Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sutherlands Try Boxed Reds

From the Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek, MI, September 6, 2007:

Wine in Nashville
Boxed reds have improved in quality

Last week we reviewed boxed white wines to augment tailgating, but for many fans, red wine might be more appealing - especially in a box.

There are plenty of reasons to go red on game day - to pair with burgers and hot dogs, to avoid chilled drinks once the weather turns cold, or simply because a lot of people just prefer red wine.

Boxed reds are available in a wide range of varietals, and although they did not fare as well in our tasting as the white wines overall, boxed reds have improved in quality in the past few years. And just like the whites, the reds come in unbreakable, vacuum-sealed containers holding the equivalent to four to six standard bottles, making them easy to transport and dispense to the masses (who are supporting your team, of course).

We tasted four boxed red wines. Here are the results:

2005 Delicato shiraz. $18.99/ 3 liters

The aroma reminded us of raspberries, blackberries, cedar, clove, pepper and bacon fat. On the palate, we found flavors of black cherries, tea leaves, lots of tannins and alcohol and a deep, dark coffee finish. This wine was far more complex and better balanced than the others and an obvious choice as our favorite. We thought the high alcohol might appeal to certain tailgaters, too.

Non-vintage Almaden red sangria. $17.49/5 liters

We discovered scents of cherries and lemon/lime soda - like a Shirley Temple. In the mouth, we tasted orange gumdrops and a hint of cinnamon. A sweet blend of red wine and fruit, this wine would be best over ice.

Non-vintage Pinot Evil pinot noir. $19.99/3 liters

The nose suggested lots of cherry, plum, fudge and cotton candy. It was very light-bodied with watery flavors and a vinegary finish. The nose was promising, but the palate was meek.

2005 Free Range red Bordeaux. $29.99/3 liters

In the bouquet, we found scents of ashes, coffee, black cherries, stems and weeds. The wine showed stemmy flavors on the attack and green bell peppers on the finish. This wine did not compare favorably at all with the others.

. . .

Contact Frank Sutherland at Frank and his daughter Kate Sutherland's wine-tasting group consists of representatives from the five wine distributors in Nashville, Tenn., a wine collector, a sommelier and food columnist Thayer Wine.

Battle Creek Enquirer - - Battle Creek, Mich.

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