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02 May 2005 @ 08:48 pm
A word on prejudice!  
Tonight, I'd like to say a word on prejudice.

Of course, since this is me, the prejudice relates to booze. Specifically, booze packaging!

Tonight, on the way home from a long day at work, I hit the local liquor store. Despite the ruralness of where me and enveri live, the local liquor store is very well stocked. A selection of wines, beers, and spirits from around the world to rival the most urban specialty shop! This, of course, makes us happy.

Anyways, after perusing the local selection for a bit...I decided on the two hallmarks of Cheap Booze. I got some Wine in a Box, and some Beer in a Can. How gauche!

But when you come to think about it, for these types of alcohol, these represent the current apex of modern technology. The wine in a box is a perfect way to serve wine. The sealed spigot prevents cork taint, and leakage. The collabsible bag inside means that as the wine level decreases, no harmful oxygen rushes in to destroy your remaining vintage. And despite what may have been the case in the past, some fairly respectable grapes now make it into box wine (yes, it's no $50/bottle wine, but some types are pretty comparable to the $10-$15/bottle level many of my friends and I stick with). The particular purchase today was the Black Box Wines cabernet.

As for the beer, I know that the prevailing wisdom is that 'bottles = better'. And often, that is true; but it doesn't mean that bottling itself is superior to cans. Bottling is cheaper and easier than canning...That's why most of your small breweries use it. Bottles are cheap, and sealing is just a matter of crimping a cap on the top.

However, the two main enemies of packaged beer are oxygen, and UV light. The oxygen oxidizes the beer, ruining the taste. And for anyone that's ever had a skunky beer? That's light interacting with the hop compounds in the beer. A decent brown bottle can get rid of most of the harmful light, and a good factory seal can cut out most of the oxygen, but taking a realistic look; do you buy preserved goods at the grocery store in bottles, or in cans? Cans aren't inherently worse than bottles, they're just harder for a small brewery to afford! Heck, I can already bottle my own beer, but canning is way out of my reach.

I bought two types of canned beer tonight; both fine, respected English ales. I'm drinking one right now, and it tastes every bit as good as the overseas makers intended it to. No harm at all from the long voyage.

So to conclude; just because a certain packaging type has a reputation for housing bad goods, doesn't make it the fault of the packaging! Take a second look, you may find something even better tucked in that 'unclassy' wrapper ;)
Current Mood: drunkdrunk
Current Music: Ballad of Serenity
Feren: ashryn-hyperdrunkferen on May 3rd, 2005 03:00 am (UTC)
Booze up and riot.
Brendan: Besterroho on May 3rd, 2005 03:10 am (UTC)
The Booze is mother. The Booze is father.
Araquan Skytraceraraquan on May 3rd, 2005 03:01 am (UTC)
Hmm. I've always preferred Tecate in cans.
Gatcat: cheersgatcat on May 3rd, 2005 05:17 am (UTC)
I prefer Tecate mixed with Clamato, a squeeze of lime and a generous dose of hot sauce. Salt my glass and color me feliz.
Araquan Skytraceraraquan on May 3rd, 2005 06:49 am (UTC)
Hmm. Not sure I like the Clamato, but lime and hot sauce sounds interesting.
Francisco Azinsan: Napier - silly (Dogz)frysco on May 3rd, 2005 03:35 am (UTC)
Despite the ruralness of where me and genet live, the local liquor store is very well stocked.

If it's as rural as you make it sound, why else do you think it's that well stocked? That might imply there's other stuff to do around there!
Brendan: DRINK!roho on May 3rd, 2005 02:33 pm (UTC)
Okay, perhaps I should've said well-varied ;) In addition to having ample quantities of booze, they have quite an amazing variety of stuff! I wouldn't necessarily expect a rural liquor store to have a wine counter, and a large section just for beers from Belgium ;)
coldfyre on May 3rd, 2005 05:43 am (UTC)
I don't drink, but this was somewhat educational. Thanks.
Brendan: DRINK!roho on May 3rd, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
I'm always available for booze-lessons to any that want them. They just have to take the risk that everything I'm saying may be a crock ;)
Fiskfiskblack on May 3rd, 2005 09:36 am (UTC)
I've always felt that beer from bottles just tasted better for some reason. This may be because most beer that comes in cans is just shitty beer (the big three domestics), but I've also noticed it with other drinks, such as soda. Aluminum does have something of a flavor on the lips and tongue, but glass doesn't. Glass doesn't absorb or interfere with flavors, which is something that becomes very appearent when comparing soda from a plastic bottle to soda from glass. To me, there's always been some interference in flavor from an aluminum can. So the heirarchy of bottling goes from worst to best: plastic, aluminum, glass. However, if you poured beer from a can into a glass mug, and the same beer from a glass bottle into another glass mug, I don't know if I'd be able to tell the difference.

As for wine, like art, it's as much about presentation and tradition than it is practicality. I'm not a big wine drinker, though, so I'm not too educated on it. I dislike most wines, except for certain sweet red wines. Because I'm a pussy.

Jay Naylor
(Deleted comment)
Brendan: DRINK!roho on May 3rd, 2005 02:31 pm (UTC)
Actually, for many cases I'll have to agree with you guys. I can definitely taste some after-effects of the cans for soda, or for the Bud/Miller/Coors canned beers. I'll take Coke in a glass bottle any day! However, a lot of the canned beer in the 'micro/import' section seems to get past that somehow. The aluminum taste isn't there, and the cans feel different than normal aluminum ones. I'm not sure if they use a different metal, or some sort of can lining, or if they're just better at disguising the off flavors ;)
(Deleted comment)
Brendan: DRINK!roho on May 3rd, 2005 02:35 pm (UTC)
See my comment to Frysco above on the liquor store ;)

And yeah, I don't understand clear bottles! Especially for stuff that's made a long journey, like Newcastle and Old Speckled Hen. I'm not gonna spend a lot of money on an import when I'm gonna be gambling on getting a Bottle of Skunk ;)

*steals your schnapps*!
Rattus scientificusskorzy on May 3rd, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC)
I've had some "boxed" wines and never had any real complaints. Actually, I've had more bad wine from bottles than boxed!

The "can" theory is entirely in one's head! I never believed that. However, it just turned out that most "good" beers didn't come in cans. The exceptions were the "nitrogen charged" imports. Boddingtons can *only* be served from a can in this country!
Brendan: DRINK!roho on May 3rd, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC)
Well, I have had one bad box-wine experience, quite a while back...it was the Franzia blush, if I recall correctly, and it was truly ghastly! But since then, yeah, my box wine experience has usually been good, and much more consistent than bottles. Plus it's convenient for keeping around for a glass or two in the evening :)

And my pint last night was a pint of Boddington's. I've been on a real English Bitter kick lately, and mmm...that really hit the spot :9 Also got some Tetley waiting for me for later ;)
Will: coon - eating cookie - jill0rwas1 on May 3rd, 2005 04:04 pm (UTC)
Mmmmm, I love Boddington's.
Jordantambreet on May 3rd, 2005 05:54 pm (UTC)
Yes, as I recall we got that box at Meijer and it was so bad that nobody would finish it, so we auctioned it off to the highest bidder on uiuc.test (the highest bid being, if memory serves me right, that we had to drive to deliver it to his house and got nothing in return.)

Still, though, I think the Franzia only ranked third for the worst alcohol purchased by that apartment - surpassed in awfulness by the $1.99 bottle of Banana Scnapps and the infamous Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic.
Brendan: DRINK!roho on May 3rd, 2005 05:58 pm (UTC)
I've got some of the Cranberry Lambic in the fridge, currently, if you're thirsty!

Oh, and don't forget the bottle of wine that Foygel put in our freezer to chill, then forgot! The 'Wine Slush on Toothpicks' wasn't really all that tasty ;)
nyuni on May 4th, 2005 12:18 am (UTC)
As long as you pour your subject brew into a glass, generally all is moot. If I can avoid drinking out of whatever transport vessel is provided, I will. ;) However, if I've no choice, a good glass bottle is preferred. Beers like Guinness and Boddington's are fine out of the can if poured in a glass, given their nitrogen widgets.
nekosensei: bebopnekosensei on May 4th, 2005 02:23 am (UTC)
Hey...you said the place up by you is well stocked. Do you suppose they have any Irish Mead Wine. My sister brought some imported mead from Ireland over for Easter dinner and wow was that shit good. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any of it around here and having it shipped is expensive...
Brendan: DRINK!roho on May 4th, 2005 10:17 pm (UTC)
They very well might! They have a specific section for meads, I dunno where they're from :) Do you remember the brand?
nekosenseinekosensei on May 5th, 2005 02:23 am (UTC)
I don't remember the name. It's an Irish import? That and it's also a meade wine, not beer. I sent an email to my sister to see if she remembers.