Thursday, January 10, 2013

Week 2: Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel

            This week I decided to try one of the new crazes in wine; stylized boxed wines. Now, I know when you think boxed wine your brain directly references either a retirement home or possibly a trailer park, but times they are a changing for boxed wine.  Bota Box Old VineZinfandel, which I purchased at the Total Wine in Northridge (CA) for the price of $4.49, is not marketed as an inexpensive or value wine but rather an ecologically friendly way to consume a cocktail while out and about.  The “box” of Zin I purchased is especially practical for a picnic or hike because it is the smaller size box, it only contains about three poured glasses, or in reality two good poured glasses between my hubby and myself.

            The Bota Box Zinfandel’s color is that of a deep burgundy center with a brilliant ruby red on the edges and smells pleasantly of ripe red grapes.  The initial taste of the Bota Zinfandel offers a mildly sweet cherry flavor and as you let the wine expand you will notice a smoky finish. I did notice a quite bit of acidity in the finish of the Bota Zinfandel that can trigger an annoying bout of heartburn when I hit the sheets, so personally I would not choose this particular Bota Box wine for an evening glass of wine.
            As I warned last week, I can get a little hippy-dippy when it comes to favoring products that make an effort towards sustainability, and Bota Box most definitely falls into this category.  The California winery’s boxes are made from recycled paper and uses green manufacturing processes, purchasing the Bota Box brand wines helps you reduce your carbon foot print, all while giving you a nice wine buzz.
            Here is my final thoughts about the Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel 2010, the flavor is enjoyable but, as I found with Zinfandels in the past, the taste may not be for the fain of heart when it comes to their preference in wines.  Also, the acidity may cause indigestion in some, and I don’t want my perfect pork roast to be assumed the culprit for that discomfort in my husband or a dinner guest.  I will make a note to give the Bota Box another try in the future, but either a Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, in order to give the winery a fair chance.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Week 1: Santa Julia Cabernet Sauvignon

It’s the crest of 2013 which means most of us are creating unobtainable New Years Resolutions.  I decided that I would not include myself in the camp of those who, by choice, deprive themselves of something they enjoy or the others who force themselves to do something they hate (a.k.a. exercise), in the name of personal betterment in the New Year.  Not me, I am going to resolve to do more of something I love and share it with the rest of the world. I am going to expand my love for drinking wine by trying a new bottle, priced for those of us in middle-class families, once a week for the entire 2013 calendar year. I will share my thoughts about each new vineyard’s bottle and I will either recommend it or steer you clear of a savor disaster.  Okay, enough talking, it is time for tasting.
My week one choice is Santa Julia Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, this bottle in particular was chosen for two very simple reasons: it is sold at my local Costco where I was already shopping, and the price was just right: $6.49.  I love red wines, so the Santa Julia Cab was already ahead of the game prior to twisting the cap off the bottle (yes, wine with a twist off cap, but please note: do not let a twist off cap deter you from a bottle of wine, traditional corks can allow air to enter the bottle and spoil a six and a half dollar bottle of wine just as easily as a two hundred dollar bottle, so the twist off does not automatically mean a lesser quality wine).
With the Santa Julia Cabernet Sauvignon cap twisted open and poured into my favorite wine glass, currently I am using a high ball glass because it is much less likely to get knocked over when my son bumps into the coffee table for the thirtieth time, I notice the wine is very dark, not burgundy, but a deep inky color.  Even with the cab’s dark color the taste is light and of pure currants, it does not have an alcohol burn in the slightest, actually the Santa Julia Cabernet Sauvignon has what the pretentious would call “a smooth finish”. The aroma is similar to the taste: pleasant, light, and void of any irritating sting of firewater that many lower priced bottles of wine suffer from.
I quickly perused the label and found that the Santa Julia Winery, located in Mendoza Argentina, boast that it is “Sustainable by Nature”.  I am a Southern Californian mom who drives a Prius, so when I read “sustainable” I am sucked in.  I read the rest of the label and learned that the Santa Julia Winery uses green fertilizers, irrigates partly utilizing a recycled water program, and focuses on energy conservation, the winery also supports social welfare programs.  I gave myself an emotional pat on the back for supporting a company who cares about sustaining their environment and community, way to go Santa Julia.
Alright people, here is the bottom line, Santa Julia Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect wine to serve with mixed company and I would highly recommend it as an exemplary hostess gift at a dinner party, not because it is out of this world great but rather it is friendly enough to satisfy all types of red wine drinkers and it will quell the thirsty masses with it’s simplicity done right.