Archived entries for Pinot Grigio

Another Wine Round Up: Belated Edition

Once again, I am completely behind on my wine round ups.  I only have myself to blame.  I had the vision of doing a rosé roundup and found myself with about 75 roses to drink (as well as a dedicated #winestudio program), so this is going to a series of round ups or you’d be reading about 150 wines (with a total of 300 under review, so advance apologies to the PR folks who sent these my way).  Figured that would not be fun to read, let alone daunting to write, so we’ll take it by varietal and today I’ll cover 33 of them.



2016 Caves d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé – this is a fabulous expression of Provence rosé and is a critic favorite for a reason.  Grapefruit, minerality, peach and blood orange.  Absolutely delicious.

2016 Aridus Rosé – this Arizona wine was new to me and was a fun new find.  I tasted tangerine, peach, strawberry and spice.

2016 Alta Vista Rosé – made to be an everyday, easy drinking fruity rosé with notes of Bing cherry, roses and a nice minerality.

2016 Caposaldo Rosé – notes of strawberries, raspberries, cherries with floral and mineral notes.

2016 Louis Jadot Rosé – notes of flowers, raspberry and currant with spice.

2016 Maison Saleya Rosé – This was the first one to go at the tasting.  Notes of tangerine, raspberry, cherry, roses and a little spice on the end.  Definitely the crowd favorite.

2016 Masi Rosa dei Masi – juicy berry, cherry and almost a richness balanced with a nice minerality.

2016 Martin Ray Rosé of Pinot Noir – I tasted stone fruit, cherry, strawberry and citrus notes.  Small production and appears to be sold out, but definitely seek out if you can find it.

2016 Noble Vines Rosé – notes of raspberry, citrus, tangerine and roses.

2016 Ferraton Père & Fils, Samorëns Côtes du Rhône, Rosé – notes of flowers, peach, melon and citrus as well as stone fruit with a balanced minerality.

2016 Marqués de Riscal Rosado – strawberry, cherry, raspberry and rose with a nice mineralogy.


This was my first sparkling from Utiel-Requena, which is an appellation in Spain’s Bobal Valencia region.  I learned that while 95% of the 35,000 hectares of vines are planted to red grape varieties, the Bobal is the star of the show here.

2014 Pago de Tharsys Bobal Unico Blanc de Negre Brut – this was a sparkling wine made with the Bobal grape.  I got yeastiness, apples, almonds, pears and notes of citrus.   I loved the minerality and the freshness of this wine.

I also tasted (from another region) Vineyard SEROL Turbullent Sparkling Rosé – it was a berry explosion with notes of pear and white fruit.  A very refreshing and fun expression of sparkling wine.


2014 Troon Vermentino – let’s start out by saying that I love this wine and the fact that Craig Camp is involved, makes it even better.  I tasted cherry, citrus, hazelnut, ginger, lemon curd and floral notes along with a great acidity.

2014 Cecchi La Mora Vermentino – an easy drinking white wine with notes of papaya, pear, apple and a nice acidity.

2015 Marques Casa Concha Chardonnay – this smooth drinking Chardonnay was chock full of pear, quince, almonds, spice and candied citrus.

2015 Adler Fels The Eagle Rock Chardonnay – notes of tropical fruit, apples, vanilla, pears and stone fruit.  A well-balanced and elegant chardonnay.

2016 Crowded House Sauvignon Blanc – notes of lime zest, citrus, grassiness and a nice minerality.

2016 Martin Ray Sauvignon Blanc – a refreshing wine with lemon, floral notes, tropical fruits and a nice minerality.

2015 Martin Ray The Tower – made from Rhone varietals, I tasted tropical fruit, melon, flowers, honeycomb, lemon and grapefruit and a minerality that kept it refreshing.

2015 A2O Albarino – this was a true expression of albarino with minerality and notes of peach, melon, honey and a little herbal note.

2015 Torresella Pinot Grigio – a balanced pinot grigio with pear, apple and mineral notes.

2014 Naia Verdejo — notes of citrus, apricot, tropical fruit and flowers.


2013 Tarantas Tempranillo – another wine from the Utiel-Requena region (see sparkling section above).  This wine had notes of cranberry, blackberry, spice, oregano, earth and cherry.  A very drinkable tempranillo from this new regional discovery.


2014 Bodegas Hispano Suizas Bassus Pinot Noir – from the Utiel-Requena region and who knew Pinot Noir would be part of this region?  Almost jammy it is so fruit forward.  Lots of currant, floral notes and a nice spiciness makes this a very easy drinking wine.

2014 Alder Fels Pinot Noir – this lush pinot has notes of red cherry, earth, herbs and licorice.  Definitely one of the favorites.

2014 Aridus Petite Sirah – this was a fun petite sirah to try and another surprise from Arizona.  Loads of berry, cassis, mocha and a touch of vanilla.

Mezzacorona Vigneti Cliffhanger Vineyards Proprietary Red (NV) – red and black fruit combined with spice, oak and vanilla make this a bigger wine that begs for food.

2007 Mezzacorona NOS Riserva – I really enjoyed this wine with notes of blackberry, black cherry, charcoal, pepper and spice.  Over the course, it kept opening nicely and was a great match with the appetizers we were snacking on.

2012 Praxis Lagrein – this was a new find for me and I was so glad for the discovery.  A mix of cherry and black fruit with coffee, chocolate and herbal notes.

2016 Farraton Pere & Fils Cotes du Rhone Samorens – this solid red offered notes of raspberry, cherry, licorice and spice.  It was very approachable and drinkable.

Other – Wines/Spirits in a Can

Bushido Premium Sake — A sake in a can?  Yes, the convenience era has come to a head and now cans run prevalent – sometime with varying successes.  Bushido’s Way of the Warrior sake can, contains premium Ginjo Genshu sake.  I tasted red fruit, Asian pear along with floral notes and some spice.  I think this can will convert some newbies to sake as it as a refreshing and unique way to experience sake.

Backpack Rosé – boat wine in a box… these cans of rosé were very drinkable and I tasted strawberry, white stone fruit with some floral notes.

October Wine Round Up: Favorite Samples Over the Past Months

Today I’m going to talk about some of my favorite recent samples, which include wine and for the first time, spirits.  I tried 28 wines and 12 of them made the list along with one gin and one vodka.


2013 Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec – this was a great expression of Malbec.  Lots of berry, plum, herbs, mocha and chocolate notes.  I brought this to a girl’s wine group and it disappeared quickly.

2013 Gloria Ferrer Pinot Noir – this had a nice earthiness and notes of black cherry, strawberry and a nice touch of herbs.

2014 Flora Springs Merlot – this was a well-balanced merlot with plum, chocolate, berry and a bit of cherry.

Locations by Dave Phinney E and F – Dave Phinney has always had a personal mission to make the best wines possible.  Now he is taking his concept that he can get great grapes from vineyards (taking out the appellation rules) across the world and use his winemaking skills to make great wines.  It works.  I tried several of his wines and was impressed with the result.  The E blend from Spain had lots of cherry, plum, berry and spice.  The F blend from France was delicious with Grenache (Roussillon), Syrah (Rhone) and Bordeaux Blend Varieties.

2012 Northstar Merlot – this merlot was velvet on the tongue with notes of raspberry, cherry and chocolate and a hint of vanilla.

2013 True Myth Cabernet Sauvignon — rich berry, dark cherry, mocha, a touch cedar.  Very easy drinking.


Jolie Folle Rosé – this embodies everything that a good rosé should be.  Notes of strawberry, watermelon and a great minerality.


2013 Ramey Chardonnay – orange blossom, stone fruit, buttered popcorn and floral notes make this a wonderful entry level chardonnay that keeps its balance.

2015 Martin Ray Chardonnay – this old world chardonnay had notes of white stone fruit, flowers, vanilla and was delicious.

2014 Castello Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio – this was a nice representation of a pinot grigio.  Fruity, crisp and a nice minerality makes it a great porch Summer wine.

2014 Grillo Cavallo delle Fate Sicilia DOC – this was my first experience with Grillo from Sicily and not my last.  It is a very easy drinking wine with lots of white stone fruit.


For the first time, I had the chance to try the Azzurre gin and vodka.  They are both made from apples, grapes and sugar cane with no added ingredients.  I served these both at a dinner party and to rave reviews.  I enjoyed both of them, but found myself going back to the gin as it truly was a sipping gin with lots of fruit-forward notes that also sung with specialty tonics.

Two Lands Wine: California Craftsmanship with Australian Character

My love for Ehren Jordan’s wine began with a yellow balloon tied to a non-descript mailbox in Napa Valley.  We were tasting at another winery when I asked my paradoxical question – “if you weren’t working here, what is the first place that you’d stop and taste the wine.”  That brought us to his newly debuted Failla Winery, which was so new it was still unmarked except with that yellow balloon, where I had an amazing conversation with Jordan.  We talked about his vision, why he made the wines he made and the importance of boutique, small production wines.

Hickin and Jordan

Fast forward about seven years later and I was invited to an online digital tasting with Jordan and Bernard Hickin, Jacob’s Creek Chief Winemaker from Barossa to taste the newly debuted Two Lands label.  The two winemakers created a cross-collaboration combining the boutique wine experience at a price point not normally delivered under $14.

Jordan talked about combining, “California craftsmanship with Australian character to create a depth of experience.”  He also discussed how he was blown away when he visited Australia for the first time after having several members of his wine team talk about the great experience they had working on the region. 

We tried four wines in the line-up and I fell in love with two.  I am usually not a Pinot Grigio fan, but the 2013 Two Lands Pinot Grigio has notes of stone fruit, red apple and acid that gave it a nice balance.  The 2013 Two Lands Shiraz was delicious with notes of blueberries, cocoa, herbs, black cherry and chocolate. 

These two value wines bring together the best of both worlds at a price point that makes it easy to afford.



A Round Up of Recommended Wines Under $15

It’s time for another wine round up and this time the focus was on Italy, Slovenia and California.  Overall this was a group of well-priced (all under $15), well rounded and very drinkable wines.  In fact, of the nine wines that I tried, I’m reviewing seven.


  • 2011 Backhouse Pinot Grigio — notes of apple, nectarine, lime and apple.
  • 2012 Pepi Pinot Grigio – Nice acidity, tropical fruits with guava and pineapple, notes of pear.  I’m not usually a fan of non-Italian pinot grigios, but I really enjoyed this wine.
  • 2012 Pepi Sauvignon Blanc – notes of grapefruit, lemon grass and citrus.  Very quaffable and a great summer wine.


  • Con Carne NV Sauvignon Blanc – grapefruit and green pepper with notes of citrus.


  •  2011 Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio – lots of minerality with notes of pear, banana and honey.
  • 2011 La Quercia Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, part of the Small Vineyards portfolio, was one of the favorites of the tasting.  Black cherries, plum, mocha and herbs.  Perfect for your Tuesday pizza line-up.


  •  2011 Giocato Pinot Grigio Goriška Brda – lots of apples, lemon, almonds and notes of floral with a nice balance of minerality.  This wine surprised me and I’m looking forward to trying more from the region.

I think you’d be satisfied for any of these wines by the pool or for Tuesday pizza wines.  Give them a try and let me know what you think.


A Conversation with the Men behind Sartori Wines

Bernabei and Sartori 

When Banfi invited me to experience the Sartori family wine portfolio, I knew I was in for some great wines and a lunch that would take me right back to my Italian roots, but without all the yelling.  I met Andrea Sartori, fourth generation of the Sartori family, and Franco Bernabei, a renowned consulting wine maker, to explore their portfolio of wines.

This was my first experience with Sartori wines, a well-known name for over a century from Italy’s Veneto region.  The family’s initial foray into hospitality was as a hotelier and later as owners of a restaurant and hotel.  In 1898, Pietro Sartori bought Villa Maria, a vineyard with a small cellar attached in the heart of Valpolicella, to source good wines for his hotel and as a small cellar for the family’s personal consumption.  Pietro’s son, Regolo, an Air Force officer in the first World War, sold the restaurant and declared the future of his family was in wine. By the 1950’s, Regolo’s two sons expanded the winery with an eye on expanding its distribution outside of Italy.

In the late 90’s/early 2000’s, Andrea Sartori, Pietro’s great-grandson, took over the business. Soon afterward, in an effort to get closer to the grapes, he made a decision that would turn the negociant system in Italy on its head.  In 2002, the company joined with Cantina Colognola, giving the family rare guaranteed access to more than 6,200 acres of high-quality grapes from 800 farmers in Soave and Valpolicella, where virtually no wine houses control their own vineyards.  This freed them from ‘the mercy of the market’ and gave them the ability to work with the best farmers, grapes and vineyards.  Sartori said, “People thought we were crazy, but for the first time, we had the ability to do significant projects from the ground up and farmers now owned a piece of our company.”  The two coops merged together in 2011 and these relationships as critical to their success.

Bernabei, who is a fifth generation winemaker, took the consulting job with Sartori because he is originally from Veneto and wanted to work with a family that “paid considerable attention to the history and heritage of Italian wines.”  He believes that wines should be original, traceable and carry an identity card based on the vineyard.  In harvest, the balance of acidity and pH are important.

We started with the Sartori Di Verona 2012 Pinot Grigio. This wine had a mineral characteristic with floral notes, peach, citrus and pears. Bernabei talked about how this wine is treated like a great burgundy in the style it is produced. I asked him what he was going for in this wine. “I want to pick a grape and the consumer tastes the dew – it’s a perfect fruit.” He believes that winemakers should not be invasive and wines should be expressions of the vineyard.

He then talked about the trends in wine making and why Sartori will never follow the path of forcing a style that isn’t native to the grape. “The greatest wines are not forced, pushed or exaggerated,” said Bernabei. “They maintain their sense of place – we make wine with what we have. That expression can’t change,” he said.

Our next wine was the 2010 Sartori di Verona Pinot Noir, a fun project the two men put together to see if they could make an Old World expression that would stand up to the classics.  It had the classic vegetal notes and pungency that makes up good pinot with notes of vanilla, black cherry, spice and pepper.  It is meant to make pinot accessible and for $11, this was a wonderful expression of affordable pinot noir.

We then moved to the 2009 Sartori di Verona Valpolicella, which had notes of earth, cherry and represented a classic version of this wine.

We then made the switch to a white wine – the 2010 Sartori di Verona Ferdi, which was a muscular white with elegance, power and notes of pear, apricot, lemon curd and lots of complexity. We actually came back to this wine after the full line of up big reds and it had lost nothing. And, for $14, it was a heck of a deal.

It was time for the big boys next. I have to point out that we were eating lunch at Terilli’s and Bernabei asked for some Parmesan cheese, which fell woefully short of Italian cheese standards. But we persevered on (making me really want to get some of the cheese they wanted me to have). The 2008 Sartori di Verona Regolo uses a technique of gentle pressing followed by skin maceration at low temperatures for 10 days. The wine then sits on Amarone pomace to enhance the aromatics and aging potential.  This results in a wine with great minerality and notes of berry and cherry. Great to drink today, but at $19, you should put some down and see what happens.

We moved to the 2010 Sartori di Verona Regolo, which had a great balance of black fruit and acidity. The Sartori Amarone 2010 had notes of wild fig, dates, terrior and was incredible. The “I Saltari” 2001 Le Vigne di Turano is a collaboration of the Colognola and Sartori wineries to improve viticulture, winemaking and production of Verona wines. The wines are aged in casks and slow racked to “bring the marriage together.” It was old world and had aged wonderfully with notes of spice and dried fruit.

A constant over the last 100 years is the Sartori family’s love of their land and heritage.  I look forward to continuing to watch the family’s evolution of their classical portfolio and evolution into what we consider non-traditional varietals of Italy.

Celebrity Wines: The Good, the Bad and the Funny

Christy Lemire at the Oscars

Check out my column today in Culture Map Dallas where I interviewed Associated Press Movie Critic Christy Lemire to find out what she thought the persona of the wines would be based on the celebrity.  Then Jasper Russo, who runs the fine wine program for Sigel’s, and I tried the wines.

Winebow Wines of Summer: Fun to Be Had Off the Beaten Path

When I received a package from Winebow with Summer whites that were off the beaten path, I was totally stoked. I gathered a group of my closest wine buddy girlfriends, we assembled a spread to match and we were off to the races. The pack included Pinot Grigio and Riesling as well as Vermentino and Torrontés from several regions. We tried the following wines:

  • Tilia Torrontés, Argentina 2011 – $10: We tasted herbs and honeysuckle with a floral nose.
  • Clean Slate Riesling, Mosel 2011 – $10: This one had some residual sweetness but notes of lime and peach with minerality.
  • Root:1 Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – $12: This was the group favorite with tropical fruit, grapefruit, grassiness and mineral notes.
  • Vitiano Bianco (Vermentino & Verdicchio) Umbria 2011 – $12: Tropical, fruity and very light in body from Umbria, a region I had not experienced yet in Italy.
  • KRIS Pinot Grigio, delle Venezia 2011 – $14: This was a very fruity pinot grigio that stayed true to the variety.
  • Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino, Sardinia 2011 -$16: Very crisp with tropical fruit. This wine had a bit of effervescence at the finish.

This was a fun reminder that there are bargains and new regions to try once you step out of your usual wine comfort zone.

Decent Glass of Wine At A Chain Series: Russo’s Coal Fired Italian


As a part of my ongoing and often sporadic “Can You Get a Decent Glass of Wine from a Chain Restaurant” series, I was invited to Russo’s Coal Fired Italian Kitchen, a chain of more than 25 Italian restaurants.  I’d never been to Russo’s before and so I made the ride to Richardson, TX, with my friend, David, who graciously agreed to be a part of the taste experience.

This series started after I told my husband that I did not want to meet him for drinks after work at Mi Cocina due their very pedestrian wine list.  While I have been pleasantly surprised  with the results of this series (I’ve had two good experiences at Cafe Express and The Olive Garden),  I wasn’t sure what to expect from a pizza and pasta chain.  Again, I found that I need to check my pre-conceived notions at the door.  

We were warmly greeted by Chris Demers, director of operations for Russo’s, who began talking passionately about the wine program.  Russo’s offers twelve wines by the glass — one prosecco, five whites and six reds — and ten of those rotate monthly.  All of these wines retail for $7 for a 5 oz. pour.  When we visited the restaurant, there were some other specials including Ferrari Carano for $6 and Masi for $9.  Demers has a background of helping bring The Wine Loft, a national wine bar concept, to fruition so when he came to work at Russo’s he immediately overhauled the wine program.


He told us that, overall, Richardson (Dallas) wine drinkers were adventurous and while he needed to have some traditional Italian Chianti’s and Pinot Grigio’s on the menu, people were also willing to try Argentian Malbec and Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.  After checking his website, we realized the list Demers has is different from the Russo’s wine list.  That is by design.  Half of these wines aren’t available via retail as he’s trying to encourage a positive adventure in wine for his diners.  It is paying off — since he overhauled the wine program, sales are up over 50 percent.  There has only been one exception — Mark West Pinot Noir.  He tried to replace this crowd favorite and quickly realized it was a sacred cow.



Here’s the line-up that we had the night of our tasting:


  • Cavit – Lunetta Prosecco 09.  I tasted peach and pear with a mineral ending.  A very nice drinkable sparkling to start your meal.
  • Castegio – Pinot Grigio 10.  This is a crisp and tart pinot grigio.  This grape isn’t my usual first choice in wine, but it was a good representation.
  • De Martino – Sauvignon Blanc 10 (Chile).  This was my favorite white.  Lots of citrus and pineapple, but with the minerality that I like.  If I tasted this blindly, I would have said this was a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.  Note this one is very hard to find in Dallas.
  • Alias – Chardonnay 09 (California).  Loved the story behind this project by eight un-named wine makers who wanted to make a good wine.  This was made in Old World style with lemon, tropical fruits and honey, but without being a butter bomb.  This was David’s favorite white and a very nice chardonnay.
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle – Riesling 10 (Washington State).  Always a critics’ favorite — especially at this price range — this had lots of stone fruit flavor and was a great value riesling.


  • Mark West – Pinot Noir 09 (California).  The people have spoken.  No comment.
  • Ruffino – Sangiovese 10 (Chianti).  You have to have a by the glass chianti, but there are much better options on the list.
  • Ca’Momi – Merlot 09 (Napa).  This is one of them.  A big jammy, food-friendly wine with notes of plum, cherry and menthol.  A really nice merlot and David’s favorite red.
  • Altos – Malbec Classico 10 (Mendoza).  A very nice representation of a Malbec with vanilla, mocha and chocolate. 
  • Blackburn – Cabernet Sauvignon 08 (Paso Robles).  Run, do not walk and see if you can find this wine in Dallas (if I don’t buy it all first).  This drank like a $30 cab and was off the charts good.  Big notes of plum, cherry, earth and menthol.  


We also got to sample a few of the menu items, prosciutto with buffalo mozzarella, which I didn’t try because I’m allergic to pork, and the spinach and artichoke dip, which was off the charts good.  My advice for you is to come from 3-6 for Happy Hour or on Wednesday’s when wines are $5.  Order the dip and the Blackburn and savor the fact that not only can you get a good glass of wine from a chain, but you have found a cabernet that is a fantastic price to taste ratio.


Wine Quest: Decent Wine at a Chain Search Continues at Olive Garden

Olive Garden Sign

I fully admit that I had some trepidation going back into an Olive Garden Restaurant, especially to taste wine.  But, I had willingly committed to doing a series about the possibility of finding a decent wine by the glass at a chain.  So, I grabbed my friend, Jennifer, and off we went.

Olive Garden Staff

Danny and Jeff

We were met by General Manager, Danny Gabaldon, and Certified Wine Trainer and a guy you want to work for you, Jeff Kidd, and seated in the bar area.  The restaurant had recently been remodeled with a Tuscan influence and was not the dark wood, dark place that I remembered from about 15 years ago.  We were presented with the wine list, which had 38 wines total with 35 offered by the glass at all price ranges.  The wines ranged from the house Cabit to the more interesting Italian wines.  Master Sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson helped create the wine training program for the Olive Garden and you can definitely see her influence.   So I’m sure you wondering which three bottles aren’t available by the glass – Zonin Prosecco , Bertani Amarone Della Valpolicella ($100) and Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montacino ($65).

Olive Garden Fod

Danny pointed out the featured wines list, which changes every six weeks, is matched with seasonal food items.  The wines are 6 oz pours or for another $2.50, they will pour 9 ozs.  The restaurant puts a sticker on each bottle that indicates the day the bottle was opened and when it is no longer consumable.  In addition, air is pumped from each open bottle nightly.  They brought us some bruschetta, Italian cheese and some individual sized desserts and we began to taste. 

Olive Garden White

Olive Garden Wine

We tried the following wines:

  • Rocca delle Macie Sasyr 07, a blend of Sangiovese and Syrah.  This is a very fruity, tangy and easy to drink wine that pairs well with Italian flood.  This was our favorite red wine.
  • Feudo Arancio Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT 09, cranberry, berry and lots of fruit.
  • Mandra Rossa Fiano 09, nice nose with lots of pear notes with tropical fruit and citrus.  This would be a great pool wine.
  • Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie Sartori di Verona 10, a very typical Pinot Grigio that would pair well with Italian food.

We also sampled the Moscato and the Roscotto, a sweet red made only for Olive Garden, with the desserts.  I think I’m going to stick with my dessert wines favs, but it’s nice to know that these are around when Great Aunt Stella is ready to have some vino.

Olive Garden Jen and Mel

I must say that I’m impressed with the effort that Danny, Jeff and Darden Restaurants are putting effort into making sure diners have the option for a good glass of wine with their meal.  At least at Olive Garden, you can get a decent glass of wine at a chain.  Bravo!

WSWA Convention – Trend Two: The Proof is in the Packaging

So, this takes us to trend number two from my time at the WSWA Convention & Exposition.  I always heard from my mother that “what’s inside matters.”  Still the case, but why can’t what is outside be streamlined and functional? 

Bluebird Two Pack

The first vendor that I encountered was Bluebird Wines, who offered a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in an astro pouch with California grapes from Monterrey and Mendocino.  Priced at $17.99 for what is equivalent to two bottles, it is the perfect boating, game day or picnic wine.  The Chardonnay was more my style, which makes sense considering I’d probably consume this outside.  Still not for sale in Texas, but Bluebird is currently distributing in ten states with an eye on nationwide distribution.

Copa Packaging

The second exhibitor that I met, Copa di Vino, has the brilliant idea to offer single serve wines in disposable, individually packaged glasses (hard plastic actually) for $2.99.  When James Martin, the owner, was in France celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary, he saw this innovative packaging, secured the first license in the United States and built a company around it.  It’s brilliantly simple – remove the cover and sip.  No spillage nor waste nor a commitment to drinking a full bottle of wine.  Martin recently participated on the ABC reality show Shark Tank and was offered an investment in the single-serve technology only.  He declined because he believes that the technology side and the wine side should be integrated.  He spent tireless hours launching Copa as a proof of concept and is currently talking with wineries all over North America to provide the juice.

So, your next question is how is the wine?  Some of it is actually good.  Currently sourced from Columbia Valley grapes, I enjoyed the Merlot and the Pinot Grigio.  And, some are currently being reconsidered with different juice than the ones that I tried – and that is also a good thing.  With all the bad wines by the glass being served out there for ridiculous prices, I love that for under $3, I can get something decent at my local convenience store if I happen to be going to an outdoor park, movie theater, etc.

And, heck, if they can figure out how to do reserve wines that resemble stemware, I’m all in.  Keep an eye on Copa di Vino and Bluebird – they have the potential to change the way we drink wine in places where we usually have limited options.

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