At the risk of sounding like a complete and total corporate brand shill, I’m going to mention that Black Box Wines, one of a few wine brands that have come on the scene offering higher-quality boxed wines, has been good to me and I consider them “friends of the Dude.”
It helps that their product doesn’t suck, of course. I’m not going to call their wines amazing, and while they claim that their boxes of wine will stay fresh for up to four weeks after opening, their idea of “fresh” after two weeks doesn’t coincide with my idea of “pleasurably drinkable.” But… if you’re looking for a larger volume of fruit-forward, easy-drinking wine for a party you’d do a lot worse than to pick up a box of Black Box Chardonnay, which I found to be a bargain in terms of quality / price ratio – you get a lot of decent, easy-drinking, tropical-fruit-driven Chard for a very good price.
GEEK-OUT ALERT: I need to mention that the term “boxed wine” gets on my nerves, since technically it’s “bagged wine” – the wine is in a bag that happens to be stored in a box. The technology behind the bag is pretty amazing, actually, since it needs to collapse at the same rate as the wine so that as little air as possible gets into the bag, thus preserving the freshness of the wine. To allow this, the bag is slightly permeable, which means it has a freshness shelf-life even when unopened. Ok, I’ll stop geeking-out now.
Black Box Wines happen to be running a video contest at the moment, which amazingly has fewer than 10 entries at the moment. I say “amazingly” because they are giving away $10,000. Even if people from CA aren’t eligible (I blame the broken CA state government, from which PA seems to unfortunately be taking its model), that’s a paltry number of entries for a prize like that.
The thing I can’t figure out is why there seem to be so few entries. The economy is in the toilet, and wine people came out of the woodwork for a chance to win a similar amount of monthly dough from Murphy-Goode winery.
So, what gives? Do people not want a chance at $10 Gs?…
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Virginia, as the marketing slogan goes, is for Lovers.
VA may soon be for wine lovers, especially if you’re fond of Old World style Cabernet Franc.
VA is not necessarily for wine writers, however.
Those are the tidbits of knowledge that I came away with anyway, after touring a handful of Loudoun County wineries with a group of other bloggers, sponsored by Reston Limousine.
To be fair, before I start making pronouncements on the state of wine in D.C.’s wine country – and I will make pronouncements about D.C.’s wine country, of course – my tour visited only a handful of wineries in the Harmony Cluster. While it’s situated in close proximity to D.C. and Reston, Loudoun County gets particularly rural particularly quickly, and if you’re planning on a tour of the area’s wineries you could hardly do better than to hire someone else to navigate the narrow, twisting, unpaved roads between wineries, which I imagine would be harrowing to navigate in poor weather, darkness, or when you’re hammered. Not that you’d do that, right? Right?!??
I did come away quite impressed with Reston Limo, who sponsored our trip and offer public tours of the area’s wine trail. Our driver was big enough to have been on NFL offensive lineman, and thankfully was quite funny, approachable, and talented (he possesses a very good singing voice, and is able to create – I am not making this up – cursive renditions of your name created from a piece of twisted wire). So I came away from the tour fairly impressed by Reston Limousine.
The Loudoun country wineries, on the other hand, did not all impress me…
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Wow – I feel like I’ve arrived!
This week, 1WineDude is featured on Tom Wark’s long-standing and excellent wine blog Fermentation. This mention is extra-special for me, because I’ve really enjoyed Tom’s Bloggerviews series and have often been turned on to new and interesting writers that Tom has featured.
To me, when Tom features a blogger on Bloggerviews, it usually means that they’ve really hit their stride as a writer. I don’t know if I quite qualify as hitting my stride, but I’m certainly honored to have been included in the great company of wine bloggers that he’s featured. I think that Tom’s prescription for eyeglasses may need renewal, however, since he mentions in the feature that I’m a good-looking guy… clearly his glasses require work (or at the very least, need a good cleaning). Anyway, check out Tom’s post here:
Tom begins his feature with the words “Here’s what I think about Joe Roberts…” Well, I need to tell you all what I think about Tom Wark.
Tom deserves a medal for the work that he has done, sometimes behind the scenes and outside of the public eye, as Executive Director of the Specialty Wine Retailers Association, with a mission to further the fight for a free market for wine in the United States. To put it simply, if you are able to have wine shipped to your home directly then you probably owe a small debt to Tom and the SWRA for helping fight to maintain that right for you. If you can’t yet have wine shipped directly to you legally, then Tom is the person you want on your side in the battle to get there. Keep fighting the good fight, Tom!
You can follow the SWRA’s Wine Without Borders blog here.