Wine snobs may rhapsodize about pulling cork on a supple Cab-Merlot blend from France or a buttery Chardonnay from the Texas Hill Country, but when San Angeloans drink wine, they are most likely to drink wines that are sweet, cheap, and come in a box.
According to beverage wholesalers and retailers, the top selling wines in San Angelo are the Franzia House Wine Favorites, 5-liter boxes of Chillable Red, Sunset Blush, Crisp White, or Fruity Red Sangria. San Angeloans buy more than 7,000 boxes of those Franzia wines each year—and that does not count some of the boxes purchased by restaurants and bars.
Other top sellers include Franzia’s Vintner Select 5-liter boxed wines: White Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Merlot, White Merlot, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Started by Italian immigrant Teresa Franzia near San Francisco in 1906, the winery survived Prohibition and has since blossomed to produce the best selling wines in the world, not just San Angelo.
Franzia prides itself on fresh, fruity, slightly sweet wines, but another key ingredient is their 5-liter box (6.67 standard bottles of wine) and its WineTap pouring spout.
The WineTap solved two bag-in-a-box problems. It makes it easier to open the box and set up a way to get the wine, and it prevents air from getting in the bag to spoil the wine. When the tap is used correctly—only let wine come out when tap is open, never let air come in—Franzia claims wine in an opened box can last up to six weeks.
Elegant, no. Practical, yes, and for many San Angeloans, delicious, too.
• Franzia House Wine Favorites. Fruity, easy drinking, bargain “house wines” for your home. $11.
• Franzia Vintner Select. True varietal flavor, oak—not so much (come on, this is bargain wine). $14.