JWL Issue #024: Tasting Box Wines

October 16, 2018

I’ll be in Budapest when you read this. So expect some stories of Hungarian wine next week.

I’ve been looking into non-bottle wine recently. Bag in box wine, as well as something particularly interesting I’ve discovered recently.

Garcon Wines produce a special kind of bottle that’s recycled and can fit through your letterbox. This could be quite the game changer for at-home wine delivery. I tried their merlot a couple of weeks ago and was really pleasantly surprised.

Any fears I had about the format were very quickly allayed when sticking my nose into the glass. These sorts of wines won’t be good for ageing, but for the vast majority of wine consumption they will offer a great convenience.

It’s an interesting thing as many of you have mentioned to me that it’s difficult to try the online retailers I’ve mentioned, as you only want to buy one bottle. Perhaps Garcon Wines can put an end to that.

Taste

Boxed wines are a great concept. Instead of opening a bottle and leaving it to go to waste, a boxed wine allows you to have any number of glasses without wasting the rest. Win win all round.

The Weingut Straka Blaufränkisch from BIB Wine (£33.50 for 2.25l) is a peppery but fresh red that will be great for anyone who likes pinot or gamay. This is fantastic chilled, but pretty decent out of the fridge as well. 

When in Rome are an Italian-specialist and I recently tried their Refosco (£25.99 for 2.25l). This is a brilliant all-rounder red (with a really fun name: refosco). Great with food, but just as tasty without. This is bold and balanced, with strong fruit and great pepper throughout. 

Finally, Le Grappin make an incredible bourgogne aligoté do a couple of ‘bagnum’ (magnum of wine in a bag) wines. Their chardonnay is very good, though at the slightly higher range (£25.95 for 1.5l). 

Learn

Oxygen and wine are not friendly bedfellows. Wine that gets exposed to too much oxygen becomes oxidised. The result is fruit flavours reduce, and flat aromas remain. 

A great tip if you’re not finishing a bottle of wine, is to keep empty half-bottles of wine around. Pour your leftover wine into the half bottle, so that there is less oxygen in the bottle. It will improve the length of time the wine will stay fresh for. 

Oxygen plays an affect in the winemaking process as well, but we will be covering that off shortly with the new series: how wine is made.

Jargon

Pétillant

This means something is slightly fizzy. Some natural, still wines end up a little pétillant, but it’s more commonly referred to lighter styles of sparkling wine.

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