what she said.

JP Cheney Cabernet Sauvignon: Quickly became renamed JP Shitter, because it *prematurely ewinolated* all over Dagney's dress. And now it's the Bad Boy of Wines. You know, like the guys you dated in high school?
  • Dagney: "This wine is a bitch."
  • Lydia: "Like those guys that #$%^ all over you and you still come back for more."
  • Laila: "Can I have some more? What is it with you guys and these tiny little tastes?"
  • Kate: [spits out wine all over the back of the sofa] 
  • Guru Louise: "You ARE seventeen, aren't you?"

WalMart Cabernet Sauvignon: Let's face it, we're on our eighth glass - or, semi-glass if you're Laila - of wine at this point. This could have been blackberry Kool-Aid at this point.
  • Guru Louise: "I like this wine best. Because I'm drunk."
  • Lydia: "I just want to do it."
  • Kate: "Is this the Waldonnay?"
  • Lydia: "It's the Walbernet. That's an important distinction."
  • Laila: "I'm pouring a glass. A glass. That's an important distinction too."

and finally...the Target T-Box Red Sangria
We're not sure what happened here. Kate and Guru Louise were putting everything away this morning and we were under the impression that not only did we like the Red Sangria, but that we had some rather witty and poignant things to say about it. Turns out the tiny little foil stopper thingy was still in it. So, congratulations Target. We totally loved your wine without even tasting it. That's how good it is. We think it's a new marketing scheme: "Enjoy the new Target Red Sangria T-Box. So delicious, you don't even have to drink it!"

The Post Party Analysis: Guru Louise and Kate were tidying up after everyone left. And then we had a post to write. Which means we needed to pour a glass of wine. Shut up. It's research. 

Guru Louise: "What are you drinking?"
Kate: "The red one."
Guru Louise: "Which red one?"
Kate: "The red one that's good."
Guru Louise: Can you be more specific? [pours a glass, drinks, makes a horrible face, walks outside, waters the forsythia]
Kate: "Yeah. Not that one."

So, the winner??

Well, accounting for diminishing taste buds, the fact that we may have actually burned away vital brain cells by sitting in an outdoor sauna for three hours, the 2011 T-Box Taste Test Champion is......

Honorable Mention goes to the T-Box Malbec, for mysteriously emptying itself, thereby providing credible, if not convincing, evidence that we drink it when we've already had a lot to drink.

Finally, as a postscript to the evening's events, Happy woke up Guru Louise at 7:15 this morning. With his bugle.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. I totally wish I could have been there to help you determine the winner! May have to do a regional test of my own down here in Texas! Love y'all, keep up the good work!

  2. Does the Trader Joe's near you carry their T-box? They do in Southern California...

  3. Where did you find all of the T-boxes for this taste test?

  4. Black Box isn't too bad, I agree. You ladies are brave trying boxed wine from Target and Walmart though!

  5. I feel so classy - Black Box is one of my faves (also Bota Box) :-) Sadly, our TJ's do not sell wine.

  6. Try the Black Box *Shiraz*. It's WAY better than the Cabaret... Cabinay... the one you had.

  7. And I suddenly have a great idea for my next girls' night! Thanks for your invaluable research!

  8. Love this. Love boxed wine. Want to be invited to next year's event.


  9. And now I am sad that I have never even SEEN a box of booze in my local WalMart or Target. My life is incomplete. Thank you for broadening my horizons.

  10. Black Box Merlot is another good one...will have to take Adventuresfromcloud8's advice and try the Shiraz. Kate and Lydia, fantastic post about the tasting! I think when we move, I will do a box o wine party instead of a housewarming party!

  11. I second the vote for Bota. The Bota Malbec is my go-to red, although there will always be a special place in my heart for the Black Box Cab.

  12. I find your advice valuable. I find it heartening to read of your child rearing experiences (although I dread similar episodes as my little bug gets older). This post, though, OMG! I have decided that I want to be you in my next life.

  13. I still have a headache.


  14. You have a very interesting blog here, and funny too. I guess motherhood could be so fun too, even with the kiddoes.

  15. Oh my damn...I live in Mississippi & wine @ Target or (gasp!) Wallyworld would be sacrilege!! Where do u guys live????

  16. 1) The Fish Eye and the Ciao Bella both came from Wegman's. I'm still voting for those two. :-)
    BTW- my beautiful maxi orange dress (purchased on 5th Ave on a trip that was a gift for graduating from nursing school) is essentially ruined.
    Hmm... unless I wear it to another wine tasting... LET'S DO IT AGAIN NEXT WEEK!
    XOXO, Dag

  17. Another vote for Bota Box. We take it camping. Just sits on the picnic table for the whole trip. If there's any left when we get home, we walk it down the street to share with the neighbors. That doesn't usually last long.

  18. Wow, I am reminded how sad Massachusetts is that neither WalMart nor Target have wine in a box for us :( I have to go to the "package store" as we call it and buy the "expensive" box of Vella or whatever. Just have to say, I LOVE you guys!!! Maybe we'll catch up to the rest of the U.S. someday?

  19. This is pretty relevant to your interests:

    As soon as I I saw it, I immediately thought of you guys, haha.

  20. You're all invited to join my next bunco group!

  21. I never thought I'd find boxed wine so entertaining.

  22. A week later, the NYTimes did a story about boxed wine. But yours is MUCH funnier.

  23. I worked at a Target for 10 months and never knew they had their own line of boxed wine...oh wait! I live in Utah. We have to go to a "special" store to get our alcohol!




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts