I Try Cups of Copa Di Vino
For a recent look at Copa Di Vino and other single serve wine please read Wine in Small Servings: From Unpleasant Reactions to Red and Black Fruit.
I held back on publishing my post on wine at the National Mall because I wanted to find an appropriate wine suggestion. The DC Metro area has a wide selection of wine in a box, wine in a big juice pack, large flasks, Go-Vino cups, but none of these seemed quite right for a concession stand. When my friend John reported seeing wine in a cup for sale at a gas station I immediately asked him to pick up a few for me. These two selections were purchased from a Sheetz gas station in Virginia. He reports that the displays are sometimes located by the registers and other times they are in the walk-in cooler.
Copa Di Vino was created by James and Molli Martin after seeing single-serve wine sold on the trains in France. For those who watch Shark Tank these names might be familiar for James Martin has twice appeared on the show. Today Copa Di Vino is a partnership between the Martin family winery, Quenett Winery in Oregon, and OneGlassWine in France. Two years ago the first version of Copa Di Vino contained French wine. Now the Martin’s source wine from Columbia Valley producers then “glass” it at their Oregon facility. The Martin’s established and patented their bottling line at the historic Sunshine Mill on the Columbia River. The bottling line is mobile but has yet to move as there is enough demand for the Copa brand alone. However, there is nothing to say other wineries may not work with the Martins.
While any initial wine selections at the National Mall (or other National Parks for that matter) could feature the Copa wine it would be more dynamic to offer an evolving selection of wines from throughout the country. The National Mall draws visitors from all over the world so why not offer wine from not just Maryland, Virginia, New York but New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and others. The “labels” are screened on so those could be varied.
The actual Copa Di Vino is a 187ml sealed polyethylene cup which makes it one-quarter of a bottle. At $3 per cup that works out to $12 per bottle. The wine is filled almost to the top, sealed with an oxygen proof foil, then covered with a plastic cap. Once the foil is removed the cap may be put on for safety. A tiny bit of wine may drip out but the seal is good enough to protect against major spills.
With the wine reaching the top of the cup I tasted these two selections by pouring them into my standard Spiegelau wine glass. I was thoroughly surprised by the Merlot. It was actually quite good for an hour or so. I preferred the palate where there was good flavors, texture, acidity, and sweet tannins. I certainly thought this was a pleasing wine for the price. The Cabernet Sauvignon was a step down, perhaps underperforming, it was inoffensive but not as inspired as the Merlot. When I revisited the Merlot several hours later it was started to recede and thin-out. I suspect drinking these wines over such a long period will be a rare occurence. The true potential lies with the single-serve cup. If I were a winery I would be contacting the Martins then bugging the concession stands to sell your wine. Step the wine up to the $4 or $5 per serving and I will certainly pass on that large soda!
NV Copa Di Vino, Cabernet Sauvignon, American – $3
This has some Washington state fruit in it. The color is light to medium purple ruby. The flavors are a touch herbal with tart red fruit, soft black cherry, and some sweet tannins. Inoffensive. * Now.
NV Copa Di Vino, Merlot, American – $3
This has some Columbia Valley Merlot in it. The nose revealed fresh red fruit, greenhouse aromas, and a little texture. In the mouth this medium-bodied wine had cherry flavors, a bright aspect with a little dark, inky layer underneath. The tannins were sweet and mixed with plenty of acidity as the flavors turned to blacker fruits in the finish. * Almost ** Now.