Wine in Small Servings: From Unpleasant Reactions to Red and Black Fruit
I travel with some consistency. In my desire to have a few glasses of wine in my hotel room I inevitably do not finish the bottle I have purchased and dump the remains down the sink. That is a waste which could be eliminated by drinking from single-serve bottles. While it is in my nature to travel with a corkscrew, others may not, particularly if you fly carry-on. In this post we investigated small servings of wine which do not require a corkscrew to open. These are suitable not only for travel but other occasions including lunch in one’s cubicle, a picnic, or perhaps the long train ride home. There is a certain tongue-in-cheek nature to the idea of this post, given the timing of this first day of April, but one thing which is true is that my most viewed post remains I Try Cups of Copa Di Vino. Back in January almost 1,000 individuals read this post within 24 hours.
The wines featured in this post come from a variety of sources including Giant in Manassas, Sheetz gas station in Morgantown (thanks John!), and Whole Foods in downtown Seattle. The per bottle price ranges from $6.29 for NV Sutter Home, Cabernet Sauvignon, California to a whopping $20.18 for the NV oneglass Wine, Cabernet Savuignon, Delle Venezie, Italy. The last time I recall drinking a single serve bottle of wine was on an Alaska Airlines flight where I featured the 2009 Sutter Home, Merlot, California in my post Tasting Wine at 34,000 Feet….Live!
Of the wines tasted the 2011 Bota Box, Chardonnay, California ranks as the worst wine I have ever drunk in my life. It literally made me want to puke and like sticking your fingers down your throat, it was repeatable. If it acceptable to find Copa di Vino at a gas station then it is unacceptable that Whole Foods was selling the NV oneglass Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Delle Venezie, Italy. Beyond the $20 per bottle equivalent sales price, marked down from $22.50, the wine was off-putting. I simply cannot imagine how it ended up on their shelves. One thing that might be telling, there were just a handful of these containers left as compared to my previous visit. Of all the wines tasted the 2012 Woodbridge, Cabernet Sauvignon, California was the best. It smelled and tasted like wine and at $6.74 per 4-pack it was all that I expected. It comes with a handy carrying case. If you do not mind dumping some wine down the sick then you are better off buying by the screw-capped bottle.
The best of the dry whites was the NV Vendange, Chardonnay, Australia. Rather mellow for my tastes it could be thought of as a mature box wine! The best and only off-dry white was the Copa di Vino, Riesling, Columbia Valley. This was in fact the best of the Copa di Vino wines we tried for it did not purport to be anything else.
Copa di Vino, Chardonnay, Columbia Valley – $2.69 (187 mL)
Use by 07-29-14. Alcohol 13.2%. The color was a very light straw. The very light nose had a little oak influences, yellow fruit, and stink notes. In the mouth were lean, acidity driven flavors which became puckering with a lot of acidity by the aftertaste. It was watering with a metallic note and the stink persisting in the mouth. On the second night it was still funky and stinky. Poor.
2012 Woodbridge, Chardonnay, California – $6.74 (4-pack of 187mL)
Alcohol 13.5%. The color was a light yellow green. The nose had fresher yellow fruit which turned tropical. There was very acidity driven fruit, a roundish feel, and acidity on the tongue tip. It had a creamsicle flavor and a metallic finish. There was some grip in the aftertaste. On the second night it was very similar but with more tropical notes. Drinkable. * Now.
NV Vendange, Chardonnay, Australia – $4.94 (500 mL)
Alcohol 12.5%. The color was a very light straw. The light nose had slightly richer yellow fruit. In the mouth were lower lying flavor, much less comparable acidity. As a whole more mellow but with some balance. It had some toast in the apple-like finish and became more balanced with air. There was even some aftertaste. Tropical notes develop for which it needs more acidity. Drinkable. * Now.
2011 Bota Box, Chardonnay, California – $6.29 (500 mL)
Alcohol 13%. The color was a light golden yellow. The nose bore mature pineapple pieces. In the mouth this dense tasting wine was mouth filling with supporting acidity and non-descript flavors. Odd. There was a metallic finish. Strange enough, there was an odd reaction in the back of my throat…this wine made me want to puke. Poor.
Copa di Vino, Riesling, Columbia Valley – $2.69 (187 mL)
Freshest by 08-12-14. Alcohol 12.2%. The nose smelled like sweet wine. In the mouth was a sweet entry with supporting acidity and a little texture on the tongue tip. It had tropical white and yellow fruit flavors. There was a short finish. * Now.
The red wines generally left the impression of either being heavily manufactured or made from the discarded remnant of bad wine. The NV Barefoot, Merlot, California might have fans because it is intentionally slightly off-dry but it did pass the threshold of being drinkable wine. Just a few tens of cents more the 2012 Woodbridge, Cabernet Sauvignon, California was the hands down favorite of all of the wines tasted. Perhaps it was the vintage date or the $0.45 premium over the NV Sutter Home, Cabernet Sauvignon, California that account for higher-quality fruit.
2012 JT Wines, FLASQ wine, Merlot, California – $7 (375 mL)
Alcohol 13.5%. This had red fruit on the nose with a hint of greenhouse aromas. In the mouth the red fruit had some ripeness, a greenhouse note, and a hint of jammy sweetness. The tannins were pleasing. It did have an odd under-note and feeling of confection. Would rate higher but for the oddity. Poor.
NV Barefoot, Merlot, California – $6.74 (4-pack of 187mL)
Alcohol 13%. The color was a medium ruby grape. There was sweet blue fruit on the nose. In the mouth was a round start with ripe fruit that had grip and was balanced with acidity. It had a creamy blueberry finish with good texture. Perhaps too much residual sugar for my preference. * Now.
NV Sutter Home, Cabernet Sauvignon, California – $6.29 (4-pack of 187mL)
Alcohol 13%. The color was a light to medium ruby. It had a cleaner fruit nose. In the mouth were leaner black and red fruit, subtle structure, a little appropriate greenhouse flavor, and some candied notes. * Now.
2012 Woodbridge, Cabernet Sauvignon, California – $6.74 (4-pack of 187mL)
Alcohol 13.5%. This had a subtle nose. In the mouth were ripe but controlled red and black fruit, plenty of integrated acidity, some spice, a little chewy finish, and structure towards the end. This tasted like proper wine and was hands-down the best. * Now.
Copa di Vino, Merlot, Chile – $2.69 (187 mL)
Use by 02-08-15. Alcohol 13%. There was a sweet nose of sweet floral aromas. In the mouth this wind revealed round, soft, rather perfumed sweet fruit. It was very round with creamy fruit, some herbaceousness, and a downright odd profile. Poor.
Copa di Vino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile – $2.69 (187 mL)
Use by 05-07-15. Alcohol 13.3%. This had a better nose of black fruit and greenhouse aromas. In the mouth the herbaceous black fruit had a grapefruit note with integrated acidity and tannins. There was texture in the finish and a surprising amount of tannins. Tasted manufactured but drinkable. * Now.
NV oneglass Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Delle Venezie, Italy – $2.69 (100 mL)
Alcohol 13%. There was a bizarre and off-putting nose. The mouth had round, cherry fruit which tasted old in a way. There was old perfume, acidity, ripe tannins, and downright odd flavors. Poor.