Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Camping wine

We have a few camping trips planned for this summer.

This is a new thing for me. I'm not really a camper. I don't like being dirty. I like showers and hair dryers. So camping has about as much appeal as cleaning the bathtub.

But Don and Elli really want to camp. They got the bug last summer when they went for a weekend camp out with some friends. Elli loved playing in the dirt, swimming in the river, sleeping in a tent and cooking by the campfire. So how could I deny her this fun?

I don't want to be "that" mommy. The one that is no fun and all prissy.

The thing is everyone knows I don't really like to camp so now I'm kind of a joke. They talk to me like I'm completely clueless about living outside. I'm not clueless. I know exactly what it's all about, which is exactly the reason I don't want to do it.

It's kind of like bungee jumping. I see the rush people get when they jump and how their body bounces around like a rag doll. I see how psyched they are about it. And I have absolutely no desire to EVER jump off a bridge connected to a giant rubber band. The only way I would ever do it is if you knocked me out, tied my feet to the band, and pushed me.

Don't even think about doing that.

My idea of fun is completely different. I would rather hang with a group of friends at a winery drinking wine, eating cheese and fresh bread while swapping stories, laughing and hanging out - that is my idea of fun.

So knowing that, Don and I are doing a little experimenting with some box wines we've recently found to see if any of them are decent. The container is perfect for camping - non-breakable boxes with a tap. They won't get sand and dirt in them once opened. And there is no spilled wine if they are knocked over.

Bon Ventos Red Wine from Portugal is our favorite so far.
We bought our first box at The Spanish Table. It was called Bon Ventos from Portugal and was just $19.99 (equivalent of two bottles of wine.) The wine was good! And I must say we were kind of digging the tap. It was a little too convenient on the shelf at home. This one was definitely a winner.

Then we read about a new wine in a box produced by Clif Bar company called The Climber We went to BevMo! and Trader Joe's to see if they had it. No luck. But BevMo! did have quite a few others, so we picked up Bota Box Cabernet and Bota Box Pinot Grigio. We tapped the Cab the other day. It's not as good as the wine from Spanish Table. It wasn't as full-bodied as we like, but not bad for $16.99 (equivalent of four bottles.)
I looked the wine up on and saw that Wilfred gave it 87 points. This wasn't on the sign at the store. That definitely would have influenced our decision. Oh well. The Pinot Grigio won a Bronze at the 2010 SF Int'l Wine Comp. So I have higher hopes for that one.

BevMo! has a few others we can try before we go on our big expedition. Kidding. Not about trying the wine. About calling our camping trip an expedition. Although this is bear country. It could turn into a game of survival. Waaaah, it better not.

Don's digging this whole thing. Any excuse to buy something and he's game. He's in full "getting-all-the-camping-gear-on-the-planet" mode. We now have a tent, grill, burners, lights, cookware, tubs, sleeping bags, air mattress.......*sigh*..........

I'm wondering if we actually could have gone to the Ritz.

Never mind. I promised myself there would be no whining. Just wine-ing. hee hee

$16.99 at BevMo!
We tapped the Pinot Grigio. It's a decent wine. A little sweet, light and good for summer pool parties and picnics.

I also picked up the Bota Box 2009 Malbec. Wilfred gave it 90pts. I like it, too. It's medium bodied, has nice hints of blackberry and cherry and a little zing on the finish. It would be great to pair with chicken or beef. I think this may be my favorite of the three. The price is the same $16.99 for a 3-liter box.

7/3/11 - Look here. The SF Chronicle did a little article comparing box wines, too. So here you go. More juice to ponder drinking. Ciao. {article}


Thanks for your feedback!