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Wine,Wine tasting

Week 3: Boxed Wine Experiment with Duca del Frassino’s Garganega/Pinot Grigio

WEEK 3: Yes!

Today is Valentine’s Day and it’s also my experiment day.

I just poured this glass, photographed it, processed the image, and then uploaded it… All in preparation of tasting the 2009 Duca del Frassino’s Garganega/Pinot Grigio.

Because I just had an organic Honeymoon Salad (lettuce alone) for a quick bite, with an oil and vinegar dressing that I made and sprinkled on my greens in small amounts, I can’t help but wonder if this is going to impact my palate. (The vinegar was made by my winemaking son-in-law Heath Hoffman. It’s delicious vinegar, and I’m hoping that the olive oil would have been enough to have coated my palate away from any residual vinegar effects.)

Visually: The color, by the way, has a beautiful light salmon hue around the rim, so typical of a Pinot Grigio, while still being quite golden. You can see it in this image. The wine is clean and clear from any flaws.

The Nose: Green leaf lettuce, and I don’t think it’s from my salad. It’s just got a green aroma to it that reminds me of a spring day with daffodils pushing open. Slight petrol and floral, too.

The palate: Creamy with notes of red grapefruit and lemon… star fruit. The finish is long and lingering.

It’s still a great little wine… and managed to be paired with my favorite Organic Honeymoon Salad.

WEEK 2: I have to admit that this past Sunday I spent with an adorable granddaughter, so my experiment for tasting was given over to photographing this child of five.

Then, my week began to slip away, because I’m in the deep and narrow passageways of Dark & Delicious. This is a time when having any extra breath – save time for my clients – is not for the asking or taking of anyone external.

So, here it is Wednesday night, and I need to be ready for my weekly Thursday reporting on the Duca del Frassino boxed wine experiment.

By the way, look at the size of this box, against the usual four bottles.

I went to my fridge, grabbed the box and a glass, and poured myself this 2009 White wine: Garganega/Pinot Grigio.

I believe that the Garganega is dominating this week. The immediate nose was of pink bubble gum… the kind I loved to chew as a kid, and it’s still not an offensive aroma in my world. Swirling, this wine is now citrusy lemons and lavender. On the palate, this 2009 Duca del Frassino is dry (so, don’t let my bubble gum fool you into thinking “sweet”) and refreshing, with flavors of tart apples, smooth cucumbers, and lingering Myers lemons. The finish remains clean and luscious. All’s well in my Boxed Wine Land…

WEEK 1: I’m a huge proponent of boxed wine. I regularly have a box of white wine in my refrigerator for easy access. It’s a great space saver, and they allow me to buy a lot of wine at one time. I love having it and not having to store it elsewhere, or worrying about it becoming oxidized if we don’t enjoyed within a few days. Boxed wines are touted as having a six week shelf life, once tapped and put into action.

I was sent an Email and asked if I’d write about this new DUCA DEL FRASSINO brand from Italy. It’s the first ever Italian boxed wine. I suggested that a box be sent to me, and I’d conduct a six week experiment, similar to what Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher did. The one caveat was going to be that they had six boxes and went back and forth from box one, to box two, to box three, etc., until they had experienced the entire six weeks. I don’t have that kind of refrigerator space, and the experiment has already been done by a couple of complete pros.

  1. I’m going to talk about what the Garganega/Pinot Grigio is tasting like.
  2. I want to also see if flavors shift from one week to the next.
  3. I also want to taste it six weeks later, and see if the wine’s tired at all, or oxidized.

You can come along for the ride.

Some of their differentiating notes about the wine:

Produced by Cantina di Soave, one of the most prestigious wineries in the Veneto region, Duca del Frassino is the first of its kind to emerge from one of the most important wine producing regions in the world. Two premium wines—Garganega/Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon/Corvina—offer high quality, fresh and easy-to-drink blends of noble indigenous varietals. The stylish 3-liter packaging in vibrant green and red respectively is contemporary, eco-friendly and convenient. The built-in spout and handle allows for easy pouring and carrying. Consumers will embrace Duca del Frassino with each box containing approximately 20 glasses of delicious Italian wine, lasting up to five weeks upon opening, and priced attractively at $19.99 –an unbeatable value.

Cantina di Soave, which has been producing premium wines since 1898, incorporates 110 years of winemaking experience with cutting-edge viticultural techniques. “As the wine market continues to evolve, we recognized that the fastest growing category was missing its crown jewel—the world’s first Italian box wine,” said Enore Ceola, Managing Director of MW Imports, importer of Duca del Frassino (a Division of Mionetto USA, Inc.). “These wines represent our mission— to showcase premium Italian wine from the Venezie that over-delivers on quality, taste and appeals to today’s discerning wine consumer.” Duca del Frassino is poised to become the leader in the box wine category with the support of distributors, aggressive PR and Marketing in the U.S. to garner trade and consumer attention.

So, the history and the value is there. Let’s see what we find out about the flavors and the ability for this wine to be fun and approachable throughout the six week time frame.

January 31, 2010 ~ Opened the box, and found that it’s cleverly packaged for ease of pouring from its tap. I did the nose and found a freshly sliced Pippen apple aroma, lemon/lime, a touch of petrol, and lilies of the valley. The hue has a slight pink tinge to it, given that Pinot Gris/Grigio is a pink grape. This is always a dead giveaway in a tasting when someone pours a PG for you, and asks you to identify the variety. You’re able to say Pinot Gris like a pro, and be pretty sure that that’s exactly what it is. (If you’ve had red wine in your glass, you’re on your own.) On the palate, this wine is very bright, fresh, and a bit tart. It’s the apple and citrus that has overall flavors, and the finish is a long, lingering experience. Very lovely, crisp and clean wine.

I’m going to really enjoy this experiment, I’ve decided. Back next Thursday!

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2 Responses to “Week 3: Boxed Wine Experiment with Duca del Frassino’s Garganega/Pinot Grigio”

  1. Therese says:

    What happened to the other weeks?

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