Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bonfire Wines

White wine pouch is skinny because it's mostly gone.
Hint: If someone offers me samples of wine or booze, there's a really good chance I'm going to take it. It's not that I'm a lush, but I like the occasional nip in the evening, and I like trying different brands and flavors.

I also like cooking with boozy things. Wine is good in tomato sauce, chili, and stews, among other things. If I don't care for the wine, I use it to make vinegar. Hard liquor works well in baked goods, ice cream, marinades, and more.

So when the nice folks at Bonfire Wines offered to send me wine, I said, sure, I'll take some.

The first interesting thing about the wine is the packaging. It comes in stand-up pouches with a spigot for dispensing the wine.

Since there's no oxygen - or very little - getting into the container, the wine stays fresh. It's a really neat idea, and the carbon footprint of this packaging is supposed to be a lot less than when glass is used.

When I was looking up places to buy the wine locally, I found a few websites that talked specifically about the packaging design so I guess it's pretty unique. I've seen plenty of boxed and bottled wines, but I'll admit I've never seen any quite like this before.

One thing I wondered about the packaging was how efficient it would be at getting all the wine out of the pouch, Would I need to cut it open to get the last 1/2 glass?

I needn't have worried, The bag was completely flat and and empty when I was done with it, and it emptied easily, with no need for scissors.

But, for me, it's all about the flavor. I received two different wines - a white wine called Ignite, and a red wine called Ember.

The white wine disappeared first. It was slightly sweet, but not as sweet as something like a moscato. I liked it a lot. I'm not enough of a wine snob to talk about intricate details, but it was a light, drinkable, happy wine.

I needed a little bit of red wine for a recipe, so I opened the Ember and sampled it. I'm usually not a red wine drinker because it tends to give me headaches, but I had no adverse reaction to this one at all, so that's a huuuuuge bonus.

Each pouch holds the equivalent of 2 normal bottles of wine, and since the pouch is so thin, it cools faster that a bottle. The really nice thing about the pouch is that since it's not an open bottle full of wine, you can use some wine for drinking or cooking and not have to fret about using it all as fast as possible. I really didn't notice any flavor change over the several days it took me to finish each pouch.

The other really nice thing about the pouch is that as you drink the wine, it gets smaller, so it doesn't take as much space in the refrigerator. I actually rolled up the top of the white wine pouch to make it fit in a less-tall space. You can't do that with a bottle, that's for sure.

I found one of these wine varieties locally for $15-18 for a pouch. So far, it's just available in a few states, but I have a feeling you'll be seeing it expanding into other markets.

So ... do you like the pouch idea? Or do you prefer bottles?

Disclaimer: I received this wine from the company for a review. I might be buying some for use in recipes as well. We'll see...