Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Winey Tasting Notes: Beaching it with Bota Boxes

I am a beach person. There is no question about it. I spent summers growing up on the Jersey Shore. I am told I spent the entire summer before I was born on the beach at Red Bank (my mom is also a beach person and was a teacher - hence the summer off). I have been known to spend HOURS on the beach, as long as there was a good book nearby. I love sitting there, reading there, napping there and eating there...and of course, I love sipping wine on the beach too.

But there is always that issue of getting bottles down to the beach (red solo cups work fine if your house is nearby, but they are a bit limited in quantity and they splash). Also, bottles tip easily and it's really, really hard to suck wine out of sand. Just trust me on this one and don't ask for details, okay?

And then along comes Bota Box, asking to be taken on a picnic (really, this was an assignment I was given for another site, and since the very nice Bota distributor found out I was taking them on vacation he decided I needed a LOT of boxes to enjoy myself. He was right too.). So of course I obliged them and decided to picnic on the beach.

Ready to hit the sand!
Pinot Grigio decided to settle in under
the umbrella, being so light and all.
As you can see, I had two different sized boxes. The Cabernet Sauvignon (2011, 13%, appellation: South Australia, made in California) came in a nifty little tetra pack that is the equivalent of 3 glasses of wine. The Pinot Grigio 3 liter pack is the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine.  Despite their size differences, each box settled in very nicely at the beach.

Cabernet, being a bit darker,
decided to soak up the rays right away.
With proper eyewear of course.
I hadn't had much boxed wine before this, and I really wondered what to expect. I did know that boxed wine was supposed to be a bargain - the 3 liter sells for about $21 - that's four bottles of wine for $21. The tetra is $4.99. But that was all I really had heard. However, I was committed to sipping and sip I would.

The Cabernet was duly opened, giving off a wonderful aroma of black cherries. And believe me, I knew my cherries that day because the Winey Daughter and I were engaged in a cherry spitting contest at different points throughout the afternoon (NOTE: this only works if you aren't sitting really, really close to your beach neighbors). The taste was cherry with some oaky tang and a hint of blackberry on top of the mouth. It finished fruit into oak and had a nice smooth finish.

To be honest, it was an extremely hot day and one glass of the Cabernet was all I could really handle in between trips into the water. So Pinot Grigio (2011, 13%, California) had to wait a bit to be opened.

But when I did open it, the first word that came to my mind was tropical. The aroma was melon followed by tastes of melon and kiwi and some mango. There was some orange and a teeny bit of lime on the end of it and it finished tart and light. This wasn't as tartly dry as some Pinot Grigios. This wine had a roundness to it somewhere that made it a bit more lush. It was so refreshing during that hot July week.

Bota boxes are very eco-friendly. They are also very single drinker friendly. You can drink just one glass and when you seal it back up with the handy-dandy cap, the wine still stays fresh - for over a month! This is somewhat important with the smaller boxes and extremely important with that big 3 liter box - seriously, unless it's a party, that box won't be empty at the end of the night. And it really does stay fresh. Right now, there is a box of Pinot Grigio in my fridge that has been there for 2 weeks. Each glass is as crisp and lively as the first one I had. Oh, the wonders of cardboard.

These wines are perfect party wines. To quote Billy Joel (sort of), "A box of red, a box of white, whatever kind of mood you're in tonight." So you can make your red wine friends happy, your white wine friends happy and also know that the wine will stay fresh - inside or out, beach or patio.

I had a great time sipping Bota Box wine - not because of the novelty of the box (although that was kind of fun), but because it was good wine!


Facebook: The Winey Mom

I was given these wines for review purposes and was very happy about it, too.

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