Price: $9 Winery:Tilia, Mendoza, Argentina Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon Packaging: 750 ml bottle, screw cap Alcohol: 13.9% Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Perhaps the strongest appeal of Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 is the ripe berry and licorice nose. On the palate, it combines cherry, red berry, and woody notes with an reasonably long finish. It’s on the light side for a Cab, though I didn’t really see the sweetness that a few reviewers noticed. This Cab definitely improves with some air. Despite aerating and a little breathing, the first sips were a bit harsh and not all that flavorful. An hour or two later, the wine was more pleasant and pleasantly drinkable. At first taste, I was thinking a sub-8.0 rating on my personal scale of 10, but after the wine sat for a while I found it more to my liking. Continue reading “Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2009”
One of the huge advantages of boxed wine is that it lasts for a month or even more after being opened. This makes it very practical for glass-a-day drinkers who would find storing partially opened bottle wine problematic or wasteful. But, box wines aren’t perfect – it turns out that the bag-in-box packaging is very slightly permeable to oxygen, and after a period of time the wine will oxidize and darken. Continue reading “How Long is Boxed Wine Good?”
Maker: Banrock Station, Kingston on Murray, South Australia, Australia
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Packaging: 3-liter box
Our Rating: 8.7 out of 10
Banrock Station Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 is a very pleasant wine, one of the nicer boxed Cabs in mass distribution in the U.S. It’s a fruit-forward Cab, with blueberry and plum flavoers, along with some chocolate, spice, and oak. The finish is reasonably long with medium tannins. Continue reading “Banrock Station Cabernet Sauvignon 2009”
Maker: Bodegas Osborne, Malpica de Tajo, Spain
Varietal: Red Blend
Packaging: 3-liter box
Our Rating: 8.6 out of 10
Seven Red Table Wine is one of the newer boxes available in mass distribution. It’s from Spain, it’s in a cool octagonal bag-in-box package, and it’s surprisingly good. Seven is so named because it’s a blend of seven red grapes, with Tempranillo being the largest component. It’s not too complex, but offers a pleasant mix of chocolate cherries and a little black pepper. The tannins are soft, and the finish reasonably long. Continue reading “Seven Red Table Wine”
We box wine enthusiasts love the good parts of boxed wines: freshness for weeks after opening, minimal storage space, low environmental impact, and better-than-bottle pricing. But we have to admit there are a few annoyances (beyond lacking the satisfaction of extracting a cork). For one, getting the last glass or so out of the box requires extracting the inner bag and squeezing it into a glass. Second, since the wine is dispensed by gravity, the spigot is at the bottom of the box – you either have to set the box on the edge of your counter or table or place it on some kind of platform to pour into a glass. Boxxle may be the answer!
We’re all used to food pairing with wine, but how about paintings and wine? I ran across an interesting article, Paintings and Wine……Why Not!? The post focused on the opening of a new art & wine shop in Kirkland, WA, Palettes and Pairings. In this shop, the patrons can create the art themselves while enjoying wine and appetizers. Clever idea, particularly if you need a glass or two to release your artistic side! Continue reading “Art and Wine Pairing”
We love wine trivia, and we wondered how many grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine.
First, we ran across this factoid: about 630 grapes go into making a typical 750ml bottle. The statistic comes from Terry Armentor of Heck Estates, owner of Valley of the Moon winery, Kenwood Vineyard, Lake Sonoma Winery and Korbel as reported here.
Another calculation from Eno Wines estimates that the number of grapes used to make a bottle is in the 440-660 range.
149 Grapes in Your Glass
If we stick with the 630 number, it means each glass of wine takes 126 grapes to make, assuming you pour five glasses from a bottle. That’s about a 5-ounce pour. A more generous 6-ounce pour translates into 149 grapes. Continue reading “One Glass of Wine = 149 Grapes”
Tom Wark’s Fermentation blog recently suggested that the wine industry increase its appeal by doing national advertising with a pitchman like well-regarded actor George Clooney. The key elements of Wark’s proposed strategy are,
1. Every sector of the wine industry would need to pitch in (wineries, retailers, importers, wholesalers)
2. No region and no variety and no country should be highlighted
3. The TV creative must translate seamlessly into a print and on-line campaign.
The first two parts of that would seem to be potential blockers – getting everyone in the diverse wine industry to sign on would be a real challenge.
Maker: San Marcos Winery, Almendralejo, Extremadura, Spain
Packaging: 3-liter box
Our Rating: 8.3 out of 10
Slowly but surely, more interesting boxed wines are appearing on store shelves. A good example is Campobarro Tempranillo (non-vintage) from Spain. This is the first Spanish Tempranillo I’ve seen in a box. Like many inexpensive Tempranillos, this is a fine, if undistinguished, table wine. It has a fruity nose, with red berries and medium tannins on the palate. It’s not overly complex and the finish isn’t memorable, but for the equivalent of less than six bucks a bottle it’s very drinkable.
The wine is labeled as “Vino de la Tierra Extremadura,” indicating that it is from the Extremadura region of western Spain. The winery seems to be Bodega San Marcos, and the importer San Antonio-based Makin Wines International. The San Marcos website doesn’t reveal too much about the winery, sadly, and I haven’t seen any other boxed products from them.
Don’t expect to wow your oenophile friends with this one, but if you are looking for a chance of pace from the more common-seen boxes of California Cabs and Australian Shirazes, Campobarro Tempranillo may be just the ticket.