Last night I had my first sip of wine in a while, and it got me rhapsodizing about the glory days... the BOXED WINE days.
In the late 90s I drank wine from The Box. Real wine was too 'spensive. I knew boxed wine was allegedly no good, and I didn't argue the point, but I figure that if it was good enough for me then it would be a shame to waste real wine on my cloddish palate. Later, of course, I learned that wasting real wine on my cloddish palate was the only way to refine my palate, but despite my college education I didn't quite grasp that I was capable of learning and growing. But that's another story.
When I shared an apartment with two other guys (and two of us weren't paying rent) it was boxed wine that smoothed over the many, many rough edges. Well, that and Neon Genesis Evangelion, which was specifically calibrated for tipsy twentysomething girlfriendless nerdboys.
I eased off the box once I moved across the street from V. Richards, which had a real wine selection, but the subject of The Box came up during a production of Angels in America II. I declared that if I ever became a DJ my stage name would be Chillable Red, in honor of a particularly Kool-Aidish variety (or is that varietal?) of boxed wine (as if there's any boxed wine that doesn't taste like sour Kool-Aid). Our Prior Walter admitted that in his college days his roommates and he would remove the sack (for those who haven't enjoyed The Box: inside The Box is a wine-filled plastic bag with a rubber nozzle) from the box, hang it on the wall somehow, and squirt cheap wine directly into their mouths as they passed it. That's the good life, for college boys.
I offered to bring a Box to the cast party. Everyone laffed except for Tom, who is from Sand Mountain.
I showed up to the party and Tom met me on the porch, eyes glowing with eagerness. "Where is THE BOX?" he asked. The Box was produced and we drained it to the lees, paying no attention to the many bottles of better wine that had been brought by our betters. The evening ended with Tom and myself trying to play jug music on the nozzle of an empty plastic bag. I think it was the last time I ever wallowed in boxed wine. A fitting blowout conclusion to The Boxed Wine Era.