Friday, May 16, 2008

Spirit Of The Andes and thinking INSIDE the box....it`s Friday Night.


Back by popular demand(my delusions only?)is my Friday wine selection. Usually only a winter indulgence I have a 2007 Chilean Anakena Carmenere in the glass tonight. The weather forecast is looking like rain tomorrow so,being a fair weather cyclist,I figured a Friday night wine uncorking was in order.

A grape varietal unique to Chile I was unfamiliar with the Carmenere "...is dark cherry red in color with blackberry notes, spices and chocolate aromas. Rich and fruity on the palate it has a velvety finish...."

Make no doubt this is a strong,but nice, wine. My plebian palate finds it spicy, verging on peppery, with a distinct bouquet. Suitable for meats, pasta and cheeses as the wine will not be overwhelmed by whatever food choices are made.

So.......here was my problem. I enjoy a glass of wine in the evening or with a meal. Problem is I hate opening a bottle and commence the onset of oxidation. I can put it fridge to delay the process but then it is not the optimal drinking temperature. As well studies indicate the healthy benefits of red wine(polyphenols)quickly disolve once wine has been exposed to the air(uncorked) and begins to oxidize.What`s a fella to do? Drink the whole bottle in a couple days?

The solution is rather simple and, actually, is easier on the wallet. Boxed wine. Yup.....I know the purists are shivering right now but the secret is boxed wine or as the Aussies call it....wine casks.

Boxed wine usually comes in 2-4 litre boxes. Inside is a vacuum packed bag of wine with a spigot. Once opened it has a shelf life of up to a month or more, does not need to be kept in the fridge and avoids the oxidation of opened bottles....hence perserving the beneficial polyphenols.

It was always assumed that only "dredge" wines were sold this way but that is changing. Both Hardys and Banrock Station offer several quality wines in boxes. Heck.....even renowned French vinyards now are using screwtops so it is only a matter of time before the enviromentally friendly boxes bridge the "snobbery" barrier.

The other nice aspect is the pricepoint of boxes is usually very good in comparison to an equal amount of bottles. A win /win. My plan will be to purchase a box of wine for daily usage but I will continue to purchase the occasional bottle to try new varietals, vinyards and blends.

Thanks to Doug for hosting an "around the Basin ride" tonight I can enjoy my Carmenere indulgence knowing I got a 50 km ride in the books. If it is raining tomorrow a morning at the gym will be a nice replacement.

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