"No European carry-all today?", asked S., unable to suppress a smirk.
"Forgot my man purse today", I replied, appreciating the Seinfeld reference, and laughing at the same time. The "purse" in question was the eye-catching, stylish and eco-friendly packaging that Volére Wine's boxed rosé came in, which I had brought to the New York Philharmonic's free concert in Central Park a few weeks ago.
Volére's innovative packaging swiftly drew praise from the female members of our contingent, most of them loving the purplish color and designer Italian handbag-like appearance. It almost pained me to tell them that no, this wasn't just some fancy useless appendage, but in fact contained two bottles (1.5L) worth of the night's most important social lubricant.
I had stumbled upon Volére's boxed wines by accident. Summer being the season for outdoor concerts, events, and picnics, I wanted to bring some wine to these events and yet thought that a bottle was too cumbersome and heavy. Quite a common dilemna, I'm sure.
"End of aisle 1", said the liquor superstore associate when I inquired about "non-traditional" packaging.The products that initially came into view were not inspiring - plain, bulky 3L (4 bottles equivalent) boxes that made me wonder, "Who'd want to carry these?". They were all right for a picnic in the burbs - you know, where people have cars to transport things - but NYC was another story.
And then, I turned and saw the Volére Wines man purses sitting on a shelf, just below eye level. The weight was just right - not too heavy (I could scarcely believe they held 1.5L). Now which one to buy? Eventually chose the rosé over the pinot grigio (in the more conservative light golden box) partly because it was more eye-catching and would make me feel more self-satisfied about my stylish man purse while walking amidst other concertgoers to the Great Lawn. Unlike Jerry - I would not be unashamed to be seen in public with my "European carry-all", even if only for this occasion.
After picking a strategic spot, we eagerly followed the easy instructions in opening the box, and were soon quaffing some light, fruity rosé. The pours continued as members of our party gradually arrived, and soon, all of the wine was gone. The packaging garnered all of the attention, but the contents made for easy drinking and paired quite well with Tchaikovsky.