May 24, 2006

Three Thieves 2004 California Bandit Pinot Grigio ($10 per 4-pack)

Hauling bottles of wine up a mountain for a peak-top toast isn't much fun. Nalgene containers make the trip lighter, but that inescapable gout de plastique just doesn't add much to a good vintage. So what's a hiking, picnicking wine geek to do? Set the preconceived notions aside and go for the box wine.

No joke: Wines like Three Thieves Bandit wines are as good as you'll find in any bottle.

The difference is only in the boxy Tetra Pak - just like those used for juice packs, soups and sauces. And the best part? They come in 4-packs of 250ml boxes - perfect for generous single servings at the top of the mount, or when you're home alone and don't want to open a bottle. My favorite is the pinot grigio: a dash of sauvignon blanc gives it more zip than most others, bottled or boxed.

Three Thieves, St. Helena, Calif.; threethieves.com

This review first appeared in the Denver Post.

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