23 May, 2012

#wbw77 What to drink after a bad day at work - Review of 3L Big House Red

Quality, quantity and good QPR?  My dark corporate overlords have given me LOTS to drink about in recent history, so when Wine Blogging Wednesday #77 was announced, I was already experimenting with something I had received as a sample: The 3 Liter Octavin version of "Big House Red", which takes its cheeky name from its physical proximity to the "big house" well, California Correctional Institution , in Soledad, CA.  Which is near Monterey, CA a lovely place to be sent to---Monterey County, not the prison!
Wine maker Georgetta Dane takes a wild assortment of  varieties: 27% Petite Sirah, 14.5% Syrah, 8.6% Montepulciano, 8.2% Barbera, 6.4% Nero d’ Avola, 6.1% Tempranillo, 3.3% Malbec, 2.4% Aglianico, 2.4% Souzao, 2.3% Charbono, 2.2% Petite Verdot, 2.1% Cabernet Franc, 2% Tannat, 12.5% Other Esoteric Reds and melds them together into a comforting melange. 

Luscious aromas of dark fruit, raspberries, hints of cigar box and vanilla.  Flavors of mixed berries and satisfyingly elegant finish kissed with vanilla and spice.  But best of all, Premium cask version ($22) contains the equivalent of four bottles, which is enough to wash away a month and a half of bad days .With the convenient spigot, it will even blunt some bad Monday Morning Concall Marathons with a little half glass at lunch.  Go ahead, it's sitting right on the counter waiting--although the Octavin folks suggest you tuck the cask into a dark place with constant temperature. 

I ended up experimenting for the full 6 weeks.  It was super reliable with the brightness and freshness holding on pretty well for the entire six weeks.  The hardest thing for me was not drinking it all up in the first three weeks. The packaging also made it easy to alleviate not just my own workaday struggles, but all my friends who dropped by got a snootful too. 

Basically, the wine ships safe in its cardboard cask in a silver plastic bag with a spout.  When you get it home, you position the bag in the cardboard cask, open up the spigot and you have the ability to accompany your dirge, sea chantey or happy dance with a tasty fresh glass of wine. But wait!  It's not just good for erasing a bad day, its good for the environment , too.   Since you eliminate the need for four glass bottles, you eliminate 85% of the waste and reduce the carbon footprint by 55%. So it's not just good or good for you, it's also good for the planet!

 And, Ginzu-like, there's more! Since comfort foods, like entire bottles of wine, are notoriously difficult on your waistline, having the packaging means you can easily measure out a single 5 oz/110 calorie serving  so the "mean reds" don't take you from Holly Golightly to Holly Goliath.

So whether you're stocking up for a pity party a pool party or a party-party, look for this to supplement your wine plan.  And I hope your day is good!

I received this as a sample






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