Saturday, September 24, 2011

Interesting Box Wine from Octavin

Just when I was thinking of whipping up a great sangria for a party (according to my friend Marimar Torres's classic Spanish recipe), I was introduced to Octavin's Osborne Seven, a blend of seven red Spanish varietals.
At $21.99 for a 3-liter box that keeps the wine fresh for as long as six weeks, it's quite a deal.
Now before you start questioning the idea of wine in a box, consider this: boxed wine, or bag-in-box, as the French call it, is the fastest-growing segment of the French wine market. If France, that stronghold of wine tradition, can accept wine in a box, I think we can too. For more on this issue, see my story in Wine Enthusiast magazine's November issue.
Osborne Seven has classic Spanish red varietals: Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Graciano, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot, in a yummy blend that is moderate in alcohol (13.6%) and high on soft tannins and luscious fruit. Mixed with a little gin, Cognac and orange liqueur, plus lots of fresh fruit, it made a fantastic sangria.
Octavin has a line of eight-sided, self-serve packages that contain premium wine, including the one I tried after my sangria success, Herding Cats, a white blend from South Africa. Crisply acidic, with moderate alcohol (13.5%), the blend of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc was a pleasant aperitif and accompaniment to grilled fish and chicken at a barbecue. $24 for a 3-liter box. Available nationally in the U.S.