Boxed Wine Anyone?

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Wine: Bota Box Old Vine Zin and Pinot Grigio

Mood: Mellow

I may be breaking all kinds of rules here with some of you, but I'm just now discovering boxed wine.  I think it may be my new thing to try.  I am the only wine drinker in my house hold and as a result, I don't open wine much these days.  I don't like the pressure of having to drink it quickly, before it oxidizes.  The boxed wine solves that!  It's an anaerobic pouch in the box, so little to no oxygen get's in contact with the wine.  

We went on vacation with the family and we tried the Bota Box wine.  We got the Old Vine Zin and the Pinot Grigio.  I thought they were both what I'd call, "good everyday drinking" wine.  Both varietally correct, meaning I'd be able to tell you that they were Old Vine Zin and Pinot Grigio, even if I didn't know and it's tough to beat the price.  The convenience of the shelf life alone is enough of a reason for me to continue my exploration.  

Pretty fun summer experiment, if I do say so myself!

The perfect wine for homemade pizza and rain

Wine: 2015 Riddle bricks Alicante Bouschet

Mood: Experimental

I’d recommend this wine (2015 Riddle Bricks Alicante Bouschet) when you’re in the mood to eat yummy, not too rich food, on a cold day.
— Erica Manfre, The Moody Wine Drinker
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First things first...the pizza.  We all pitched in and got my parents an Uuni pizza oven for Christmas, this year.  They tried it and were bragging and texting pics, so naturally we invited ourselves over for a rainy pizza-making day.  I was polite and brought a bottle of wine, so don't worry too much.  This pizza oven is UNREAL!  It gets up to 900 plus degrees in 10 minutes and it cooked these pizzas in around 4 minutes.  We left their house deciding we NEED one.  Want isn't the right word.  We NEED one of these pizza ovens.  I don't mean to sound like Veruca from Willy Wonka, but if you saw this thing, you'd see.

Let's talk dough for a minute.  Some would say that it's the key part of the homemade pizza deal. My parents have made the same "trusty" pizza dough as long as I can remember and it's Wolfgang Puck's recipe (Click HERE for recipe).  It has great consistency, a hint of sweetness due to the tablespoon of honey, and it can keep in the refrigerator after you make it for a week or so.  I recommend it.

Now for the wine.  I brought over the 2015 Riddle Bricks Alicante Bouschet that I had just received from a Winc gift card (thanks Meegan!).  For those of you that haven't heard of the varietal Alicante Bouschet, let me fill you in.  It was crossed from Petit Bouschet and Grenache in 1866 and designed to be a blending grape to add depth to other wines.  It gained popularity due to how easy it is to grow and the high yields that the vines produce.  Some say that played a huge role in rebuilding the wine industry after the phylloxera outbreak.

This Riddle Bricks version didn't disappoint.  It's full fruit forward nose of plum and a hint of herb spices.  The mouthfeel was balanced, with a clean finish.  It was a delightful pair to the pepperoni, Bagna-Cauda (roasted garlic in butter, oil and other stuff), and cheddar cheese pizza.  I'd recommend this wine when you're in the mood to eat yummy, not too rich food, on a cold day.

Moody Wine....whaaaat?

Well, for many this may seem random.  What's this "moody wine" thing?  It's kind of a great past time of mine.  I was working in a cute wine shop in Santa Cruz, where I was asked every day what my favorite wine was.  I'd always start by explaining my mood, while I was making a suggestion and it dawned on me...."I can't be the only one that makes a wine selection like this."  I began asking people when they were planning to drink the wine and have them set the scene before making a recommendation.  BAM! was born.  

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A little more background, if you're interested.  I studied Agricultural Business and Wine and Viticulture at Cal Poly, and I was working in the wine business, but I fell off the wine blog wagon when I got out of the wine industry and bought a house.   My wine selection was kind of more like, "Whatever I can afford that tastes decent."  HA!  Those Santa Cruz County residents out there, feel me??!!  

I was strategizing the other day with a friend about this blog and we got to discussing Moody Wine and she said, "Why can't you just include that in American Huney?"  I let it kind of sink in and I realized something...why couldn't I?  As a result, I've reformatted the blog and I'm BRINGING MOODY WINE BACK!  You won't find such extravagant wines that I was fortunate enough to post about when I was in the wine industry, but you'll see some yummy retail store selections, some shipment selections that I get delivered to the house, and some local winery treats.  Really, it may be MORE approachable than before!  

The new design of the blog will make it simple to navigate to wine related posts...just click the wine quadrant and you're there!